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Hot Protestants: Predestination, the Freedom of the Will and the Making of the Modern European Mind

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Chapter Summary

This chapter aims to contribute to the study of the relationship between Calvinism and modernity from a particular angle. Whilst modernity is a contested concept, with even those in favour of theories of modernization speaking in terms of multiple modernities, there can be little doubt that freedom has become a crucial value in Western democracies, and has been so for quite a while. The chapter explores the significance of the debate on human freedom during the Arminian troubles and its position in what might be called the genealogy of freedom. The focus is on debates on freedom of conscience, freedom of the will, and the freedom of religion. These debates were deeply intertwined with discussions of the relationship between ecclesiastical and civil authority, between church and state, often seen as another key element in what are interpreted as processes of modernization.

Keywords: Arminian troubles; calvinism; civil authority; human freedom; modernization; Western democracies



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