This collection examines developments in intellectual culture that brought about ‘the decline of ecclesiastical truth claims’ (p. 1), particularly those that depended on the Bible, in the long seventeenth century. Thanks to figures like Grotius and Spinoza, the Dutch Republic has long been seen as a breeding ground for ideas and methods that enabled Christians and Jews to see their sacred texts as fallible, human artefacts. An older historiography attributed this process to a cluster of closely associated new philosophies, including Cartesianism, experimental natural philosophy, and the materialisms of Hobbes and Spinoza. These
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