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Reformation and the Practice of Toleration

Dutch Religious History in the Early Modern Era

Series:

Benjamin Kaplan

The Dutch Republic was the most religiously diverse land in early modern Europe, gaining an international reputation for toleration. In Reformation and the Practice of Toleration, Benjamin Kaplan explains why the Protestant Reformation had this outcome in the Netherlands and how people of different faiths managed subsequently to live together peacefully. Bringing together fourteen essays by the author, the book examines the opposition of so-called Libertines to the aspirations of Calvinist reformers for uniformity and discipline. It analyzes the practical arrangements by which multiple religious groups were accommodated. It traces the dynamics of religious life in Utrecht and other mixed communities. And it explores the relationships that developed between people of different faiths, especially in ‘mixed’ marriages.

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Edited by Cesare Cuttica and Markku Peltonen

This cross-disciplinary collection of essays examines – for the first time and in detail – the variegated notions of democracy put forward in seventeenth-century England. It thus shows that democracy was widely explored and debated at the time; that anti-democratic currents and themes have a long history; that the seventeenth century is the first period in English history where we nonetheless find positive views of democracy; and that whether early-modern writers criticised or advocated it, these discussions were important for the subsequent development of the concept and practice ‘democracy’.
By offering a new historical account of such development, the book provides an innovative exploration of an important but overlooked topic whose relevance is all the more considerable in today’s political debates, civic conversation, academic arguments and media talk.

Contributors include Camilla Boisen, Alan Cromartie, Cesare Cuttica, Hannah Dawson, Martin Dzelzainis, Rachel Foxley, Matthew Growhoski, Rachel Hammersley, Peter Lake, Gaby Mahlberg, Markku Peltonen, Edward Vallance, and John West.

Grounded Identities

Territory and Belonging in the Medieval and Early Modern Middle East and Mediterranean

Edited by Steve Tamari

Grounded Identities: Territory and Belonging in the Medieval and Early Modern Middle East and Mediterranean is a collection of essays on attachment to specific lands including Kurdistan, Andalusia and the Maghrib, and geographical Syria in the pre-modern Islamicate world. Together these essays put a premium on the affective and cultural dimensions of such attachments, fluctuations in the meaning and significance of lands in the face of historical transformations and, at the same time, the real and persistent qualities of lands and human attachments to them over long periods of time. These essays demonstrate that grounded identities are persistent and never static.

Contributors are: Zayde Antrim, Alexander Elinson, Mary Hoyt Halavais, Boris James, Steve Tamari.

Ancient Constitutions and Modern Monarchy

Historical Writing and Enlightened Reform in Denmark-Norway 1730-1814

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Håkon Evju

What was the role of historical thought and historical inquiry in debates over reform during the Enlightenment? In Ancient Constitutions and Modern Monarchy, Håkon Evju addresses this issue by considering the case of eighteenth-century Denmark-Norway. He argues that historians contributed crucially to the rethinking of Dano-Norwegian absolutism in the face of a shift towards commercial society. Their vision of an ancient Nordic constitution helped recast the monarchy as moderate and influenced debates over agricultural improvements in Denmark and Norway. In an innovative comparative analysis, Evju demonstrates how notions of a common political past were used differently in the two kingdoms. Yet in both cases, such appeals to tradition were vital in controversies over monarchical reform politics during the Enlightenment. Håkon Evju, Ph.D. (2014) in History, University of Oslo, is Associate Professor of Intellectual History at that university. He has published numerous articles on different aspects of the Enlightenment in Denmark-Norway.

Zayde Antrim

Abstract

Zayde Antrim’s study of Ibn al-Adim’s regional topography of Aleppo inscribes the author’s hometown into an established Syrian “discourse of place” but with a difference. In contrast to his Damascene predecessors, Ibn al-Adim’s Syria is oriented to the north and the marchland bordering the Christian Byzantine Empire. A host of historical and political contingencies shape this depiction of a land that defies easy delimitation.

Boris James

Abstract

The Kurdish lands that are the focus of Boris James’ study straddle contested territory between Mamluks and Mongols in northern Mesopotamia. James makes sense of countervailing internal tensions and external pressures that beset a tribal society on the fringes of strong centralized states. He employs a brand of social theory based on Ibn Khaldun’s historical sociology while problematizing the use of terms and allied concepts like “Kurd” and “Kurdistan” that defy easy categorization.