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.
Antisemitic Conspiracy Theories in the Early Modern Iberian World: Narratives of Fear and Hatred, François Soyer offers the first detailed historical analysis of antisemitic conspiracy theories in Spain, Portugal and their overseas colonies between 1450 and 1750. These conspiracy theories accused Jews and
conversos, the descendants of medieval Jewish converts to Christianity, of deadly plots and blamed them for a range of social, religious, military and economic problems. Ultimately, many Iberian antisemitic conspiracy theorists aimed to create a ‘moral panic’ about the
converso presence in Iberian society, thereby justifying the legitimacy of ethnic discrimination within the Church and society. Moreover, they were also exploited by some churchmen seeking to impose an idealized sense of communal identity upon the lay faithful.
Patrons of the Old Faith is the first full-length study on the Catholic nobility in the Dutch Republic. Based on a detailed prosopographical analysis and through the examination of their marriage strategies, interaction with Protestants, religiosity and contributions to the Holland Mission, Jaap Geraerts shows how the behaviour of the Catholic nobility was highly distinctive and differed from their co-religionists and Protestant peers as it was influenced by a specific set of noble and Catholic values. Due to the synthesis of their noble and confessional identities, the Dutch Catholic nobility in Utrecht and Guelders acted as patrons of their faith and were instrumental for the survival of Catholicism in the Dutch Republic.
Topographies of Tolerance and Intolerance challenges the narrative of a simple progression of tolerance and the establishment of confessional identity during the early modern period. These essays explore the lived experiences of religious plurality, providing insights into the developments and drawbacks of religious coexistence in this turbulent period. The essays examine three main groups of actors—the laity, parish clergy, and unacknowledged religious minorities—in pre- and post-Westphalian Europe. Throughout this period, the laity navigated their own often-fluid religious beliefs, the expectations of conformity held by their religious and political leaders, and the complex realities of life that involved interactions with co-religious and non-co-religious family, neighbors, and business associates on a daily basis.
Contributors are: James Blakeley, Amy Nelson Burnett, Victoria Christman, Geoffrey Dipple, Timothy G. Fehler, Emily Fisher Gray, Benjamin J. Kaplan, David M. Luebke, David Mayes, Marjorie Elizabeth Plummer, William Bradford Smith, and Shira Weidenbaum.