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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, May 23

1498
Italian reformer Girolamo Savonarola, who had preached aggressively against the corruption of northern Italy's church and society, is hanged for heresy in Florence; then his body is burned.
1568
Battle at Heiligerlee. Dutch Protestant rebels beat the forces of Catholic Spain in Friesland.
1862
Birth of Hermann Gunkel, the German Protestant biblical scholar who pioneered the analytical approach to understanding Scripture afterward known as "form criticism." Gunkel applied its formulas primarily to the Old Testament, in his commentaries on Genesis (1901) and on the Psalms (1926-28).
1873
Death in St. Louis, Missouri, of Pierre-Jean De Smet, a frontier missionary in the United States and Canada.
1887
Death in Christiana, Norway, of Ludvig Mathias Lindeman. He had contributed greatly to the cause of good church music among the Scandinavians, so that it was said he had taught the Norwegian people to sing.
1889
Birth of Mary Susanne Edgar, a Canadian YWCA leader who wrote a number of hymns during her years of leading a Christian camping ministry with girls. Her best-remembered hymn: "God, Who Touchest Earth with Beauty."
1891
Evangel, the first of several Baptist rail cars was dedicated in Cincinnati Ohio. Ten feet wide and sixty feet long, it will seat one hundred worshippers. Northern Pacific Railroad's General Manager orders his workers to take the car on any of the company's trains at no charge.
1903
Death of American Congregational missionary Henry Blodget. He had served forty years in China and helped translate the New Testament into colloquial Mandarin.
1941
The scarred and disfigured body of the Orthodox bishop Platon of Banja Luka is found in the village of Kumsale, Croatia. Along with thousands of others he was killed in ethnic cleansing by the Ustashe, a Croatian fascist organization.
2009
The Nepal Defense Army, advocating for a Hindu state in Nepal, bombs the Catholic Church of the Assumption in Kathmandu. Six days later the organization will release a statement demanding that all one million Christians in Nepal leave the country, under threat of having each of their homes bombed.

Copyright Statement
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"