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Piety, Theology, Exegesis, and Tradition: Anna Maria van Schurman’s ‘Elaboration’ of Genesis 1–3 and Its Relationship to the Commentary Tradition

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines Anna Maria van Schurman's Uitbreiding of Genesis 1-3 in order to sketch a partial account of the theological and exegetical heritage it displays. The Uitbreiding is a curious document. It was probably written by 1660, based on its association with some of van Schurman's other Dutch poems for which private circulation can be dated with some approximation. The poem's title identifies it as an uitbreiding-an elaboration or amplification- of the opening chapters of Genesis. Accordingly, while there is no evidence that the Uitbreiding was intended as anything like an exercise in Hebrew exegesis, van Schurman's impressive reading in classical theology and her tutelage with Voetius and others is very much on display. Anna Maria van Schurman's entire poem could be seen as a continuous biblical exposition punctuated by untitled loci-that is, by "common places" or doctrinal excurses.

Keywords: Anna Maria van Schurman's Uitbreiding; classical theology; Hebrew exegesis



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