Gender, Space, and Religious Privacy in Amsterdam


  • Natália Da Silva Perez University of Copenhagen
  • Peter Thule Kristensen Royal Danish Academy



Seventeenth Century, Amsterdam, Privacy, Gender


Silva Perez and Kristensen examine the intersection of gender and religious traditions for the use of space for two distinct religious groups: the Amsterdam beguines, a Catholic community, and the Portuguese Nation, a Jewish community. In the religiously diverse environment of seventeenth century Amsterdam, only the Dutch Reformed Church was officially authorized to have visible places of worship. Unsanctioned religious groups such as the beguines and the Portuguese Nation had to make arrangements to regulate visibility and access to their spaces of worship. Using privacy as an analytical lens, the authors discuss how strategies employed by the two groups changed over the course of the century.



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Author Biographies

Natália Da Silva Perez, University of Copenhagen

Natália da Silva Perez (1982) is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Privacy Studies at the University of Copenhagen. She holds a joint PhD from the University of Kent and the Freie Universität Berlin. From a transnational and comparative perspective, her current research focuses on privacy as experienced by early modern women of high and low social status, including how women’s access to it was influenced by their families, communities, and authorities. Her most recent publication is the chapter “Sexual Surveillance in Paris and Versailles under Louis XIV” in Histories of Surveillance from Antiquity to the Digital Era: The Eyes and Ears of Power, edited by Andreas Marklund and Laura Skouvig (Routledge, 2021).

Peter Thule Kristensen, Royal Danish Academy

Peter Thule Kristensen (1966) is a professor in history of architecture and interior at The Royal Danish Academy, where he also is head of the master program Spatial Design and core scholar at Centre for Privacy Studies. Selected monographs: Gottlieb Bindesbøll – Denmark’s first Modern Architect, 2013, Svenn Eske Kristensen – Velfærdsarkitekten, 2017 and Klein: Arkitekten Vilhelm Kleins skrifter og historicismen i Danmark, 2019.




How to Cite

Da Silva Perez, N., & Kristensen, P. T. (2021). Gender, Space, and Religious Privacy in Amsterdam. TSEG - The Low Countries Journal of Social and Economic History, 18(3), 75–106.