- Clashes of discourses: Humanists and Calvinists in seventeenth-century academic Leiden
E.M.P. van Gemert
G.C.A.M. van Gemert
- Award date
- 13 April 2016
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH)
Using Michel Foucault's concept of discursive change and Stephen Greenblatt's ideas about social poetics and self-fashioning, 'Clashes of Discourses: Calvinists and Humanists in Seventeenth-Century Academic Leiden' explains developments in the literary works of leading Leiden humanists against the background of the coup d'etat of Maurice of Orange and the Synod of Dort (1618-1619). Whereas humanist values were granted central roles at the inauguration of Leiden University in 1575, in particular through the efforts of Janus Dousa (1545-1604), orthodox Calvinists felt from the beginning that central Calvinist values should have had a more prominent position in the discourse of Leiden University. In the years 1609-1618, this opposition became almost identical with the opposition Remonstrant versus Contra-Remonstrant. Analysis of literary texts and paratexts shows that the growing tension in these years had a massive influence on the literary field of the Leiden humanists. In the course of this événement, cornerstones of the humanist discourse, such as the veneration of classical Greece and Rome seem to lose their importance and are replaced by maxims of the Calvinist discourse, such as identification with the people of Israel in the desert and the text of the Bible. The poetical persona was increasingly required to be an expression of, or at least not to contradict, Calvinist values. The identification of these opposing discourses provides a new perspective on the careers of Daniel Heinsius (1580-1655), Hugo Grotius (1583-1645), Jacob Cats (1577-1640), Ludovicus de Dieu (1590-1642), Jacob Revius (1586-1658) and their contemporaries.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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