In the 21st century religion continues to impact international relations and globalization. I am currently interested in the history and the current activities of Protestant missionary societies and the modern missionary and humanitarian NGOs that continuated their work. These often overlooked RNGOs are dynamic and expanding. Unlike traditional missionary societies, RNGOs increasingly operate from the non-Western world. This is explored in several projects that focus on the cultural legacy of these organisations.

Missionary Map Project

Missionary societies from the early 19th century published maps that reflected their global ambitions. With Hannah de Korte and Marco van Egmond, we created an online exhibition on missionary maps at the Utrecht University Library website.

We also published articles on the famous 10/40 Window missionary map, on eschatology and maps and on missionary maps and imperialism

Missionary Fiction Project

Voorkant van zendingsjeugdliteratuur

The wide world was brought into the homes of children via fiction. This project explores the almost forgotten missionary children’s books and stories that were widely popular in the late 19th and early 20th century. The project is currently in progress with Tirreg Verburg compiling an anthology of Dutch missionary children’s fiction.

Missionary Photo Project

Missionary societies and religious NGOs (RNGOs) have yielded a massive collection of photos and old films, some of which are completely unknown. This project intends to explore this collection.


Protestant missionary societies emerged around the turn of the 19th century, but in actual fact the early modern period also saw a plethora of global missionary activities and publishing. We explore this in an upcoming online conference: Exploring Early Modern Protestant Mission, organized by Utrecht University on 21 and 22 January 2021.


KNIR (Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome) colloquium on Turning points in global mission 1600-2000.