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Pro Et Contra: The Leiden Disputation (1578)

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Chapter Summary

The presence of two commissioners, who together comprised the ad hoc committee of the States, underlined the significant political importance of the disputation. Leonard Casembrood and Gerard Van Hoogeveen both had an impressive record of service. There was one final practical problem to be addressed: the church of the Faliede Bagijnen was not adequately furnished for a public disputation. The ministers parried Coornhert's sceptical attack with a defence of the ultimate knowability of true doctrine. To demonstrate the continuity of doctrine in the Catholic Church, Coornhert was obliged to find a timeless factor in the history of the Church. The Catholic Church had the substance of the true church, but not the form; the Reformed Church had the form of a church, but lacked the substance. With the religious disputation in Leiden, the controversy between Coornhert and the ministers of Delft had further crystallized into a matter of national interest.

Keywords: Catholic Church; Faliede Bagijnen; Gerard Van Hoogeveen; Leiden; Leonard Casembrood; public disputation; Reformed Church; religious disputation

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