Calvinists and Libertines: Confession and Community in Utrecht 1578-1620

Hardcover | October 1, 1995

byBenjamin J. Kaplan

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After the Reformation, the Dutch Republic emerged as the most religiously tolerant country in seventeenth-century Europe. Benjamin Kaplan examines the reasons behind this phenomenon, focusing on the struggle of Calvinist reformers to realize their theocratic aspirations in the Netherlands,and the fierce opposition offered to them by a large, amorphous group of people known as `Libertines'. Nowhere was this struggle more intense than in Utrecht, a city at the heart of the Dutch Reformation. The author illuminates the nature of this conflict through a study of the city and people ofUtrecht, examing social relations, popular piety, civic culture, and state formation. This urban case-study shows how Dutch religious developments fitted into the wider European framework. Offering a fascinating microcosm of religious tensions in Europe around 1600, Kaplan shows how the Calvinist-Libertine conflict in the Netherlands was in fact a local manifestation of a broaderEuropean phenomenon: the struggle between champions and opponents of `confessionalism'. He thus combines a new interpretation of the Dutch Reformation with a presentation that makes this largely unknown phenomenon accessible to students of other countries. As the first case-study in English of theDutch Reformation, Calvinists and Libertines fills an important gap in our knowledge of Dutch history and in our understanding of the European Reformation as a whole.

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After the Reformation, the Dutch Republic emerged as the most religiously tolerant country in seventeenth-century Europe. Benjamin Kaplan examines the reasons behind this phenomenon, focusing on the struggle of Calvinist reformers to realize their theocratic aspirations in the Netherlands,and the fierce opposition offered to them by a...

Benjamin J. Kaplan is an Assistant Professor at Brandeis University, Massachusetts.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:362 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.98 inPublished:October 1, 1995Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198202830

ISBN - 13:9780198202837

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`this study is a valuable contribution to our understanding of religious developments in the formative years of the new Dutch state'J.L. Price, University of Hull, EHR Nov. 97