Vermaning, a Dutch Mennonite name for meetinghouse in the 17th-19th centuries. Their words vermaner (admonisher) and vermaning (place of admonishing) indicate the emphasis the Anabaptists placed on practical consecrated Christian living and discipleship. Highly suspicious of the state church ministers and churches, they coined new terms to assure a distinction between their concepts and those of the other churches. The meetinghouse was usually a simple structure, at times barnlike and hidden (schuilkerk). The hidden church originated in the days when the Mennonites were not permitted to build meetinghouses, and was also used when they were finally given permission to do so, but under the condition that they would not be on public streets and places but hidden, and that they would have no steeples or bells so that no one would be "misled" to listen to their "admonishings." Today the Dutch refer to their church as kerk just as the Reformed Church does. The distinctive name, though sometimes still used in Friesland, mostly disappeared during the 19th century when the Dutch Mennonites adjusted themselves to their environment and culture. (See also Architecture).
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 815. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
To cite this page:
MLA style: Krahn, Cornelius. "Vermaning." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/vermaning.
APA style: Krahn, Cornelius. (1959). Vermaning. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/vermaning.