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Theophilanthropists And Physico-Theologians

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Chapter Summary

Otto van Eck was baptised in 1780 in the Great Church in The Hague and thus belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church. On Sundays Otto usually went with his parents to church, often the Walloon Reformed Church, where worship services were held in French. Afterwards, at home, the family discussed the sermon. The good citizens of Delft thought that the members of Christo Sacrum were oddballs and scornfully called their society 'Criss-Cross'. Other cities also witnessed the initiatives of interconfessional movements, including those of the theophilanthropists, a very loosely organised religious group that had arisen in 1796 in France as a mixture of deism and Freemasonry. The mid-eighteenth century saw a boom in the publication of books with a physico-theological message. Lambert van Eck's favourite author was the theologian Wilhelm Jerusalem, who attempted to reconcile religion with new scientific insights.

Keywords: Delft; Lambert van Eck; Otto van Eck; physico-theologian; theophilanthropists



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