Calvinists and Catholics during Holland's Golden Age

Calvinists and Catholics during Holland's Golden Age : Heretics and Idolaters

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This book examines the social, political and religious relationships between Calvinists and Catholics during Holland's Golden Age. Although Holland, the largest province of the Dutch Republic, was officially Calvinist, its population was one of the most religiously heterogeneous in early modern Europe. The Catholic Church was officially disestablished in the 1570s, yet by the 1620s Catholicism underwent a revival, flourishing in a semi-clandestine private sphere. The book focuses on how Reformed Protestants dealt with this revived Catholicism, arguing that confessional coexistence between Calvinists and Catholics operated within a number of contiguous and overlapping social, political and cultural spaces. The result was a paradox: a society that was at once Calvinist and pluralist. Christine Kooi maps the daily interactions between people of different faiths and examines how religious boundaries were negotiated during an era of tumultuous religious change.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139150901
  • 9781139150903

Table of contents

Introduction; 1. War and peace; 2. Priests and preachers; 3. Persecution and toleration; 4. Converts and apostates; 5. Kith and kin; Conclusion.
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Review quote

'Christine Kooi, in her meticulously researched and elegantly written study, shows convincingly how Calvinists and Catholics negotiated religious differences across overlapping confessional, civic, and private spaces. She effectively employs spatial constructions to unravel the paradoxes of confessional coexistence in Golden Age Holland. This book is a must-read for scholars and students interested in questions of religious tolerance and difference.' Charles Parker, St Louis University, Missouri 'In early modern Europe, most states solved the problem of religious conflict by trying to impose credal uniformity. The Dutch Republic, though officially Calvinist, stands out for its religious pluralism; thus although Catholic worship was technically illegal, there was a flourishing Catholic community. How was this possible? Or perhaps better, how did it work? By focusing on the different kinds of 'spaces' in which people lived their lives, Calvinists and Catholics during Holland's Golden Age frames the question in an intellectually interesting way. Professor Kooi writes in a clear and engaging style, and she is judicious in her evaluation of contentious issues. Readers will come away with a good sense of how Christians of sharply different beliefs dealt with one another in a country that enjoyed, for the period, a remarkable degree of religious freedom.' James Tracy, University of Minnesota 'Building her case on a broad array of archival and printed sources, Christine Kooi explores the daily practice of coexistence between Holland's Reformed and Catholics during the Dutch Golden Age. She resolves the paradox of official proscription of Catholicism and peaceful coexistence in practice by analytically introducing a confessional, a civic, and a private 'space' in which religious conflict and toleration were played out. Kooi ends up firmly on the side of the optimists, stressing coexistence rather than inter-confessional strife. Addressing a topic that has not lost its urgency, this well-written book deserves a wide readership.' Henk van Nierop, University of Amsterdam 'How can we explain the fact that Catholicism was tolerated in a Protestant state? How did Catholics and Protestants coexist in an era of such polarisation? Christine Kooi's book, Calvinists and Catholics during Holland's Golden Age: Heretics and Idolaters, which underlines the complexity of the relations between Calvinists and Catholics in the seventeenth-century Dutch province of Holland, covers a fascinating age when neither Catholics nor Protestants had complete control over Europe, and there prevailed a regime of tolerance in Holland.' European Review of History 'Written in a clear and elegant way, the book can serve as a good introduction to newcomers in this field, while also providing much of interest to more advanced students and scholars.' Jaap Geraerts, European History Quarterly 'Christine Kooi's new volume is a very welcome addition to this burgeoning field.' Kenneth Austin, Huguenot Society Journal
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