Calvinism and Religious Toleration in the Dutch Golden Age by R. Po-chia Hsia, Henk Van Nierop

By R. Po-chia Hsia, Henk Van Nierop

Dutch society has loved a name, or notoriety, for permissiveness because the 16th century. The Dutch Republic within the Golden Age used to be the one society that tolerated non secular dissenters of all persuasions in early sleek Europe. sarcastically, it was once dedicated to a strictly Calvinist public Church and likewise to the renovation of spiritual plurality. R. Po-chia Hsia and Henk van Nierop have introduced jointly a bunch of best historians from the U.K., the U.S. and the Netherlands. Their amazing essays probe the historical past and fantasy of Dutch non secular toleration.

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Gijswijt-Hofstra, ‘Een schijn van verdraagzaamheid’, pp. –. Note that Israel and Kossmann use the term ‘tolerance’ differently, the former to mean full equality and freedom of public worship. ‘Dutch’ religious tolerance: celebration and revision  nationalism has yielded place to anti-nationalism, veneration of the past to the deconstruction of historical myths. Beginning in the sixteenth century, a long succession of groups used the history of religious toleration as a vehicle through which to define and legitimise their own identity.

Seething with tension’.  Outside the Generality Lands, Catholics, whose number Israel believes has been exaggerated, formed in most places an equally small and tamed minority. In her contribution to this volume, Joke Spaans suggests similarly that ‘containment’, not tolerance, was the policy of Dutch regents towards the non-Reformed churches. In any event, the true test of tolerance, according to Israel, was not such rival churches at all but radicals who broke with traditional Christianity altogether: Socinians, deists, and especially Spinozists, who enjoyed scant freedom of expression and on occasion suffered direct persecution.

Kaplan, ‘Dutch Particularism and the Calvinist Quest for “Holy Uniformity” ’, Archiv f¨ur Reformationsgeschichte  (), –. W. Frijhoff, ‘Inspiration, instruction, comp´etence? Questions autour de la s´election des pasteurs r´eform´es aux Pays-Bas, XVIe-XVIIe si`ecles’, Paedagogica Historica ,  (), –. J. van den Berg, ‘The Synod of Dort in the Balance’, Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis  (), –; W. , De Synode van Dordrecht in  en  (Houten, ). In a context of political opposition, the Synod settled the conflict over predestination (election to eternal life) between the partisans of Jacobus Arminius (– ), closer to the Catholics, and those of Franciscus Gomarus (–), more austere and closer to the Puritans, in favour of the Gomarists.

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