Confessionalisation and Erudition in Early Modern EuropeAn Episode in the History of the Humanities

Confessionalisation and Erudition in Early Modern EuropeAn Episode in the History of the Humanities

Nicholas Hardy and Dmitri Levitin

Print publication date: 2020

ISBN: 9780197266601

Publisher: British Academy

Abstract

This volume examines the relationship between the history of scholarship and the history of Christianity in the early modern period. Leading British, American and continental scholars explore the ways in which erudition contributed to—or clashed with—the formation of confessional identities in the wake of the Reformation, at individual, institutional, national and international levels. Covering Catholics and Protestants in equal measure, the essays assess biblical criticism; the study of the church fathers; the ecclesiastical censorship of scholarly works; oriental studies and the engagement with Near Eastern languages, texts and communities; and the relationship between developments in scholarship and other domains, including practical piety, natural philosophy, and the universities and seminaries where most intellectual activity was still conducted. One of the volume’s main strengths is its chronological coverage. It begins with an unprecedentedly detailed and comprehensive review of the scholarly literature in this field and proceeds with case studies ranging from the early Reformation to the eighteenth century. The volume also features the publication of a remarkable new manuscript detailing Isaac Newton’s early theological studies in 1670s Cambridge. It will be of interest not only to early modern intellectual and religious historians, but also to those with broader interests in religious change, the reception of oriental and classical sources and traditions, the history of science, and in the sociology of knowledge.