17-02-2011 |S.J. Visser
S amuel Naeranus (1582-1641) and Johannes Naeranus (1608-1679). Two Remonstrant theologians take up the fight for religious tolerance
Sibbe Jan Visser
Samuel Naeranus (1582-1641) en Johannes Naeranus (1608-1679). Twee remonstrantse theologen op de bres voor godsdienstige verdraagzaamheid [Samuel Naeranus (1582-1641) and Johannes Naeranus (1608-1679). Two Remonstrant theologians take up the fight for religious tolerance]
Prof. M.P.A. de Baar and Prof. E.H. Cossee
Double-biography of ‘Naerani’
Sibbe Jan Visser’s PhD thesis investigates the battle for religious tolerance fought by two Remonstrant theologians from the seventeenth century, Samuel Naeranus (1582-1641) and his son Johannes Naeranus (1608-1679). This double-biography of Samuel and Johannes Naeranus sheds new light on the contacts between Remonstrants and Socinians. Both father and son Naeranus, each in his own way, threw themselves heart and soul into improving the lot of the Socinians.
Visser describes in his thesis how the two ‘Naerani’, faithful to their own Remonstrant principles, advocated tolerance, in particular towards Socinians, with whom they had close relations. In addition, his study also provides an intellectual biography of father and son Naeranus. By making use of a large number of previously unstudied letters and by including Polish literature in the research, Visser shows how Johannes Naeranus profited from the intellectual network created by his father Samuel with the Socinians. It also becomes clear that Johannes Naeranus, while clearly in the shadow of his father intellectually, had his own strengths, particularly when it came to organizing ‘networks’ and financial help for the Socinians. Visser reveals why a union between the Remonstrants and the Socinians eventually turned out to be impossible, despite all the approaches made by the Polish brothers, including those via Samuel and Johannes Naeranus. By studying father and son in a comparative perspective, Visser reveals how the room for manoeuvre for the second generation of Remonstrant preachers had increased – they were able to more publically do their best for the ideas and for the welfare of the Polish brothers. He also demonstrates that this room for manoeuvre was actually always extremely limited.
Sibbe Jan Visser (Ternaard, 1961) studied theology at the University of Groningen and conducted his research as a buitenpromovendus (external PhD student) at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies. A commercial edition of the thesis will be published by Uitgeverij Verloren in Hilversum.
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