The Literature of the Arminian Controversy: Religion, Politics and the Stage in the Dutch Republic

ISBN : 9780198749738

Dr Freya Sierhuis
320 ページ
156 x 234 mm

The Literature of the Arminian Controversy highlights the importance of the Arminian Controversy (1609-1619) for the understanding of the literary and intellectual culture of the Dutch Golden Age. Taking into account a wide array of sources, ranging from theological and juridical treatises, to pamphlets, plays and and libel poetry, it offers not only a deeper contextualisation of some of the most canonical works of the period, such as the works of Dirck Volckertz. Coornhert, Hugo Grotius and Joost van den Vondel, but also invites the reader to rethink the way we view the relation between literature and theology in early modern culture. The book argues how the controversy over divine predestination acted as a catalyst for literary and cultural change, tracing the impact of disputed ideas on grace and will, religious toleration and the rights of the civil magistrate in satirical literature, poetry and plays. Conversely, it reads the theological and political works as literature, by examining the rhetoric and tropes of religious controversy. Analysing the way in which literature shapes the political and religious imaginary, it allows us to look beyond the history of doctrine, or the history of political rights, to include the emotive and imaginative power of such narrative, myth and metaphor.


1. Church at the Crossroads. The Reformed in the Dutch Republic
2. Poets, Playwrights, and Pamphleteers during the Arminian Controversy
3. Poets on the Offensive: Coster's Academy and the Staging of Iphigenia
4. The Spectre of Civil War. Literary Reactions to the Death of Oldenbarnevelt
5. Victim Tragedy and Vengeance. Vondel's Palamedes
6. The Academy and the Arminian Controversy in the first years of Frederik Henrdrik's Stadtholderate


Freya Sierhuis was trained at the University of Amsterdam and the University Cambridge and obtained her PhD at the European University Institute in Florence. She held an Exzellenzinitiative Fellowship at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munich, and currently works at the University of York. She specializes in literary culture and intellectual history of England and the Dutch Republic in the 16th and 17th century. Her current project is a monograph study of the Elizabethan poet and statesman Sir Fulke Greville. Together with Brian Cummings, she is editing the philosophical treaties for the forthcoming Clarendon edition of the Complete Works of Fulke Greville.