Author: Sarah Mortimer

Grotius always claimed that De veritate was not a controversial work, but it was not as innocuous nor as straightforward as Grotius would have his reader believe. It was the theological counterpart to his groundbreaking De iure belli ac pacis and it offered a distinctive version of Christianity which could complement his system of natural and international law. Both works were built upon a particular conception of human nature and natural law, one which was not shared by many of Grotius’ contemporaries. In De veritate, Grotius emphasised that human beings could and should embrace Christianity voluntarily, in response to the revelation they found in the Scriptures. In this way, Grotius provided a way of understanding Christianity which did not appeal to any innate notion of God, and which removed the Christian religion from the sphere of nature and from the shared civic life which was built upon natural foundations. His aim was to shield civic life from the potentially destabilising effects of religious controversy and to promote Christian morality, but his ethical reading of Christianity brought with it important political and theological consequences. This article will show both the novelty, and the instability, of Grotius’ conception of Christianity.

In: Grotiana
In: The Intellectual Consequences of Religious Heterodoxy, 1600-1750
It is too often assumed that religious heterodoxy before the Enlightenment led inexorably to intellectual secularisation. Challenging that assumption, this book expands the scope of the enquiry, hitherto concentrated on the relation between heterodoxy and natural philosophy, to include political thought, moral philosophy and the writing of history. Individual chapters are devoted to Grotius, the Dutch Remonstrants and Socinianism, to Hobbes, Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke, Dutch Collegiants and English Unitarians, Giambattista Vico, Conyers Middleton, and David Hume. In their opening essay the editors argue that the critical problems for both Protestants and Catholics arose from destabilising the relation between the spheres of Nature and Revelation, and the adoption of an increasingly historical approach both to natural religion and to the Scriptual basis of Revelation.

Contributors include: Hans Blom, Justin Champion, Jonathan Israel, Martin Mulsow, Enrico Nuzzo, William Poole, Sami-Juhani Savonius, Richard Serjeantson, and Brian Young.
In: The Intellectual Consequences of Religious Heterodoxy, 1600-1750
In: The Intellectual Consequences of Religious Heterodoxy, 1600-1750
In: The Intellectual Consequences of Religious Heterodoxy, 1600-1750
In: The Intellectual Consequences of Religious Heterodoxy, 1600-1750