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Syb Talma: A Dutch Christian Socialist

Gerard van Krieken


Inspired by the London harbor strike of 1889, Syb Talma went from being a young, Dutch Reformed pastor of the ethical theological school to actively advocating for workers rights in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in the Netherlands, particularly from within the labor organization Patrimonium. Talma remained loyal to the Dutch Reformed Church even after the split of 1886, when Abraham Kuyper led the formation of the Reformed Churches of the Netherlands, a more conservative denomination. Yet, inspired by Kuypers speech at the First Christian Social Congress, Talma also joined the formers Antirevolutionary Party and remained loyal to it until his death, even holding public office in the early twentieth century. This article examines Talmas life and work, specifically focusing on his views of politics, labor unions, and workers rights.

Gerard van Krieken, "Syb Talma: A Dutch Christian Socialist," Journal of Markets & Morality 14, no. 2 (Fall 2011): 393-418

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