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Everard Booths Irenische Perkins-Vertaling

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image of Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis / Dutch Review of Church History
For more content, see Church History and Religious Culture.

Everard Booth's irenic Perkins translation The French diplomat Jean Hotman included the French translation of William Perkins' A Reformed Catholike in a syllabus of irenical literature published by him in 1607. This is important. In around 1600 Protestant people were not struck by the unfriendly remarks about the Roman Catholic Church in Perkins' book but by the fact that each of its chapters started with a discourse on the issues on which Catholics and Protestants agreed. Therefore it makes little sense to pay special attention to Perkins' dedication to William Bowes, as W J. op 't Hof does. The translator, Booth, moreover, did not know English. He made use of a Latin translation for his version and never saw the dedication to Bowes. The wording of his translation of Perkins' preface differs very much in character from the original, as a result of its origin in the Latin text. Op 't Hof refers to a note written to Booth by his publisher Schilders. Yet this note only contains information about the sale of the translation, and tells us nothing at all about the contents of the book or Booth's intentions for it. In his own preface, Booth does tell us about these intentions. Op 't Hof disregards these remarks and brushes aside the strong possibility that the work of Booth's former professor Franciscus Junius, the author of Eirenicum de Pace Ecclesiae Catholicae, may also have influenced his translation. An earlier work of translation by Booth shows his interest in the dialogue between Protestants and Catholics. On the basis of its title, Op 't Hof ascribes to it a strong anti-Romanist nature, but the book itself does not confirm this. The author states explicitly that he does not want to annoy the other side. My conclusion is that Hotman's opinion of Booth's translation of Perkins has to be taken seriously: this version of A Reformed Catholic has an irenical nature.


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