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Breasting The Waves: Grotius’s Letters On Church And State

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Chapter Summary

This chapter investigates how Grotius as a correspondent took position in the Dutch religious debate. It focuses on the forms of the letters as well, and on the ways in which the epistolary mode itself determines content or ways of expression. The chapter briefly sketches the Dutch religious troubles in the beginning of the seventeenth century and Grotiuss role as a politician. Grotius played an important role in the troubles, both as one of the most powerful politicians of Holland, and as the author of many incisive, extremely learned books and treatises on religious problems. Grotius exchanged no letters with strict Calvinists, with the exception of Gomarus. The chapter analyzes the ways in which Grotius addresses his correspondents and vice versa, as a first attempt to gauge the tone of these letters and the degree of intimacy between two correspondents.

Keywords: Calvinists; Dutch religious troubles; Grotiuss letters



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