Annie1918 by Jan Mankes

This is a portrait of Mankes’ wife Anne Zernike.


Anne Zernike (1887–1972) was a Dutch, liberal theologian, who was the first ordained woman minister of the Netherlands. Though she began her career with the Mennonites, which was the only congregation that allowed female ministers at the time, the majority of her career was spent in the Dutch Protestant Association (NPB).

...She was raised in a family of intellectuals, including a sister Elisabeth Zernike who became a novelist and a brother Fritz who would later win the Nobel Prize for Physics.

...Zernike knew from childhood that she wanted to become a minister and her parents encouraged her to study, though her father did not believe that she would be accepted as a preacher. She began her studies at the University of Amsterdam and because the only denomination which would ordain women was the Mennonite Church, she joined that congregation.

...On 5 November 1911 in the Frisian town of Bovenknijpe (near Heerenveen), Zernike was ordained and preached her sermon on Jeremiah 31. She found it difficult to adjust to life in Bovenknijpe and was homesick for culture until she met the painter, Jan Mankes. After a brief courtship, they became engaged and married on 30 September 1915. Shortly thereafter, the couple moved to The Hague where their lives focused on participation in the artistic environment, including literature, painting and poetry; theology, including explorations of Christian Socialism, Taoism and theosophy; and the principals of pacifism and vegetarianism. During this period, Zernike, as was expected at the time, gave up her career for her husband's employment opportunities. As Jan's tuberculosis worsened and a doctor counseled that they relocate away from the damp of the sea and to a forested area, the couple moved in 1917 to Eerbeek. Shortly after they arrived, Zernike discovered she was pregnant and began working on her thesis which she titled, On historical materialism and social democratic ethics. Beint, their son was born on 1 March 1918 and that same autumn, she received her doctorate in divinity from the University of Amsterdam under the direction of Professor H. IJ Groenewegen. Jan succumbed to his illness on 23 April 1920 and Zernike left Eerbeek for Rotterdam the following year.

Zernike returned to the ministry but not with the Anabaptists, as she felt a greater affinity with a more liberal and newly formed church belonging to the Dutch Protestant Association (NPB). There was no building, the 40 church members met in the school gymnasium, and she was given free rein to design the services as she felt led. Thus, she formed a choir and a theater, the congregation visited museums regularly and were apt to discuss Bible verses based on an analysis of paintings by Rembrandt or other artists.....
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Zernike]
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