Community: Faith and Political Practice in Groningen During the Age of the Reductie – Arjo Vanderjacht

Ubbo Emmius (1547-1625) first rector magnificu...Monday, April 7th, 16:00, Faculty of Theology, Oude Boteringestraat 38, room 130.

The so-called Reductie of Groningen in 1594 secured what had been Catholic-Spanish Groningen for the Protestant States General of the Dutch Republic. That transition was relatively calm (the siege by the States’ forces was short; there was no violent iconoclasm [Beeldenstorm], although images were indeed removed from the churches; monasteries were disbanded but their denizens were allowed to live in them until their death; etc.). How did the various faithful – Catholics, Evangelicals, Mennonites – relate to each other before 1594? How did the magistracy regulate public devotion? What changed under the new Protestant authority? What ‘freedom’ was there under the Catholic magistrate for Evangelicals and Mennonites, and under Protestants for Catholics and Mennonites? How did Protestants seek continuity with the Catholic tradition of Groningen (e.g. with the ideas of Wessel Gansfort (1419-1489))? What limits were there to ‘freedom of religious conscience’? In this context, attention will also be given to the socio-political thought of the Calvinist jurist Johannes Althusius (1563-1638) of Emden. He was a good friend of Ubbo Emmius, influential humanist of Groningen, rector of the Latin school and then first Rector of the newly founded university.


Prof. Arjo Vanderjagt is emeritus professor of the History of Ideas at the University of Groningen. He publishes on a variety of subjects in intellectual history, including Neo-Platonism, ancient Nubia, the anthropology of the church fathers, Anselm of Canterbury, the crusades, fifteenth-century Burgundy, the relation between literary style and philosophy/philosophical texts, the relation between literature and philosophy, Renaissance humanism, Dante, chivalric ideology, the History of universities, ideas of love in the Middle Ages, medieval travel, early-modern political thought and ideology, historical taxonomy of plants.


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