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In his De peccato originali (1679), Hadriaan Beverland (1650-1716) presented his thesis that sex was the original sin and a vital part of human nature. Building on contemporary insights into the history of the text of the Bible, he criticised the hypocritical attitudes among the religious and social elite of his day concerning the biblical text and sexual morality. The work became notorious in the seventeenth century and led to its author’s banishment. In the eighteenth century, it exerted considerable influence on the way in which many in Europe came to see sexuality.

This annotated edition with English translation also includes a comprehensive introduction that includes a contextualization of the De peccato originali and its impact.
Thomas Hobbes and the Theology of the Old Covenant in Early Modern England
Covenant theology was a popular and controversial topic in early modern England. In particular, the biblical old covenant with Moses generated tremendous theological and political debates during the years of the English Civil Wars. And yet, the disciplinary boundaries of historical theology and the history of political thought make it hard to understand why early modern preachers and philosophers wrestled over this topic with such vigour. This interdisciplinary historical theological study explains the development of the covenant theology in the major works of Thomas Hobbes and his contemporaries, including Bishop Robert Sanderson and the puritan and presbyterian circles of the Westminster Assembly.
The Quarrel over Swammerdam’s Posthumous Works reconstructs the vicissitudes of Johannes Swammerdam’s Biblia naturae, a pivotal collection of writings in the history of science. Bequeathed to the polymath Melchisédech Thévenot, the manuscripts and drawings of the treatises constituting this collection were instead kept by the editor Hermann Wingendorp after Swammerdam’s death (1680), triggering a quarrel over their publication.

By analysing Swammerdam’s scientific legacy and by offering an edition of the correspondence testifying to the efforts towards such publication, this book sheds light on the editorial history and intellectual context of Swammerdam’s Biblia. This reveals not only an intricate plot of authorized and unauthorized attempts to publish it, but also an exchange of scientific texts and instruments in the late seventeenth century.
Wie sind die modernen Geistes- und Sozial-, kurz Humanwissenschaften entstanden, was leisten sie und was nicht? Antworten auf diese Frage liefern historisch detaillierte Rekonstruktionen der Weise, wie die Humanwissenschaften Europas in den verschiedenen Stadien ihrer Entwicklung Erkenntnisfortschritte erzielten und aktuell erzielen. Das Buch skizziert hierzu Entwicklungsgeschichten von je vier Schlüsseldisziplinen der Sozial- und Geisteswissenschaften: Politikwissenschaft, Wirtschaftswissenschaft, Soziologie, Psychologie; Jurisprudenz, Geschichtswissenschaft, Philologie, Philosophie. Elementare Unterscheidungen des Common Sense dienen dabei als Analyseinstrumente und Wegweiser. Kultur- und wissenschaftshistorisch zweckmäßig verwendet, könnten sie den schwindenden Sinn für die Einheit der Humanwissenschaften in der Vielfalt ihrer Stimmen neu beleben. Das Buch plädiert in diesem Sinne für eine Reform und die Neubelebung allgemeinbildender Klassikerstudien.
In: Erasmus Studies
In: Erasmus Studies
In: Erasmus Studies


Erasmus’ sceptical attitude towards the discipline of dialectic in his early writings is well known. In this article, I revisit Erasmus’ relationship with the arts of reasoning, tracing a trajectory from The Praise of Folly and De Copia to his final work, Ecclesiastes. Erasmus’ treatise on preaching, I suggest, develops a new approach to copious speech and writing by combining the resources of rhetoric and dialectic, in dialogue with the textbooks on the arts of discourse that had appeared in the 25 years since the composition of The Praise of Folly.

Open Access
In: Erasmus Studies