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Fourteenth century firebrand preacher gains recognition at home

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

DEVENTER – The preacher who launched the Modern Devotion movement in the fourteenth century will finally get more recognition in his hometown, Deventer, a member of the Hanseatic League and at the time the most important town in Overijssel. The sermons by Geert Groote reverberated through much of Europe and soon faced heated opposition from the clergy who felt attacked. His message was popular with the people however. Among his followers is the Zwolle monk Thomas a Kempis, the author of Imitation of Christ, a contemplative book which has been translated into numerous languages. Visitors to Deventer would today be hard-pressed to find anyone with sufficient knowledge about the city’s famous son. The proposed Geert Groote Centre, slated to construction next year, is expected to increase the awareness of this man who has had very limited public recognition in recent years.