Mankes-Zernike, Anna (1887-1972)

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1959 Article

Anna Zernike, b. 1887 at Amsterdam, studied theology at the university and the Mennonite seminary at Amsterdam and became the first woman minister in the Dutch Mennonite church. She served 1911-1915 at Bovenknijpe in Friesland. In 1915 she was married to the painter Jan Mankes and retired, but after the death of her husband (1920) she again went into the ministry, serving 1921-1948 in the Protestantenbond (Dutch union of liberal Protestants) at Rotterdam. In 1921 she obtained her Th.D. degree. She wrote many articles for Dutch periodicals and a few books on art and religion. -- Nanne van der Zijpp

1990 Article

Anna Mankes-Zernike. A 1916 oil painting by her husband, Jan Mankes. Source: [ Wikipedia Commons]

Born 30 April 1887, Anna Zernike studied theology at the University of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Mennonite Theological Seminary (1905-1911). In 1911 she became the first woman pastor in The Netherlands when she accepted the invitation of the Mennonite congregation in Bovenknijpe. In 1915 she married the artist-painter Jan Mankes. Following his death in 1920 she became the leader of the Dutch Protestant organization "Linker-Maasoever" in Rotterdam, continuing in that work until her retirement in 1948. It was disappointing to her not to receive further invitations from Mennonite congregations after that. She spent her last years in the retirement center at Amersfoort. She died 6 March 1972.

Theologically she was attracted to the freethinking Protestantism represented also by her teacher G. A. van den Berg van Eysinga. While she fulfilled her pastoral tasks with thoroughness and care, she also became a frequent commentator on social and international issues. In 1918 she wrote her doctoral dissertation on historical materialism and the social democratic ethic. Together with R. N. Roland Holst she wrote the biography Jan Mankes (Utrecht, 1923, 1928). Other publications included Opvoedings-problemen (Amsterdam, 1924), Rainer Maria Rilke: Een benadering (Rotterdam, 1925), and Historische godsdiensten en universeele religie (Assen, 1938). She also published her memoirs in Een vrouw in het wondere ambt: Herinneringen van een predikante (Amsterdam, n.d.).  -- S. B. J. Zilverberg


Boeke, R. "Dr. A. Mankes-Zernike 1887-1972." Rotterdam Jaarboekje (1973): 189-193.

Doopsgezinde Jarboekje (1973): 13-17 (1986): 34ff.

Additional Information

Anne Zernike website (Dutch)

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
S. B. J. Zilverberg
Date Published 1987

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der and S. B. J. Zilverberg. "Mankes-Zernike, Anna (1887-1972)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 2 Jul 2022.,_Anna_(1887-1972)&oldid=122553.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der and S. B. J. Zilverberg. (1987). Mankes-Zernike, Anna (1887-1972). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2 July 2022, from,_Anna_(1887-1972)&oldid=122553.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1139; vol. 5, pp. 537-538. All rights reserved.

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