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'Neerlands Israel': Political Theology, Christian Hebraism, Biblical Antiquarianism, And Historical Myth

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Chapter Summary

From 1560s, the Low Countries revolted against their Habsburg sovereign. The Prince of Orange, was a new Moses leading the people through the Red Sea of the Revolt to the promised land of Neerlands Israel, 'Dutch Israel'. Christian Hebraism was first established in Northern Europe in the trilingual college at Louvain in 1518. The strength of Dutch political Hebraism was most conspicuous in its divisive qualities. The revolt was a Dutch Geneva founded on covenantal politics so was called a political theology. Renaissance humanists expanded their studies from ancient Rome, Greece to the antiquities of the Near East. From their efforts to uncover the 'constitution' of the Israelite Republic rose a distinct genre of legal and political biblical antiquarianism. The common use of concept of myth as synonymous with untruth represents profound misunderstanding of historical thought. To historians it is a myth, but to historians of historiography it is fact.

Keywords: biblical antiquarianism; Christian Hebraism; historical myth; Low Countries; Neerlands Israel; political theology; Renaissance; Rome



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