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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 November 2012

Trinity College, Cambridge
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This essay is a critical historiographical overview of the recent literature on the writing of sacred history (history of the biblical Jews and early Christians) and history of religion in early modern Europe. It considers the rise of interest in this branch of intellectual history in the last decade, placing it in the context of the rise of the history of scholarship as a historical discipline. It then charts how the characterization of early modern history of religion as stale, pedantic, and blandly ‘orthodox’ until it was swept aside by a critical and heterodox ‘enlightenment’ is being revised, first in new approaches to early modern histories of biblical Judaism and historicizations of the Old Testament, second in new readings of early modern scholarship on primitive Christianity. It concludes by suggesting new avenues of research which divorce narratives of intellectual change from the linear and inconclusive emphasis on ‘enlightenment’, favouring an approach that conversely emphasizes the impact of confessionalization in creating a newly critical scholarly culture.

Historiographical Review
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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For advice on the preparation of this article, and comments on previous versions, I am extremely grateful to Felicity Green, Mark Goldie, Nick Hardy, Sachiko Kusukawa, Joe Moshenska, John Robertson, Richard Serjeantson, Alex Walsham, the two anonymous referees, and the audience present when I presented an early version at the Peterhouse College Historical Society.


1 A. Momigliano, ‘Pagan and Christian historiography in the fourth century ad’, in The conflict between paganism and Christianity in the fourth century (Oxford, 1963), pp. 77–99, repr. in Essays in ancient and modern historiography (Oxford, 1977), pp. 107–26; idem, ‘The origins of ecclesiastical historiography’, in The classical foundations of modern historiography (Berkeley, CA, 1990), pp. 132–52. For the connections between Christian historiography and book technology, see Grafton, A. and Williams, M., Christianity and the transformation of the book: Origen, Eusebius, and the library of Caesarea (Cambridge, MA, 2008)Google Scholar. For the debate over cultural primacy, see Droge, A. J., Homer or Moses? Early Christian interpretations of the history of culture (Dordrecht, 1989)Google Scholar. The dating of the Church history refers to the probable date of the final revision.

2 We are dealing here with an actors’ category: for historia sacra as a distinct early modern discipline, see Simon Ditchfield, ‘What was sacred history?’ (Mostly Roman) Catholic uses of the Christian past after Trent’, in K. Van Liere, S. Ditchfield, and H. Louthan, eds., Sacred history: uses of the Christian past in the Renaissance world (Oxford, 2012).

3 Alois Schmid, ‘Die Bavaria sancta et pia des P. Matthäus Rader SJ’, in C. Grell, W. Paravicini, and J. Voss, eds., Les princes et l'histoire du XIV au XVIII siècle (Bonn, 1988), pp. 499–522, and the classic Ditchfield, Simon, Liturgy, sanctity and history in Tridentine Italy: Pietro Maria Campi and the preservation of the particular (Cambridge, 1995), pp. 328–60Google Scholar.

4 Backus, I., Life writing in Reformation Europe: lives of reformers by friends, disciples and foes (Aldershot, 2008), p. 132Google Scholar.

5 Miachielsen, Jan, ‘How (not) to get published: the Plantin Press in the early 1590s’, Dutch Crossing, 34 (2010), p. 109Google Scholar, to which my attention was drawn by Ditchfield, ‘What was sacred history?’.

6 Cornwall, R., ‘The search for the primitive church: the use of early church fathers in the high Anglican tradition, 1680–1745’, Anglican and Episcopal History, 59 (1990), p. 327Google Scholar. More generally, see Spurr, J., ‘“A special kindness for dead bishops”: the church, history, and testimony in seventeenth-century Protestantism’, Huntington Library Quarterly, 68 (2005), pp. 313–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

7 M. Delbeke, ‘Architecture and the genres of history writing in ecclesiastical historiography’, Repenser les limites: l'architecture à travers l'espace, le temps et les disciplines ( (placed online 2008), consulted 20 Dec. 2011; Yates, N., Buildings, faith and worship: the liturgical arrangement of Anglican churches, 1600–1900 (Oxford, 1991), p. 4Google Scholar; Doll, P., After the primitive Christians: the eighteenth-century Anglican Eucharist in its architectural setting (Cambridge, 1997)Google Scholar.

8 Nothaft, C. P. E., ‘From Sukkot to Saturnalia: the attack on Christmas in sixteenth-century chronological scholarship’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 72 (2011), pp. 503–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

9 Hugh Trevor-Roper, ‘The historical philosophy of the enlightenment’ (1963), in idem, History and the enlightenment (New Haven, CT, and London, 2010), pp. 1–2 (note that the ecclesiastical historians are being particularly accused here).

10 For a classic Anglophone statement of this position, see Manuel, F. E., The broken staff: Judaism through Christian eyes (Cambridge, MA, 1992), pp. 164–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar, 181–3. For particularly loud recent claims towards Spinoza's importance, see Israel, J. I., Enlightenment contested: philosophy, modernity, and the emancipation of man, 1670–1752 (Oxford, 2006), pp. 409–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Frampton, Travis L., Spinoza and the rise of historical criticism of the bible (New York, NY, 2006)Google Scholar repeats these, but adds a teleological narrative from Protestant literalism to Spinoza's historical criticism. The most sophisticated recent claim towards a post-Spinozan ‘crisis of Christian Hebraism’ (with which I must nonetheless disagree) is Sutcliffe, A., Judaism and enlightenment (Cambridge, 2003), esp. pp. 2341Google Scholar.

11 Classic statements are Manuel, F. E., The changing of the Gods (Hanover and London, 1983), pp. 2751Google Scholar; idem, The eighteenth century confronts the Gods (Cambridge, MA, 1959), pp. 57–84 (although other elements of this work remain useful). The most influential narrative of this sort is Harrison, Peter, ‘Religion’ and the religions in the English enlightenment (Cambridge, 1990), pp. 1998CrossRefGoogle Scholar, 130–72; see also Champion, J. A. I., The pillars of priestcraft shaken: the Church of England and its enemies 1660–1730 (Cambridge, 1992)Google Scholar. For further studies which unflappably assume a deistic root for the study of religion, see e.g. Sharpe, Eric J., Comparative religion: a history (London, 1975), pp. 1519Google Scholar; Kippenberg, Hans, Discovering religious history in the modern age (Princeton, NJ, 2001), pp. 110Google Scholar (esp. p. 6); Byrne, Peter, Natural religion and the nature of religion: the legacy of deism (London, 1989)Google Scholar, and Preus, J. Samuel, Explaining religion: criticism and theory from Bodin to Freud (New Haven, CT, 1987), esp. pp. 2339Google Scholar.

12 E.g. Hugh Trevor-Roper, ‘From deism to history: Conyers Middleton’ (c. 1982), in History and the enlightenment, p. 112. But there is a paucity of work on eighteenth-century patristics.

13 Scott Mandelbrote, ‘Biblical hermeneutics and the sciences, 1700–1900: An Overview’, in Jitse M. van der Meer and S. Mandelbrote, eds., Nature and scripture in the Abrahamic religions: 1700-present (2 vols., Leiden, 2008), i, p. 16: ‘Our own view of the religious and intellectual history of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries has largely been formed by the writings of these men, and it reflects their sense of the meaning of that period, one which to them had far more immediacy and polemical value, and far more direct importance for their own sense of identity, than perhaps it need have to us today’. My comments on this issue are in general heavily indebted to this essay.

14 See e.g. Mark Pattison, ‘Tendencies of religious thought in England’, Essays and reviews (London, 1860), p. 262. Stephen, Leslie, History of English thought in the eighteenth century (2 vols., London, 1881), i, pp. 191Google Scholar, 201.

15 Mandelbrote, ‘Biblical hermeneutics’, pp. 22–3.

16 Three major German works all claimed (albeit in different ways) that a historical-critical approach to the Old Testament only developed in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and specifically through deism: Kraus, H.-J., Geschichte der historisch-Kritischen Erforschung des Alten Testaments von der Reformation bis zur Gegenwart (Neukirchen, 1956)Google Scholar; Scholder, K., The birth of modern critical theology: origins and problems of biblical criticism in the seventeenth century (London, 1990 (German original = 1966))Google Scholar; Reventlow, H. G., The authority of the bible and the rise of the modern world (London, 1984Google Scholar (German original, 1980) (this chronological preoccupation with the post-1680 period is missing from the still very useful work by Ludwig Diestel: Geschichte des Alten Testamentes in der christlichen kirche (Jena, 1869)). For similar focus on the late seventeenth century, see John Drury, ‘Introductory essay’, Critics of the bible, 1724–1873 (Cambridge, 1989), pp. 2–20; Pailin, David A., Attitudes to other religions: comparative religion in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Britain (Manchester, 1984), esp. pp. 1011Google Scholar; Frampton, Spinoza.

17 Manuel, Changing of the Gods; idem, Eighteenth century confronts the Gods; Harrison, Religion; Byrne, Natural religion; Preus, Explaining religion; Trevor-Roper, History and the enlightenment; Sutcliffe, Judaism and enlightenment.

18 Kippenberg, Discovering religious history; Sharpe, Comparative religion; an important milestone in the creation of this myth was Ernest Renan, ‘L'Exégèse biblique et l'esprit français’, Revue des Deux Mondes, 35, seconde période, 60 (1865), pp. 235–45.

19 See e.g. the comments in Cochrane, Eric, Historians and historiography in the Italian Renaissance (Chicago, IL, and London, 1981), p. 463CrossRefGoogle Scholar, a work which nonetheless remains extremely useful.

20 See e.g. G. V. Bennett, ‘Patristic tradition in Anglican thought, 1660–1900’, in G. Cassmann and V. Vajta, eds., Tradition im Luthertum und Anglikanismus (Gütersloh, 1972), pp. 63–85.

21 Trevor-Roper, ‘Middleton’.

22 Schweitzer, A., Von Reimarus zu Wrede: eine Geschichte der Leben-Jesu-Forschung (Tübingen, 1906)Google Scholar; for the latest English edition: The quest of the historical Jesus, ed. J. Bowden (London, 2000).

23 For a landmark study concerned with legal historiography, see Pocock, J. G. A., The ancient constitution and the feudal law: a study of English historical thought in the seventeenth century (Cambridge, 1957Google Scholar; reissued with a retrospect in 1987); for the pioneering study emphasizing the historical dimension to anticlerical thought, see Champion, Pillars, which nonetheless retains the connections between anticlerical politics and ‘new’ history. See now also Zedelmaier, H. and Mulsow, M., eds., Die Praktiken der Gelehrsamkeit in der frühen Neuzeit (Tübingen, 2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

24 An excellent introduction to the discipline and its historiography is C. Ligota and J.-L. Quantin, ‘Introduction’, in C. Ligota and J.-L. Quantin, eds., History of scholarship: a selection of papers from the seminar on the history of scholarship held annually at the Warburg Institute (Oxford, 2006), pp. 1–38. For a more theoretical approach: Güthenke, Constanze, ‘Shop talk: reception studies and recent work in the history of scholarship’, Classical Receptions, 1 (2009), pp. 104–15Google Scholar.

25 For Momigliano's legacy, see Crawford, Michael and Ligota, C. R., eds., Ancient history and the antiquarian: essays in memory of Arnaldo Momigliano (London, 1995)Google Scholar; and Miller, Peter, ed., Momigliano and antiquarianism: foundations of the modern cultural sciences (Toronto, 2007)Google Scholar.

26 For Grafton's early insistence on the importance of the late antique period to early modern scholars, see Grafton, A., Joseph Scaliger (2 vols., Oxford, 1983–93), i, pp. 134–60Google Scholar.

27 The classics on Christian Hebraism are Friedman, Jerome, The most ancient testimony: sixteenth-century Christian-Hebraica in the age of Renaissance nostalgia (Athens, OH, 1983)Google Scholar; Manuel, Broken staff; Jones, G. L., The discovery of Hebrew in Tudor England: a third language (Manchester, 1983)Google Scholar. The essays in Coudert, A. P. and Shoulson, J. S., eds., Hebraica Veritas? Christian Hebraists and the study of Judaism in early modern Europe (Philadelphia, PA, 2004)Google Scholar are useful for the connection between scholarship and contact with actual Jews. For the continued importance of Cabbalistic interests in the production of the 1555 editio princeps of the Syriac New Testament and the Antwerp Polyglot (1569–72), see Wilkinson, R. J., Orientalism, Aramaic and Kabbalah in the Catholic Reformation: the first printing of the Syriac New Testament (Leiden, 2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, and idem, The Kabbalistic scholars of the Antwerp polyglot bible (Leiden, 2007). The humanist–Protestant relationship is complicated by the fact that the alliance – however real – was from a very early stage being reinvented for polemical purposes on both sides of the confessional divide: Rummel, Erika, The confessionalisation of humanism in Reformation Germany (Oxford, 2000), pp. 929Google Scholar.

28 The best work remains Laplanche, F., L’écriture, le sacré et l'histoire: érudits et politiques protestants devant la bible en France au XVIIe siècle (Amsterdam, 1986)Google Scholar, alongside idem, La bible en France entre mythe et critique: XVIe–XIXe siècle (Paris, 1994). Also useful is the long introductory chapter to Shuger, Debora K., The Renaissance bible: scholarship, sacrifice, and subjectivity (Berkeley, CA, and London, 1994), pp. 1153Google Scholar; Goshen-Gottstein, M. H., ‘The textual criticism of the Old Testament: rise, decline, rebirth’, Journal of Biblical Literature, 102 (1983), pp. 365–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and the classic H. J. De Jonge, ‘The study of the New Testament’, in T. H. Lunsingh Scheurleer, G. H. M. Posthumus Meyjes et al., eds., Leiden University in the seventeenth century: an exchange of learning (Leiden, 1975), pp. 64–109.

29 De Jonge, ‘Study of the New Testament’, claims a sharp distinction between the exegesis being done in the arts and divinity faculties, but is challenged in this regard by Muller, Richard A., Post-Reformation reformed dogmatics, ii: Holy scripture: the cognitive foundation of theology (Grand Rapids, MI, 2003), pp. 444–9Google Scholar. For a recent study which seeks to examine directly how a theologian used humanist historical criticism, see Callisen, C. T., ‘Georg Calixtus, Isaac Casaubon, and the consensus of antiquity’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 73 (2012), pp. 123CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

30 Grafton, Scaliger. On Annius, also important is Ligota, Christopher R., ‘Annius of Viterbo and historical method’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 50 (1987), pp. 4456CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

31 For Scaliger's setting of the scholarly agenda, see, e.g. Toomer, G. J., John Selden: a life in scholarship (2 vols., Oxford, 2009), i, p. 213Google Scholar; de Landtsheer, Jeanine and Verbist, Peter, “Christmannus aliquidne de temporibus post scaligerum?” Christmann's lesson in chronology as an answer to Lipsius's remark’, Lias, 37 (2010), pp. 269–97Google Scholar. I see no warrant for the denial of Scaliger's influence in Harrison, Religion, p. 139.

32 Grafton, Scaliger, ii, pp. 740–2; De Jonge, H. J., ‘Joseph Scaliger's historical criticism of the New Testament’, Novum Testamentum, 38 (1996), p. 181CrossRefGoogle Scholar (for Josephus and Matthew).

33 Grafton, Scaliger, ii, pp. 734–7.

34 Miller, P.The “antiquarianisation” of biblical scholarship and the London polyglot bible (1653–1657)’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 62 (2001), p. 470Google Scholar.

35 P. Miller, ‘Making the Paris polyglot bible: humanism and orientalism in the early seventeenth century’, in H. Jaumann, ed., Die europäische Gelehrtenrepublik im Zeitalter des Konfessionalismus (Wiesbaden, 2001), pp. 59–86.

36 Muller, Holy scripture, pp. 403–6; see also Goshen-Gottstein, ‘Textual criticism of the Old Testament’, pp. 370–1.

37 On Levita and his work, see Weil, Gérard E., Élie Lévita: Humaniste et Massorête (1469–1549) (Leiden, 1963), esp. pp. 297313Google Scholar. A translation of his work is available: The Massoreth ha-massoreth of Elias Levita, ed. and trans. Christian D. Ginsburg (London, 1867).

38 Burnett, Stephen G., From Christian Hebraism to Jewish Studies: Johannes Buxtorf (1564–1629) and Hebrew learning in the seventeenth century (Leiden, 1996), p. 206Google Scholar.

39 Ibid., pp. 206–7; N. Malcolm, ‘Hobbes, Ezra, and the bible: the history of a subversive idea’, in idem, Aspects of Hobbes (Oxford, 2002), pp. 415–18; Muller, R. A., ‘The debate over the vowel points and the crisis in orthodox hermeneutics’, Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 10 (1980), pp. 5372Google Scholar.


40 P. N. Miller, ‘A philologist, a traveller and an antiquary rediscover the Samaritans in seventeenth-century Paris, Rome and Aix: Jean Morin, Pietro della Valle and N.-C. Fabri de Peiresc’, in Zedelmaier and Mulsow, eds., Die Praktiken, pp. 123–46; idem, ‘An antiquary between philology and history: Peiresc and the Samaritans’, in D. R. Kelley, ed., History and the disciplines (Rochester, NY, 1997), pp. 163–84.

41 On Cappel by far the best account remains Laplanche, L’ é criture, pp. 181–328; idem, La bible, pp. 51–7. On Cappel's debate with the Buxtorfs, see also Burnett, Buxtorf, pp. 203–39.

42 Malcolm, ‘Hobbes, Ezra, and the bible’, p. 420.

43 Ibid., p. 422.


44 As well as the Buxtorf–Cappel dispute, see the important piece on the reaction to the English polyglot (especially by the congregationalist leader John Owen): Scott Mandelbrote, ‘The authority of the Word: manuscript, print and the text of the bible in seventeenth-century England’, in Julia C. Crick and Alexandra Walsham, eds., The uses of script and print, 1300–1700 (Cambridge, 2004), pp. 135–56.

45 Rietbergen, Peter, Power and religion in Baroque Rome: Barberini cultural policies (Leiden, 2006), pp. 318–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Laplanche, L’ é criture, pp. 228, 874 n. 134. For a more general emphasis on the importance of intra-confessional disputes, see Ditchfield, ‘What was sacred history?’.

46 Grafton, Scaliger, ii, pp. 491–792.

47 For a brief summary of the post-Scaliger debate, see Grafton, A., ‘Joseph Scaliger and historical chronology: the rise and fall of a discipline’, History and Theory, 14 (1975), pp. 156–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar. On Ussher's famous dating of Creation: Barr, J., ‘Why the world was created in 4004 bc: Archbishop Ussher and biblical chronology’, Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library, 67 (1985), pp. 575608CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

48 On La Peyrère, see Popkin, R., Isaac La Peyrère (1596–1676): his life, work and influence (Leiden, 1987)Google Scholar; Grafton, A., Defenders of the text: traditions of scholarship in an age of science (Cambridge, MA, 1991), pp. 204–13Google Scholar, and the landmark Malcolm, ‘Hobbes, Ezra and the bible’ (see esp. p. 411 n. 98 for an important historiographical reassessment).

49 On Voltaire see Duchet, M., Anthropologie et histoire au siècle des Lumières (1971; Paris, 1995), pp. 286–9Google Scholar. For an important exception, see Poole, W., ‘Seventeenth-century Preadamism, and an anonymous English Preadamist’, Seventeenth Century, 19 (2004), pp. 135Google Scholar, and now Poole, W. and Henderson, F., eds., Francis Lodwick: writings on language, theology and Utopia (Oxford, 2011)Google Scholar.

50 For Vossius, see S. Mandelbrote, ‘Isaac Vossius and the Septuagint’, in E. Jorink and D. van Miert, eds., Isaac Vossius (1618–1689) between science and scholarship (Leiden, 2012), pp. 86–117, esp. p. 117, convincingly challenging the claim that Vossius was a Spinoza-inspired deist and libertine, as made in Israel, J. I., Radical enlightenment: philosophy and the making of modernity, 1650–1750 (Oxford, 2001), pp. 449CrossRefGoogle Scholar, 451. See also E. Jorink, ‘“Horrible and blasphemous”: Isaac la Peyrère, Isaac Vossius, and the emergence of radical biblical criticism in the Dutch Republic’, in J. M. van der Meer and S. Mandelbrote, eds., Nature and scripture in the Abrahamic religions: up to 1700, i (Leiden, 2009), pp. 429–50. On the Flood more generally, see the excellent set of essays in Mulsow, M. and Assmann, J., eds., Sintflut und Gedächtnis: Erinnern und Vergessen des Ursprungs (Munich, 2006)Google Scholar.

51 Muller, Holy scripture, pp. 477–82; J. A. Steiger, ‘The development of the Reformation legacy: hermeneutics and interpretation of the sacred scripture in the age of orthodoxy’, in M. Saebø, ed., Hebrew bible/Old Testament: the history of its interpretation, ii:From the Renaissance to the enlightenment (Göttingen, 2008), pp. 732–9. A decent basic introduction, albeit one unconcerned with scholarship, is Dickson, Donald, ‘The complexities of biblical typology in the seventeenth century’, Renaissance and Reformation, 23 (1987), pp. 253–71Google Scholar.

52 N. J. S. Hardy, ‘British criticism, c. 1610–1660’ (Title A Fellowship dissertation, Trinity College, Cambridge, 2012), pp. 53–4 (this is an abbreviated version of a forthcoming doctoral thesis).

53 Drouin, Sébastien, Théologie ou libertinage? L'exégèse allégorique à l’âge des Lumières (Paris, 2010), esp. pp. 99109Google Scholar, on Grotius and the uptake of his ‘double literal sense’ by Jean le Clerc, and passim for the reception in France. For older, still valuable, treatments, see Laplanche, L’écriture, pp. 331–8; H. J. M. Nellen, ‘Tension between church doctrines and critical exegesis’, in Saebø, ed., Hebrew bible, p. 816; Beaude, P.-M., ‘L'accomplissement des prophéties chez Richard Simon’, Revue des Sciences Philosophiques et Théologiques, 60 (1976), pp. 335Google Scholar.

54 For accusations of Judaizing, see the full discussion in Edwin Rabbie, ‘Hugo Grotius and Judaism’, in H. J. M. Nellen and E. Rabbie, eds., Hugo Grotius, theologian: essays in honour of G. H. M. Pothumus Meyjes (Leiden, 1994), pp. 99–120, esp. p. 117, and Hans Bots, ‘Hugo Grotius et André Rivet: deux lumières opposés, deux vocations contradictoires’, in ibid., pp. 145–57. For Grotius and Socinianism, see Hans W. Blom, ‘Grotius and Socinianism’, in Martin Mulsow and Jan Rohls, eds., Socinianism and Arminianism: Antitrinitarians, Calvinists and cultural exchange in seventeenth-century Europe, eds., (Leiden, 2005), pp. 121–47 (unfortunately this piece discusses neither Grotius's Annotationes nor his attitude to typological exegesis of the Old Testament). For a possible Socinian inspiration for Grotius on typology, see Diestel, Geschichte, p. 391. For Grotius's thinking about the legal-theological relationship between the two Testaments, see Mortimer, Sarah, Reason and religion in the English revolution: the challenge of Socinianism (Cambridge, 2010), pp. 27–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Heering, J.-P., Hugo Grotius as apologist for the Christian religion: a study of his work De veritate religionis Christianae (Leiden, 2004 (Dutch original, 1992)), pp. 147–50Google Scholar.


55 Drouin, Théologie. Although very useful and important, this work does not cover the scholarly dimension of Grotius's theology. For an example of the old deist-centred narrative, see Manuel, Broken staff, pp. 181–3.

56 Katchen, Aaron, Christian Hebraists and Dutch Rabbis (Cambridge, MA, 1984), p. 35Google Scholar; for examples of similar declamations by others, see also pp. 39, 95–6, 180, 248. Sorkin, D., The religious enlightenment: Protestants, Jews, and Catholics from London to Vienna (Princeton, NJ, 2008), p. 171Google Scholar, attempting to appropriate Maimonides for an ‘enlightenment’, mistakenly claims that the early eighteenth-century German editions were the first ‘in almost two centuries’.

57 Katchen, Rabbis, pp. 161–260, for the printing of the Mishneh Torah. As listed in Talmud Sanhedrin 56a–b the seven precepts are: the forbidding of idolatry, incestuous and adulterous relations, murder, blasphemy, theft, and eating the flesh of a living animal, and the positive command to establish courts of justice. For the difficult epistemic status of these laws, see Schwarzchild, Steven S., ‘Do Noachites have to believe in Revelation?’, Jewish Quarterly Review, 52 (1962), pp. 297308Google Scholar, and 53 (1962), pp. 30–65; for Selden's solution, see Toomer, Selden, pp. 490–503. A previously unknown manuscript by Isaac Newton on the Seven Precepts was recently sold at auction; for an unverified transcription see (consulted 26 Dec. 2011).

58 The fullest general study is Müller, K., Tora für die Völker: Die noachidischen Gebote und Ansätze zu ihrer Rezeption im Christentum (Berlin, 1994)Google Scholar (most relevant for our purposes are pp. 26–77 (on Sanhedrin 56a–b) 200–9 (on the early Christian reception) and 210–31 (on the Christian rediscovery of Maimonides and on Luther, Grotius, Selden and Toland)).

59 Rosenblatt, J. P., Renaissance England's Chief Rabbi: John Selden (Oxford, 2006), p. 262CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

60 De Synedriis (1650–5), on which, see Toomer, Selden, pp. 692–788.

61 Hameen-Anttila, Jaakko, The last pagans of Iraq: Ibn Washiyya and his Nabatean agriculture (Leiden, 2006)Google Scholar. The Nabatean agriculture was unavailable to early modern scholars – it was only rediscovered in the nineteenth century.

62 For a useful recent analysis, see Kenneth J. Howell, ‘Natural knowledge and textual meaning in Augustine's interpretation of Genesis: the three functions of natural philosophy’, in van der Meer and Mandelbrote, eds., Nature and scripture: up to 1700, i, pp. 117–46.

63 The best summary is still Chwolsohn, Daniel, Die Ssabier und der Ssabismus (2 vols., St Petersburg, 1856), i, pp. 2390Google Scholar, to which little is added by Elukin, Jonathan, ‘Maimonides and the rise and fall of the Sabians: explaining Mosaic laws and the limits of scholarship’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 63 (2001), pp. 619–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar. The continued importance of accommodationism in the eighteenth century was first emphasized in a pioneering study by Funkenstein, Amos, Theology and the scientific imagination, from the middle ages to the seventeenth century (Princeton, NJ, 1986)Google Scholar; Sorkin, Religious enlightenment, although slightly over-generalizing, adds some interesting examples, especially that of Jacob Vernet (pp. 77–80); also useful is Klauber, M. I. and Sunshine, G., ‘Jean-Alphonse Turrettini on biblical accommodation: Calvinist or Socinian?’, Calvin Theological Journal, 25 (1990), pp. 727Google Scholar. For a detailed history of accommodationism from early Christianity onwards, see Benin, Stephen D., The footprints of God: divine accommodation in Jewish and Christian thought (New York, NY, 1993)Google Scholar. For a sensitive treatment of the ‘radical’ uses of accommodationism by Spinoza and Balthasar Bekker, see van Bunge, W., ‘Balthasar Bekker's Cartesian hermeneutics and the challenge of Spinozism’, British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 1 (1993), pp. 5579CrossRefGoogle Scholar. On God's operation in history: J. Gascoigne, ‘“The wisdom of the Egyptians” and the secularisation of history in the age of Newton’, in S. Gaukroger, ed., The uses of antiquity: the scientific revolution and the classical tradition (Dordrecht, 1991), pp. 171–212, repr. in J. Gascoigne, Science, philosophy and religion in the age of enlightenment (Aldershot, 2010).

64 Remarkably ignored until recently, this literature has now been tackled in three important articles: Sheehan, Jonathan, ‘Sacred and profane: idolatry, antiquarianism and the polemics of distinction in the seventeenth century’, Past and Present, 192 (2006), pp. 3566CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Miller, P. N., ‘Taking paganism seriously: anthropology and antiquarianism in early seventeenth-century histories of religion’, Archiv für Religionsgeschichte, 3 (2001), pp. 183209CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Martin Mulsow, ‘Antiquarianism and idolatry: the “Historia” of religions in the seventeenth century’, in G. Pomata and N. G. Siraisi, eds., Historia: empiricism and erudition in early modern Europe (Cambridge, MA, 2005), pp. 181–210. A still useful older study is Allen, D. C., The legend of Noah: Renaissance rationalism in art, science, and letters (Urbana, IL, 1963)Google Scholar. On the idolatry discourse and the discovery of the New World, see Johnson, C. L., ‘Idolatrous cultures and the practice of religion’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 67 (2006), pp. 597621CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Rubiés, Joan Pau, ‘Theology, ethnography, and the historicization of idolatry’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 67 (2006), pp. 571–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar, attempts to bring together the discourse on the New World and the textual approach to pagan idolatry, but is too general to be of much use.

65 Toomer, Selden, i, pp. 211–53; Mulsow, M., ‘John Seldens De Diis Syris: Idolatriekritik und vergleichende Religionsgeschichte im 17. Jahrhundert’, Archiv für Religionsgeschichte, 3 (2001), pp. 124CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

66 On Vossius, see Wickenden, Nicholas, G. J. Vossius and the humanist concept of history (Assen, 1993)Google Scholar, and now the fullest discussion of the Theologia gentili in Häfner, Ralph, Die Götter im Exil: Frühneuzeitliches Dichtungsverständnis im Spannungsfeld christlicher Apologetik und philologischer Kritik (ca. 1590–1736) (Tübingen, 2003), pp. 224–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar, esp. the interesting suggestion at p. 230 that the work was intended as a response to Bodin's famous Colloquium Heptaplomeres (on which see Preus, Explaining religion pp. 3–22, and the definitive study by Malcolm, Noel: ‘Jean Bodin and the authorship of the “Colloquium Heptaplomeres”’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 69 (2006), pp. 95150)Google Scholar. On the importance of the idolatry literature to natural philosophers, see Mulsow, M., ‘Idolatry and science: against nature worship from Boyle to Rüdiger’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 67 (2006), pp. 697712CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

67 See now Shalev, Zur, Sacred words and worlds: geography, religion, and scholarship, 1550–1700 (Leiden, 2012), pp. 141204Google Scholar. For contemporary ideas about the relationship between Hebrew and Phoenician more generally see Daniel Droixhe, ‘La crise de l'hébreu langue-mère au XVIIe siècle’, in Grell and Laplanche, eds., La république des lettres et l'histoire du Judaïsme antique, XVIe–XVIIe siècles (Paris, 1992), pp. 65–99, esp. p. 76. In another important article, Dr Shalev has shown that the new geographia sacra was not just a product of Protestant literalism, but of a pan-confessional ‘antiquarian turn’: Shalev, Zur, ‘Sacred geography: antiquarianism and visual erudition: Bento Arias Montano and the maps in the Antwerp polyglot bible’, Imago Mundi, 55 (2003), pp. 5680CrossRefGoogle Scholar, modifying the emphasis on biblical cartography as a uniquely Protestant phenomenon in Delano-Smith, Catherine and Ingram, Elizabeth M., Maps in bibles, 1500–1600: an illustrated catalogue (Geneva, 1991)Google Scholar.

68 Shalev, Sacred words, pp. 178–80, questioning the interpretations of: Elukin, Jonathan M., ‘Jacques Basnage and the history of the Jews: anti-Catholic polemic and historical allegory in the Republic of Letters’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 53 (1992), pp. 603–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar at p. 612, and Paolo Rossi, The dark abyss of time: the history of the earth and the history of nations from Hooke to Vico, trans. Lydia G. Cochrane (Chicago, IL, and London, 1984 (Italian original = 1979)), p. 153; syncretism is also over-emphasized in April Shelford, G., Transforming the Republic of Letters: Pierre-Daniel Huet and European intellectual life, 1650–1720 (Woodbridge, 2007), p. 153Google Scholar, and in the caricature offered at Israel, Enlightenment contested, p. 472.

69 At the most theoretical level, see Sheehan, ‘Sacred and profane’, p. 63. For the incorporation of this kind of research into the very influential commentaries on the Old Testament by Hugo Grotius, see F. Laplanche, ‘Grotius et les religions du paganisme dans les Annotationes in Vetus Testamentum’, in Nellen and Rabbie, eds., Hugo Grotius, theologian, pp. 53–64.

70 Loop, Jan, ‘Johann Heinrich Hottinger (1620–1667) and the “Historia Orientalis”’, Church History and Religious Culture, 88 (2008), p. 194CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

71 Klein, Dietrich, ‘Inventing Islam in support of Christian truth: Theodore Hackspan's Arabic studies in Altdorf, 1642–1646’, History of Universities, 25 (2010), pp. 2655Google Scholar (p. 41 for the quotation). For an illuminating study of how orthodox Arabic scholarship could be deployed for heterodox ends, see Mulsow, Martin, ‘Socinianism, Islam and the radical uses of Arabic scholarship’, Al-Qantara, 31 (2010), pp. 572–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar. See also Dietrich Klein, ‘Muslimischer Antitrinitarismus im lutherischen Rostock: Zacharias Grapius der Jüngere und die Epistola theologica des Aḥmad ibn ‘Abdallāh’, in D. Klein and B. Platow, eds., Wahrnehmung des Islam zwischen Reformation und Aufklärung (Munich, 2008), pp. 41–60.

72 Malcolm, Noel, ‘The name and nature of Leviathan: political symbolism and biblical exegesis’, Intellectual History Review, 17 (2007), pp. 2139CrossRefGoogle Scholar, esp. pp. 34–9 (on Boulduc).

73 See Stolzenberg, Daniel, ed., The great art of knowing: the Baroque encyclopedia of Athanasius Kircher (Stanford, CA, 2001)Google Scholar, and the essays in the excellent volume edited by Findlen, Paula, Athanasius Kircher: the last man who knew everything (New York, NY, and London, 2004)Google Scholar, especially the chapters by Daniel Stolzenberg (pp. 149–70) and Noel Malcolm (pp. 297–310).

74 Anthony Grafton, ‘Kircher's chronology’, in Findlen, ed., Kircher, pp. 171–90.

75 Daniel Stolzenberg, ‘The Egyptian crucible of truth and superstition: Athanasius Kircher and the hieroglyphic doctrine’, in Anne-Charlott Trepp and Hartmut Lehmann, eds., Antike Weisheit und kulturelle Praxis: Hermetismus in der Frühen Neuzeit (Göttingen, 2001), pp. 145–64 at p. 164, and Daniel Stolzenberg, ‘Egyptian Oedipus: antiquarianism, oriental studies and occult philosophy in the work of Athanasius Kircher’ (Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford, 2004). For the pioneering recognition that Kircher might not have been the buffoon that it was so easy to portray him as, see Iversen, Erik, The myth of Egypt and its hieroglyphs in European tradition (Princeton, NJ, 1993 (original, Copenhagen, 1961)), pp. 92102Google Scholar. For an important technical analysis of the limits of Kircher's Coptic, see Hamilton, Alastair, The Copts and the West, 1439–1822: the European discovery of the Egyptian Church (Oxford, 2006), pp. 195228Google Scholar.

76 Malcolm, ‘Hobbes, Ezra, and the bible’, p. 430.

77 Shalev, Sacred words, p. 201.

78 See Lambe, P. J., ‘Biblical criticism and censorship in ancien régime France: the case of Richard Simon’, Harvard Theological Review, 78 (1985), pp. 149–77Google Scholar; on the reception and publication in England, see J. A. I. Champion, ‘Père Richard Simon and English biblical criticism, 1680–1700’, in James E. Force and David S. Katz, eds., Everything connects: in conference with Richard H. Popkin: essays in his honor (Leiden, 1999), pp. 37–62; for Germany, see J. Woodbridge, ‘German responses to the biblical critic Richard Simon from Leibniz to J. S. Semler’, in H. G. Reventlow, W. Spart, and J. Woodbridge, eds., Historische Kritik und biblischer Kanon in der deutschen Aufklärung (Wiesbaden, 1988), pp. 67–80. Bossuet has himself been the subject of important new interpretations: see the essays in Ferreyrolles, G., Guion, B., and Quantin, J.-L., eds., Bossuet (Paris, 2008)Google Scholar; Ferreyrolles, G., ed., Bossuet: le verbe et l'histoire (1704–2004): actes du colloque international de Paris et Meaux pour le troisième centenaire de la mort (Paris, 2006)Google Scholar, and Chauney-Bouillot, M., ed., Bossuet en son temps (Dijon, 2005)Google Scholar.

79 The first major study to draw attention to Spencer was Gascoigne, ‘“Wisdom”’, which focuses less on his scholarship but usefully puts him in the context of the shift of emphasis from God's special to his general providence in contemporaneous natural philosophy. Paolo Rossi had also previously drawn attention to Spencer in his still useful Dark abyss of time, pp. 125–6.

80 For Spencer as idiosyncratic ‘enlightened’ genius, see Stroumsa, Guy, ‘John Spencer and the roots of idolatry’, History of Religions, 41 (2001), pp. 123CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Assmann, Jan, Moses the Egyptian: the memory of Egypt in Western monotheism (Cambridge, MA, 1997), pp. 5579Google Scholar, esp. p. 75; Sutcliffe, Judaism and enlightenment, p. 70. For Spencer as closet ‘enlightened’ Socinian, see Mulsow, M., ‘Orientalistik im Kontext der sozinianischen und deistischen Debatten um 1700: Spencer, Crell, Locke und Newton’, Scientia Poetica, 2 (1998), pp. 2757Google Scholar; Fausto Parente, ‘Spencer, Maimonides, and the history of religion’, in Ligota and Quantin, eds., History of scholarship, pp. 277–304.

81 Dmitri Levitin, ‘John Spencer's De legibus Hebraeorum (1685) and the nature of “enlightened” sacred history: a new interpretation’ (forthcoming).

82 Hunt, Lynn, Jacob, Margaret C. and Mijnhardt, Wijnand, The book that changed Europe: Picart & Bernard's religious ceremonies of the world (Cambridge, MA, 2010)Google Scholar – see e.g. the disastrously teleological discussion of changing modes of the study of religion at p. 287. For a study with similar focus see Berti, Silvia, ‘Bernard Picart e Jean-Frédéric Bernard dalla religione riformata al deismo: un incontro con il mondo ebraico nell'Amsterdam del primo settecento’, Rivista Storica Italiana, 117 (2005), pp. 9741001Google Scholar. For Picart's famous engravings, the key study remains von Wyss-Giacosa, Paola, Religionsbilder der frühen Aufklärung: Bernard Picarts Tafeln für die Cérémonies et coutumes religieuses de tous les peuples du monde (Bern, 2006)Google Scholar.

83 Harrison, Religion, pp. 19–98, 130–72; for a similar narrative, see Champion, Pillars, pp. 133–69.

84 As implied in G. Stroumsa, A new science: the discovery of religion in the Age of Reason (Cambridge, MA, 2010), p. 149. For Ricci and for those Jesuits who responded to him by arguing that Chinese philosophy and religion were too contaminated with idolatrous beliefs to be adaptable to Christian ends, leading to the famous querelle des rites, see Rule, P. A., K'ung-tzu or Confucius? The Jesuit interpretation of Confucianism (Sydney, 1986)Google Scholar; Ching, J. and Oxtoby, W. G., Discovering China: European interpretations in the enlightenment (Rochester, NY, 1993)Google Scholar. For Voltaire's tactical use of Ricci, see Pocock, J. G. A., Barbarism and religion, ii:Narratives of civil government (Cambridge, 1999), pp. 98102CrossRefGoogle Scholar. For a discussion that respects the complexity of attitudes to ‘natural religion’, see Ruth Whelan, ‘Le Dieu d'Abraham et le Dieu des philosophes: épistémologie et apologétique chez Jacques Abbadie’, in M.-C. Pitassi, ed., Apologétique 1680–1740: sauvetage ou naufrage de la théologie? (Geneva, 1991), pp. 59–71.

85 The classic introduction remains Van Kley, E. J., ‘Europe's “discovery” of China and the writing of world history’, American Historical Review, 76 (1971), pp. 358–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar. The incorporation of China could involve the adoption of the longer Septuagint chronology, most famously by Isaac Vossius in his Dissertatio de vera aetate mundi (1659) (the best work on Septuagint scholarship, at least in England, is S. Mandelbrote, ‘English scholarship and the Greek Text of the Old Testament’, in Ariel Hessayon and Nicholas Keene, eds., Scripture and scholarship in early modern England (Aldershot, 2006), pp. 74–93, now accompanied by Mandelbrote, ‘Vossius and the Septuagint’).

86 I. Hont, ‘The language of sociability and commerce: Samuel Pufendorf and the theoretical foundation of the four stages theory’, in A. Pagden, ed., The languages of political theory in early modern Europe (Cambridge, 1987), pp. 277–308.

87 Edward Gibbon, The history of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1772–1789), ed. D. Womersley (3 vols., London, 1994), i, pp. 233–4. Gibbon's most notable target was Olaus Rudbeck, Professor of History at Uppsala, who argued in his Atlantica (1679–1702) that Sweden became the most advanced nation after the Flood and that Greek and Latin were derived from Swedish. For other patriotic appropriations of Noachic diffusionism see Kidd, Colin, British identities before nationalism: ethnicity and nationhood in the Atlantic World, 1600–1800 (Cambridge, 1999), pp. 2930CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

88 Pocock, J. G. A., Barbarism and religion, iv:Barbarians, savages and empires (Cambridge, 2005), pp. 3764CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

89 The best introduction is now Poole, W., The world makers: scientists of the Restoration and the search for the origins of the earth (Oxford, 2010)Google Scholar (pp. 101–4 on Steno, pp. 43–4 on the limits of the geological challenge to biblical chronology); for a useful summary of the nineteenth-century separation of geology and Genesis, see Martin J. S. Rudwick, ‘Biblical flood and geological deluge: the amicable dissociation of geology and Genesis’, in M. Kölbl-Ebert, ed., Geology and religion: a history of harmony and hostility (London, 2009), pp. 103–10.

90 On Huet, see Shelford, Huet; on Gale, see the very useful article by Stephen Pigney, ‘Theophilus Gale and the historiography of philosophy’, in G. A. J. Rogers, Tom Sorell, and Jill Kraye, eds., Insiders and outsiders in seventeenth-century philosophy (New York, NY, Oxford, 2010), pp. 76–99, which places Gale's insistence on Hebraic primacy in theological context. For an overview and for the eighteenth-century debate see R. W. Serjeantson, ‘David Hume's Natural history of religion (1757) and the end of modern Eusebianism’, in J. Robertson and S. Mortimer, eds., The intellectual consequences of religious heterodoxy (Leiden, 2012), pp. 267–95.

91 See Stuurman, Siep, ‘Cosmopolitan egalitarianism in the enlightenment: Anquetil Duperron on India and America’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 68 (2007), p. 266CrossRefGoogle Scholar: ‘Anquetil's recognition of the Asiatic sources as authorities in their own right destabilizes all future attempts to safeguard the global primacy of Christian sacred history’. Lincoln, Bruce, ‘Isaac Newton and Oriental Jones on myth, ancient history, and the relative prestige of peoples’, History of Religions, 42 (2002), pp. 118CrossRefGoogle Scholar is superior, but still somewhat conflates Jones's novel specific conclusions (he argued, on the basis of the Dabistān-i Mazāhib, a Persian text from the seventeenth century, that the Mahābādians (a supposed Iranian dynasty), rather than more standard candidates like the Egyptians or the Chaldeans, were the world's first kings and inherited the primordial religion) with his supposed methodological novelty: ‘While he still privileged Israel and the line of Shem with regard to religion, he reduced that privilege to the bare minimum possible without mounting a direct challenge to Christian orthodoxy.’

92 This is the language of Stuurman, ‘Cosmpolitan egalitarianism’, pp. 266–7. See also e.g. Manuel, Broken staff, p. 177, and for a particularly forceful assertion, Trevor-Roper, ‘Historical philosophy’, p. 3.

93 Both positions held in the 1720s by the prominent scholar and secretary of the Académie des Inscriptions Nicolas Fréret: Malcolm, ‘Hobbes, Ezra and the bible’, p. 385; Pocock, J. G. A., Barbarism and religion, i: The enlightenments of Edward Gibbon (Cambridge, 1999), pp. 162–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar; see further the essays in Grell, C. and Volpilhac-Auger, C., eds., Nicolas Fréret: légende et vérité (Oxford, 1994)Google Scholar.

94 The best account remains Scott Mandelbrote, ‘Isaac Newton and Thomas Burnet: biblical criticism and the crisis of late seventeenth-century England’, in J. Force and R. H. Popkin, eds., The books of nature and scripture: recent essays on natural philosophy, theology and biblical criticism in the Netherlands of Spinoza's time and the British Isles of Newton's time (Leiden, 1994), pp. 149–78, now supplemented by K. V. Magruder, ‘Thomas Burnet, biblical idiom, and seventeenth-century theories of the earth’, in van der Meer and Mandelbrote, eds., Nature and scripture: up to 1700, pp. 451–90.

95 For a general summary, see Sutcliffe, Judaism and enlightenment. Excellent on the Italian contributions to the debate, especially that by Pietro Giannone, is Mannarino, Lia, Le mille favole degli antichi: ebraismo e cultura europea nel pensiero religioso di Pietro Giannone (Florence, 1999)Google Scholar.

96 The fullest account is Goldish, Matt, Judaism in the theology of Sir Isaac Newton (Dordrecht, 1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, which corrects the influential thesis that Newton was effectively a deist, as offered in R. S. Westfall, ‘Isaac Newton's Theologiae Gentilis Origines Philosophicae’, in W. W. Wagar, ed., The secular mind: transformations of faith in modern Europe (New York, NY, 1982), pp. 179–202. For many of the relevant texts see the extremely useful Newton Project, led by Rob Illife and Scott Mandelbrote:

97 Drouin, Théologie, pp. 155–258.

98 Serjeantson, ‘Eusebianism’.

99 On the ineffectiveness of a ‘Cartesian disenchantment’ narrative in explaining shifting attitudes to God's operation in history, see Fix, A., ‘Balthasar Bekker and the crisis of Cartesianism’, History of European Ideas, 17 (1993), pp. 575–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar, importantly modifying the views in idem, ‘Angels, devils and evil spirits in seventeenth-century thought: Balthasar Bakker and the Collegiants’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 50 (1989), pp. 527–47.

100 Stroumsa, New science, p. viii. The monograph in fact consists of condensed versions of several articles (listed at p. 215) – those in search of detail are recommended to turn to the articles.

101 Ibid., pp. 102–13.


102 On Fontenelle, the most useful summaries remain: Preus, Explaining religion, pp. 40–58; Pouloin, C., ‘Fontenelle et la vérité des fables’, Corpus, 13 (1990), pp. 3550Google Scholar. That Fontenelle hid his debts to earlier scholarship was already suggested by J.-R. Carré: B. Fontenelle, De l'origine des fables, ed. J.-R. Carré (Paris, 1932), p. 148.

103 For a useful summary, see S. Burnett, ‘Later Christian Hebraists’, in Saebø, ed., Hebrew bible, pp. 786–801 at pp. 792–5.

104 On the shift to manuscript collation: Haugen, Kristine, ‘Transformations of the Trinity doctrine in English scholarship: from the history of beliefs to the history of texts’, Archiv für Religionsgeschichte, 3 (2001), pp. 149–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar, and the important account in idem, Richard Bentley: poetry and enlightenment (Cambridge, MA, 2011), pp. 187–210. For the German critics, see now Sheehan, Jonathan, The enlightenment bible: translation, scholarship, culture (Princeton, NJ, 2005)Google Scholar. For a detailed account of the contexts of Lowth's criticism, see now Scott Mandelbrote, ‘Biblical scholarship at Oxford in the mid-eighteenth century: local contexts for Robert Lowth's De sacra poesi Hebraeorum’, in J. Jarick, ed., Sacred conjectures: the context and legacy of Robert Lowth and Jean Astruc (New York, NY, 2007), pp. 1–24.

105 The quotation is from Legaspi, Michael C., The death of scripture and the rise of biblical studies (Oxford, 2010), p. 51CrossRefGoogle Scholar. For some comments on the debt of German criticism (especially that of Herder) to earlier humanists, see Bultmann, Christoph, Die biblische Urgeschichte in der Aufklärung Johann Gottfried Herders Interpretation der Genesis als Antwort auf die Religionskritik David Humes (Tübingen, 1999)Google Scholar, e.g. p. 49.

106 Marchand, Suzanne L., German orientalism in the age of empire: religion, race and scholarship (Cambridge, 2009)Google Scholar. There is an obvious reaction against Edward Said here, of which the most prominent manifestation is: Irwin, Robert, For lust of knowing: the orientalists and their enemies (London, 2006)Google Scholar.

107 On Luther's shift to primitivism, see Headley, J. M., Luther's view of church history (New Haven, CT, and London, 1963), esp. pp. 162–81Google Scholar. A dense summary of Luther on the church fathers is Manfred Schulze, ‘Martin Luther and the church fathers’, in Irena Backus, ed., The reception of the church fathers in the West (2 vols., Leiden, 1997), ii, pp. 573–626.

108 Stinger, Charles L., Humanism and the church fathers: Ambrogio Traversari (1386–1439) and Christian antiquity in the Italian Renaissance (New York, NY, 1977), esp. pp. 124–66Google Scholar, 198–202; and for a shorter summary: idem, The Renaissance in Rome (Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN, 1985), pp. 227–34; idem, ‘Italian Renaissance learning and the church fathers’, in Backus, ed., Reception of the church fathers, ii, pp. 473–510; E. Rice Jr, ‘The Renaissance idea of Christian antiquity: humanist patristic scholarship’, in A. Rabil Jr, ed., Renaissance humanism: foundations, forms and legacy (Philadelphia, 1988), pp. 17–28. For the early use of Greek patristics against Luther, see Tamburini, F., ‘Giovanni Eck e Giovanni Fabri: Alcuni Codici della Biblioteca Vaticana nella polemica antiluterana’, Studi e testi, 331 (1988), pp. 241–65Google Scholar. Although the main protagonists at the Council of Florence were the Greek Church, the short-lived union which ensued, as well as the Reformation, also stimulated the interest in the Armenians, Syrians, Maronites, and Copts: see Hamilton, Copts and the West.

109 Frankel, Pierre, Testimonia Patrum: the function of the patristic argument in the theology of Philip Melanchthon (Geneva, 1961)Google Scholar.

110 For full bibliographies of older German works, see Backus, ed., Reception of the church fathers; for a useful bibliography of mostly French literature, see Bury, E. and Meunier, B., eds., Les pères de l'église au XVIIe siècle: actes du colloque de Lyon (2–5 octobre 1991) (Paris, 1993), pp. 517–52Google Scholar; and since then: Steinmetz, D. C. and Kolb, R., eds., Die Patristik in der Bibelexegese des 16. Jahrhunderts (Wiesbaden, 1999)Google Scholar. On Lutheran ecclesiastical history by far the most comprehensive account is now Pohlig, Matthias, Zwischen Gelehrsamkeit und konfessioneller Identitätsstiftung: Lutherische Kirchen- und Universalgeschichtsschreibung, 1546–1617 (Tübingen 2007)Google Scholar. For the publication of editions of the fathers: Cortesi, M., ed., I padri sotto il torchio: le edizioni dell'antichità cristiana nei secoli XV–XVI (Florence, 2002)Google Scholar, and Cortesi, M., ed., ‘Editiones principes’ delle opere dei Padri greci e latini (Florence, 2006)Google Scholar.

111 Polman, Pontien, L’élément historique dans la controverse religieuse du 16e siècle (Gembloux, 1932)Google Scholar.

112 MacCulloch, D., Thomas Cranmer: a life (New Haven, CT, and London, 1996), p. 355Google Scholar; see further Walsh, K. J., ‘Cranmer and the fathers, especially in the Defence’, Journal of Religious History, 11 (1980), pp. 227–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

113 For Melanchtonian patristics, see Frankel, Testimonia Patrum; Meijering, E. P., Melanchthon and patristic thought: the doctrines of Christ and Grace, the Trinity and the Creation (Leiden, 1983)Google Scholar, which is fiercely criticized in Timothy J. Wengert, ‘“Qui vigilantissimis oculis veterum omnium commentarios excusserit”: Philip Melanchthon's patristic exegesis’, in Steinmetz and Kolb, eds., Die Patristik, pp. 115–34.

114 Backus, I., ‘The church fathers and the canonicity of the Apocalypse in the sixteenth century: Erasmus, Frans Titelmans, and Theodore Beza’, Sixteenth Century Journal, 29 (1998), pp. 651–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

115 Muller, Holy scripture.

116 Quantin, Jean-Louis, The Church of England and Christian antiquity: the construction of a confessional identity in the seventeenth century (Oxford, 2009), p. 49Google Scholar, citing Deuschle, M. A., Brenz als Kontroverstheologe: Die Apologie der Confessio Virtembergica und die Auseinandersetzung zwischen Johannes Brenz und Pedro de Soto (Tübingen, 2006), pp. 157–61Google Scholar.

117 Grafton, Anthony, The footnote: a curious history (Cambridge, MA, 1997), p. 158Google Scholar.

118 Backus, I., Historical method and confessional identity in the era of the Reformation (1378–1615) (Leiden, 2003), p. 3Google Scholar, and the important corollary: ‘This hypothesis does not deny that there was religious controversy in the 16th and early 17th century. It does, however, aim to do away with the notion that theologians of the period were polemicists first and foremost’.

119 The key earlier treatments are Scheible, H., Die Entstehung der Magdeburger Zenturien. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der historiographischen Methode (Gütersloh, 1966)Google Scholar, O. K. Olson, ‘Matthias Flacius Illyricus’, in J. Raitt, ed., Shapers of religious tradition in Germany, Switzerland, and Poland, 1560–1600 (New Haven, CT, and London, 1981), pp. 1–17. For the importance of other contributors beyond Flacius a good start is R. E. Diener, ‘Johann Wigand’, in ibid., pp. 19–38.


120 Backus, Historical method, pp. 361–2.

121 Kelley, D. R., The descent of ideas: the history of intellectual history (Aldershot, 2002), pp. 93–5Google Scholar, discusses Flacius but subsumes him to an anachronistic narrative of the rise of ‘eclecticism’; for the importance of sacred history to the history of philosophy, see Lehmann-Brauns, Sicco, Weisheit in der Weltgeschichte: Philosophiegeschichte zwischen Barock und Aufklärung (Tübingen, 2006)Google Scholar.

122 Lyon, Gregory B., ‘Baudouin, Flacius, and the plan for the Magdeburg chronicles’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 64 (2003), pp. 253–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar. For a very useful case-study of the historical fruits of the Centuriators’ methodology, see Backus's discussion of their treatment of Gregory of Nazianzus: Historical method, pp. 364–7.

123 For earlier attempts at an official response by Onofrio Panvinio, see Cochrane, Historians and historiography, p. 458; for the first suggestion of using sacred history to combat the new heresy (in 1522 by Gregorio Cortesi), see ibid., p. 457.


124 For the latest work on Baronio, see the essays in Gulia, Luigi, ed., Baronio e le sue fonti: Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studi Sora 10–13 Ottobre 2007 (Sora, 2009)Google Scholar. The fullest monograph study is now Zen, S., Baronio storico: controriforma e crisi del metodo umanistico (Naples, 1994)Google Scholar, replacing the outdated Pullapilly, Cyriac K., Caesar Baronius, Counter-Reformation historian (London, 1975)Google Scholar.

125 Cochrane, Historians and historiography, p. 449. See also Ditchfield, ‘What was sacred history?’.

126 S. Zen, ‘Relazioni europee di Baronio: metodo di recerca e reperimento delle fonti’, in Gulia, ed., Baronio, pp. 5–50, esp. pp. 31–50; M. Ghilardi, ‘Baronio e la “Roma sotterranea” tra pietà oratoriana e interessi gesuitici’, in ibid., pp. 435–87; Philip P. Jacks, ‘Baronius and the Antiquities of Rome’, in R. De Maio et al., eds., Baronio et l'arte: Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studi Sora 10–13 ottobre 1984 (Sora, 1985), pp. 75–96; on the Oratorians as editors and publishers, see Finocchiaro, G., Cesare Baronio e la tipografia dell'oratorio (Florence, 2005), pp. 100–6Google Scholar.


127 Ditchfield, Liturgy, sanctity and history, pp. 43–4, and the still essential source study, Lämmer, H., De Martyrologio Romano: Parergon historico-criticum (Ratisbon, 1878), pp. 2936Google Scholar, as well as the essays by Manlio Sodi, Silvia Ronchey, John Howe, Stefania Mezzazappa, and Angelo Rusconi in Gulia, ed., Baronio, pp. 289–386.

128 Backus, Historical method, p. 374. For the continuity between Baronio and Tillemont in emphasis on the critical element in the annals format, see also Quantin, J.-L., ‘Document, histoire, critique dans l’Érudition ecclésiastique des temps modernes’, Recherches de Science Religieuse, 92 (2004), pp. 597635Google Scholar at pp. 606–7.

129 Visser, A., Reading Augustine in the Reformation: the flexibility of intellectual authority in Europe, 1500–1620 (Oxford, 2011), p. 137CrossRefGoogle Scholar, and the case-study in idem, ‘How Catholic was Augustine? Confessional patristics and the survival of Erasmus in the Counter-Reformation’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 61 (2010), pp. 86–106. For comparable conclusions, see Pabel, H. M., ‘Sixteenth-century Catholic criticism of Erasmus’ edition of St Jerome’, Reformation and Renaissance Review, 6 (2004), pp. 231–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

130 Grafton, A. and Weinberg, J., ‘I have always loved the Holy Tongue’: Isaac Casaubon, the Jews, and a forgotten chapter in Renaissance scholarship (Cambridge, MA, 2011), p. 182Google Scholar.

131 Ibid., p. 189.


132 Friedman, Most ancient testimony, p. 102 (on Fagius) and pp. 215–34 (on Münster). On Münster, the fullest study remains Burmeister, Karl Heinz, Sebastian Münster: Versuch eines biographischen Gesamtbildes (Basel and Stuttgart, 1963)Google Scholar (esp. pp. 33–107 on his Hebraic interests); on his cosmographical interests, see now McLean, M. A., The Cosmographia of Sebastian Münster: describing the world in the Reformation (Aldershot, 2007)Google Scholar.

133 A starting point is the bibliography of printed editions: Schreckenberg, Heinz, Bibliographie zu Flavius Josephus (Leiden, 1968)Google Scholar. See also the thorough recent study of the reception of the famous Testimonium Flavianum: Whealey, Alice, Josephus on Jesus: the Testimonium Flavianum controversy from late antiquity to modern times (New York, NY, 2003), esp. pp. 73168Google Scholar.

134 See Joanna Weinberg, ‘The quest for Philo in sixteenth-century Jewish historiography’, in A. Rapoport-Albert and S. J. Zipperstein, eds., Jewish History: essays in honour of Chimen Abramsky, (London, 1988), pp. 163–87; and the wonderful critical edition: Azariah de’ Rossi, The light of the eyes, trans. Joanna Weinberg (New Haven, CT, and London, 2001).

135 Grafton, Scaliger, ii, pp. 413–20; idem, ‘Joseph Scaliger et l'histoire du Judaïsme Hellénistique’, in Grell and Laplanche, eds., Judaïsme antique (Paris, 1992), pp. 51–63.

136 De Jonge, ‘Study of the New Testament’, pp. 74–6, 96.

137 Weinberg, ‘Philo’, pp. 168–9.

138 As was done by Thomas Erpenius, Professor of Oriental Languages at Leiden University, in an oration in 1620: van Rooden, P. T., Theology, biblical scholarship and rabbinical studies in the seventeenth century: Constantijn l'empereur (1591–1648), Professor of Hebrew and Theology at Leiden (Leiden, 1989), p. 58Google Scholar.

139 Pattison, Mark, Isaac Casaubon, 1559–1614 (London, 1875), p. 495Google Scholar.

140 Grafton and Weinberg, Casaubon. See also Parenty, H., Isaac Casaubon, helléniste: des studia humanitatis à la philologie (Geneva, 2009), esp. pp. 93–6Google Scholar, 271–81, on his Greek patristic interests.

141 Grafton and Weinberg, Casaubon, pp. 156, 190, 213–14.

142 Ibid., pp. 122–9.


143 Levitin, ‘Spencer’, on chapter 43 of the Exercitationes.

144 Grafton and Weinberg, Casaubon, pp. 210–12; Quantin, Christian antiquity, p. 147. See also the discussion of Lucas Osiander's rejection of extra-Biblical testimonia Christi in Whealey, Josephus on Jesus, pp. 94–5.

145 Yates, F. A., Giordano Bruno and the hermetic tradition (London, 1964), p. 398Google Scholar.

146 On the significance of Casaubon on Hermes, see Grafton, A., ‘Protestant versus Prophet: Isaac Casaubon on Hermes Trismegistus’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 46 (1983), pp. 7893CrossRefGoogle Scholar, now supplemented by Grafton and Weinberg, Casaubon, pp. 30–42. See also the important set of essays in Mulsow, M., ed., Das Ende des Hermetismus: historische Kritik und neue Naturphilosophie in der Spätrenaissance: Dokumentation und Analyse der Debatten um die Datierung der hermetischen Schriften von Genebrard bis Casaubon (1567–1614) (Tübingen, 2002)Google Scholar. For the recognition of the dangerous possibilities inherent in Casaubon's conclusions by his contemporaries (both Protestant and Catholic), see Quantin, Christian antiquity, pp. 147–8. For an excellent case-study of the new approach at work, see H. J. de Jonge, ‘Grotius’ view of the gospels and the evangelists’, in Nellen and Rabbie, eds., Hugo Grotius, theologian, pp. 65–74.

147 Pattison, Casaubon, pp. 211ff; Quantin, Christian antiquity, pp. 142–4 and 150–5, for a sensitive reading of Andrewes's attitude to the fathers and his much-disputed ‘Anglicanism’.

148 Quantin, ‘L’érudition ecclésiastique’, p. 603: ‘L'exigence de proximité des sources induit un mode particulier d’écriture de l'histoire, qui transcende les frontiers confessionnelles.’ The important Pierre Petitmengin, ‘De adulterates partum editionibus: la critique des texts au service de l'orthodoxie’, in E. Bury and B. Meunier, eds., Les pères de l’église au XVIIe siècle: actes du colloque de Lyon, 2–5 octobre 1991 (Paris, 1993), pp. 17–31, argues for a viable but perhaps slightly overdetermined critical turn in the period 1610–20.

149 J.-L. Quantin, ‘The fathers in seventeenth-century Roman Catholic theology’, in Backus, ed., Reception of the church fathers, ii, pp. 951–86 at p. 956. On the use of patristic works at Trent, usually supplied by the scholar-cardinal Gugliemo Sirleto, see Backus, Irena and Gain, Benoît, ‘Le Cardinal Guglielmo Sirleto (1514–1585), sa bibliothèque et ses traductions de Saint Basile’, Melanges de l’école française de Rome, 98 (1986), pp. 889955Google Scholar. The history of ecumenical councils themselves also drew scholars: see C. Leonardi, ‘Per una storia dell'edizione Romana dei concili ecumenici (1608–1612): da Antonio Augustin a Francesco Aduarte’, in Mélanges Eugene Tisserant (Vatican City, 1964), pp. 583–637.

150 Quantin, ‘Fathers in Roman Catholic theology’, p. 960.

151 Quantin, Christian antiquity, p. 216, quoting The reply of … Cardinall of Perron (1630), Lady Falkland's translation of Du Perron's Lettre envoyée au Sieur Casaubon en Angleterre (1612).

152 See now especially Quantin, Jean-Louis, Le catholicisme classique et les pères de l’église: un retour aux sources (1669–1713) (Paris, 1999), esp. pp. 103111Google Scholar; Neveu, Bruno, Érudition et religion aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles (Paris, 1994), pp. 333–63Google Scholar. An older but still useful long overview is Guelluy, Robert, ‘L’évolution des methods théologiques à Louvain d'Erasme à Jansénius’, Revue d'Histoire Ecclésiastique, 37 (1941), pp. 31144Google Scholar; Henri Gouhier, ‘La crise de la théologie au temps de Descartes’ (1954), repr. in La pensée religieuse de Descartes (Paris, 1972), pp. 279–309. For the Bollandists: Sawilla, Jan Marco, Antiquarianismus, Hagiographie und Historie im 17. Jahrhundert (Tübingen, 2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, esp. the powerful challenge to the Hazardian chronology at pp. 756–7.

153 Quantin, ‘Fathers in Roman Catholic theology’, p. 976.

154 Neveu, Bruno, Un historien à l’école de Port-Royal: Sébastien Le Nain de Tillemont (1637–1698) (Le Haye, 1966)Google Scholar; Pocock, J. G. A., Barbarism and Religion, v: Religion: the first triumph (Cambridge, 2011), pp. 4750CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

155 Quantin, Christian antiquity, p. 234.

156 For the full context, see J.-L. Quantin, ‘Un manuel anti-patristique: contexte et signification du Traité de l'emploi des saints Pères de Jean Daillé’, in G. Frank, T. Leinkauf, and M. Wriedt, eds., Die Patristik in der frühen Neuzeit: Die Relektüre der Kirchenväter in den Wissenschaften des 15. bis 18. Jahrhunderts (Stuttgart, 2006), pp. 299–325; for the English reception: Quantin, Christian antiquity, pp. 238–51.

157 Quantin, Christian antiquity, p. 236.

158 Hofmann, M., Theologie, Dogma und Dogmenentwicklung im theologischen Werk Denis Petau's (Frankfurt am Main, 1976)Google Scholar, esp. pp. 194–208; Karrer, L., Die Historisch-Positive Methode des Theologen Dionysius Petavius (Munich, 1970), pp. 181–4Google Scholar.

159 On Zwicker, see Bietenholz, Peter G., Daniel Zwicker, 1612–1678: Peace, tolerance and God the one and only (Florence, 1997)Google Scholar; on Sand and his late-life turn to Spinozism, see Szczucki, L., ‘W kręgu spinozjańskim (Krzysztof Sandius junior)’, Przeglad Filozoficzno-Literacki, 6 (2007), pp. 289311Google Scholar; on the English reception of the debates stimulated by Sand, see Sarah Hutton, ‘The Neoplatonic roots of Arianism: Ralph Cudworth and Theophilus Gale’, in L. Szczucki, ed., Socinianism and its role in the culture of the xvi-th to xviii-th centuries (Warsaw, 1983), pp. 139–45; for the most general overviews, see M. Mulsow, ‘The Trinity as heresy: Socinian counter-histories of Simon Magus, Orpheus, and Cerinthus’, in J. C. Laursen, ed., Histories of heresy in early modern Europe (New York, NY, 2002), pp. 161–70; idem, ‘A German Spinozistic reader of Cudworth, Bull, and Spencer: Johann Georg Wachter and his Theologia Martyrum (1712)’, in Ligota and Quantin, eds., History of scholarship, pp. 357–85; Mortimer, Socinianism, pp. 147–76. On Newton, see S. Mandelbrote, ‘“Then this nothing can be plainer”: Isaac Newton reads the fathers’, in Frank, Leinkauf, and Wriedt, eds., Patristik, pp. 277–97.

160 Quantin, ‘Fathers in Roman Catholic theology’, p. 984.

161 Whelan, Ruth, ‘The wage of sin is orthodoxy: the Confessions of Saint Augustine in Bayle's Dictionnaire’, Journal of the History of Philosophy, 26 (1988), pp. 195206CrossRefGoogle Scholar, and more broadly, idem, The anatomy of superstition: a study of the historical theory and practice of Pierre Bayle (Oxford, 1989).

162 Quantin, Christian antiquity, p. 396.

163 Malcolm, N., De Dominis (1560–1624): Venetian, Anglican, ecumenist and relapsed heretic (London, 1984), esp. pp. 41–6Google Scholar; Quantin, Christian antiquity, pp. 148–9.

164 Quantin, Christian antiquity, pp. 397–8. And for an important institutional case-study: Nelles, Peul, ‘The uses of Orthodoxy and Jacobean erudition: Thomas James and the Bodleian Library’, History of Universities, 22 (2007), pp. 2170Google Scholar.

165 J.-L. Quantin, ‘Anglican scholarship gone mad? Henry Dodwell (1641–1711) and Christian antiquity’, in Ligota and Quantin, eds., History of scholarship, pp. 305–56.

166 Leighton, Neither C. D. A., ‘The religion of the non-jurors and the early British enlightenment: a study of Henry Dodwell’, in History of European Ideas, 28 (2002), pp. 247–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar, nor idem, ‘Ancienneté among the non-jurors: a study of Henry Dodwell’, History of European Ideas, 31 (2005), pp. 116CrossRefGoogle Scholar, adds much to the work of Quantin, and their elaborate attempt to put Dodwell in a narrative of ‘enlightenment’ is unwarranted.

167 Toomer, Selden. Additionally, Professor Toomer has extremely generously placed online his transcriptions of the Selden Correspondence, available at the Oxford Cultures of Knowledge Project:

168 Toomer, Selden, ii, pp. 626–91. The Karaites are a Jewish sect who reject the Oral Law, recognizing only the Tanakh. For obvious reasons, this idiosyncrasy made them appealing possible mirrors of Protestantism; on Rittangl and early modern interest in them, see Lasker, D. J., ‘Karaism and Christian Hebraism: a new document’, Renaissance Quarterly, 59 (2006), pp. 1089–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar, esp. pp. 1089–103 and more generally Mikhail Kizilov, ‘Jüdische Protestanten? Die Karäer und christliche Gelehrte im Frühneuzeitlichen Europa’, in R. Decot and M. Arnold, eds., Christen und Juden im Reformationszeitalter (Mainz, 2007), pp. 237–64.

169 A full version, jointly produced by Selden and Pococke, appeared in 1656: Toomer, Selden, ii, pp. 600–13; idem, Eastern wisdome and learning: the study of Arabic in seventeenth-century England (Oxford, 1996), pp. 65–6, 164–5. The important English Arabist William Bedwell similarly developed an interest in Arabic historical texts because they could elucidate aspects of early Christianity: Hamilton, Alastair, William Bedwell, the Arabist, 1563–1632 (Leiden, 1985), pp. 2Google Scholar, 74–80; for this theme, see also Toomer, Eastern wisdome, p. 15 and passim.

170 Toomer, Selden, ii, pp. 563–94.

171 C. B. Van Dixhoorn, ‘Introduction’, in idem, ed., The minutes and papers of the Westminster assembly, 1643–1652 (forthcoming, 5 vols., Oxford, 2012), i, pp. 39–59, will explain the often long-winded day-to-day functioning of the assembly. For Lightfoot's use of Homer, see John Lightfoot, ‘A breife journal of passages in the Assembly of Divines’, Appendix A in C. B. Van Dixhoorn, ‘Reforming the Reformation: theological debate at the Westminster assembly 1642–1652’ (7 vols., Ph.D. dissertation, Cambridge, 2004), ii, pp. 13–14.

172 For a comparison of Selden's and Hobbes's very different accounts of early Christianity's inheritance from Judaism, see the nuanced account in Johann Somerville, ‘Hobbes, Selden, erastianism, and the history of the Jews’, in G. A. J. Rogers and Tom Sorell, eds., Hobbes and history (London and New York, NY, 2000), pp. 160–88. On the Anglican reception, see the brief comments in Levitin, ‘Spencer’; for their use of Grotius, see Mortimer, Socinianism, pp. 122–37. On the general context, see Peter Lake, ‘The Laudians and the argument from authority’, in B. Young Kunze and D. D. Brautigan, eds., Court, country and culture: essays on early modern British history in honour of Perez Zagorin (Rochester, NY, 1992), pp. 149–76, now accompanied by Guibbory, Achsah, Christian identity, Jews, and Israel in seventeenth-century England (Oxford, 2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. On Simon's development of an elaborate narrative of a Jewish early Christianity, see Stroumsa, G. and Brun, J. Le, eds., Les juifs présentés aux chrétiens: textes de Léon de Modène et de Richard Simon, introduits et commentés (Paris, 1998)Google Scholar. For Hobbes on the fathers, see also J. A. I. Champion, ‘An historical narration concerning heresie: Thomas Hobbes, Thomas Barlow, and the restoration debate over “heresy”’, in D. Loewenstein and J. Marshall, eds., Heresy, literature, and politics in early modern English culture (Cambridge, 2006), pp. 221–53.

173 But for the importance of Augustine to Restoration defences of persecution, see M. Goldie, ‘The theory of religious intolerance in Restoration England’, in O. P. Grell, J. I. Israel, and N. Tyacke, eds., From persecution to toleration: the Glorious Revolution and religion in England (Oxford, 1991), pp. 331–68.

174 Purcell, M., ‘“Useful weapons for the defence of that cause”: Richard Allestree, John Fell and the Foundation of the Allestree Library’, The Library: The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, 21 (1999), pp. 124–47Google Scholar.

175 For precisely this line of attack in a widely read defence of toleration and parliamentary supremacy over the church, see Levitin, D., ‘Matthew Tindal's Rights of the Christian Church (1706) and the church–state relationship’, Historical Journal, 54 (2011), pp. 717–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

176 The best total treatment remains Barnes, A., Jean Le Clerc, 1657–1736, et la République des Lettres (Paris, 1938)Google Scholar; for his historical method, see Pitassi, M. C., Entre croire et savoir: le problème de la méthode critique chez Jean le Clerc (Leiden, 1987)Google Scholar.

177 Guy G. Stroumsa, ‘The birth of Manichaean studies: Isaac de Beausobre revisited’, in R. E. Emmerick, W. Sundermann, and P. Zieme, eds., Studia Manichaica (Berlin, 2000), pp. 601–12; J. C. Laursen, ‘Temporizing after Bayle: Isaac de Beausobre and the Manicheans’, in S. Pott, M. Mulsow, and L. Danneberg, eds., The Berlin refuge 1680–1780: learning and science in European context (Leiden, 2003), pp. 89–112.

178 See now the essays in Mulsow, M., ed., Johann Lorenz Mosheim (1693–1755): Theologie im Spannungsfeld von Philosophie, Philologie und Geschichte (Wiesbaden, 1997)Google Scholar. For a useful study of the critical approach of a contemporaneous German theologian, Siegmund Jakob Baumgarten, Professor at Halle, see Sorkin, Religious enlightenment, pp. 138, 145–51.

179 E.g. Pocock, Barbarism, v, pp. 9, 371.

180 Ibid., v, pp. 282–6, 305. The classic historiography on civil religion attributed it solely to anticlericals: M. Goldie, ‘The civil religion of James Harrington’, in Pagden, ed., Languages, pp. 197–222; Champion, Pillars, pp. 170–95. But this ‘anticlerical exclusivism’ is now fruitfully challenged in William J. Bulman, ‘Constantine's enlightenment: culture and religious politics in the early British empire, c.1648–1710’ (Ph.D. thesis, Princeton 2009), pp. 159–72.


181 Pococok, Barbarism, v, p. 99.

182 Ibid., v, p. 98.


183 Pocock, J. G. A., ‘Historiography and enlightenment: a view of their history’, Modern Intellectual History, 5 (2008), p. 87CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

184 Pocock, Barbarism, v, p. 99.

185 Professor Pocock knows of Gibbon's reading of Petau, but where Gibbon added them to the three Protestants, Professor Pocock subtracts: Barbarism, v, p. 91.

186 But Professor Pocock connects Socinianism to anti-sacerdotal politics (‘Wherever there was reaction against the devastating effects of religious war upon civil society, there was an impulse to show that the Gospels contained nothing incompatible with the rule of the magistrate; but if Christ had added nothing to the reign of law … what need was there to suppose him the equal of his Father?’ (p. 14, see also p. 32)). But as is conclusively shown in Mortimer, Socinianism, the legalistic basis of Socinianism was the claim that Christ had brought new laws, and its reasoning was consequently often adopted in adapted form by sacerdotal theologians.

187 Brown, C., Jesus in European Protestant thought, 1778–1860 (Durham, NC, 1985), pp. 1112Google Scholar, and the criticisms of Schweitzer at p. 15.

188 Mandelbrote, ‘Biblical hermeneutics’, p. 27.

189 Murray, J., ed., The autobiographies of Edward Gibbon (London, 1897), p. 167Google Scholar. In starting with this quotation, I follow slavishly in the footsteps of Pocock, Barbarism, i, p. 141, although as my comments above hint – and as Gibbon's naming of Lipsius and Casaubon suggests that we should – I cast my eyes further back than is done there. On Lipsius as author of historia sacra, see: Landtsheer, J., ‘Justus Lipsius’ De cruce and the reception of the fathers’, Neulateinisches Jahrbuch, 2 (2000), pp. 99124Google Scholar. For a full, if sometimes flawed, study of the French assault on erudition, see Barret-Kriegel, Blandine, La défaite de l’érudition (Paris, 1988)Google Scholar.

190 The classic account remains Robert Darnton, ‘Philosophers trim the tree of knowledge: the epistemological strategy of the Encyclopédie’, in The great cat massacre and other episodes in French cultural history (New York, NY, 1999), pp. 191–213. The prehistory of these claims is Cartesian: see Borghero, C., La certezza e la storia: Cartesianesmo, pirronismo e conoscenza storica (Milan, 1983), esp. pp. 2434Google Scholar.

191 See Benedetto Bravo, ‘Critice in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the rise of the notion of historical criticism’, in Ligota and Quantin, eds., History of scholarship, pp. 135–96; Hardy, ‘British criticism’; and now most appropriately for our topic, Quantin, Jean-Louis, ‘Reason and reasonableness in French ecclesiastical scholarship’, Huntington Library Quarterly, 74 (2011), pp. 401–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar (especially the instructive comments about the Jesuit origins of Voltaire's attack on ecclesiastical erudition at pp. 434–5).

192 M. Fumaroli, ‘Les abeilles et les araignées’, in Anne-Marie Lecoq, ed., La querelle des ancients et des modernes (Paris, 2001), pp. 7–218. For a new reading, see Norman, Larry F., The shock of the ancient: literature and history in early modern France (Chicago, IL, 2011), esp. pp. 99110CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

193 Pocock, Barbarism, i, p. 147.

194 Edelstein, Dan, The enlightenment: a genealogy (Chicago, IL, 2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; idem, ‘Humanism, l'esprit philosophique, and the Encyclopédie’, Republics of Letters: A Journal for the Study of Knowledge, Politics, and the Arts, 1 (2009):

195 Reiske, J. J., ed., Oratorum Graecorum, i (Leipzig, 1770), p. lxxviGoogle Scholar. For Scaliger see De Jonge, ‘Study of the New Testament’, p. 84.

196 For a prominent recent narrative of this type, see Marshall, John, John Locke, toleration and early enlightenment culture (Cambridge, 2006)Google Scholar, e.g. pp. 504–5.

197 For the earlier period, see the important warning in I. Backus, ‘Introduction’, Reception of the church fathers, i, pp. xxi–xxii: ‘[The] critical attitude did not necessarily coexist with a more ecumenical theology’.

198 The quotation is from N. Malcolm, ‘Hobbes and the European Republic of Letters’, in Aspects of Hobbes, pp. 457–546 at p. 540. The most important revisionist study is Goldgar, A., Impolite learning: conduct and community in the Republic of Letters, 1680–1750 (New Haven, CT, and London, 1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. For the Republic of Letters and confessional disputes, see Jaumann, ed., Die europäische Gelehrtenrepublik (especially useful for us is the essay by A. G. Shelford, ‘Confessional division and the Republic of Letters: the case of Pierre-Daniel Huet (1630–1721)’, pp. 39–57); also illuminating is Dirk van Miert, ‘The limits of transconfessional contact in the Republic of Letters around 1600: Scaliger, Casaubon, and their Catholic correspondents’, in J. De Landtsheer and H. Nellen, eds., Between Scylla and Charybdis: learned letter writers navigating the reefs of religious and political controversy in early modern Europe (Leiden, 2011), pp. 367–408, as well as the essays in this volume more generally.

199 van Rooden, L'Empereur, esp. pp. 12, 184–229, 232–4, although I cannot agree with the chronology of the claim (p. 233) that ‘L'Empereur belonged to the last generation in which an orthodox theologian, on the grounds of his special knowledge and abilities, could also become a fully fledged member of the Republic of Letters’ (my emphasis). For wider reflections on the history of universities and early modern scholarship: Haugen, K. L., ‘Academic Charisma and the Old Regime’, History of Universities, 22 (2007), pp. 199228Google Scholar.

200 M. Feingold, ‘Oriental studies’ in N. Tyacke, ed., The history of the University of Oxford, vi:Seventeenth-century Oxford (Oxford, 1997), pp. 456–7.

201 But see now Hardy, ‘British criticism’.

202 This sociological dimension of scholarship is brought out well in the English context by Mandelbrote, ‘Authority’, and Quantin, Christian antiquity, pp. 405–10.

203 The classic statement is Hugh Trevor-Roper, ‘The religious origins of the enlightenment’, in Religion, the Reformation and social change (London, 1967), pp. 193–236, on which, see now Robertson, John, ‘Hugh Trevor-Roper, intellectual history and “The religious origins of the enlightenment”’, English Historical Review, 124 (2009), pp. 1389–421CrossRefGoogle Scholar. As pointed out in Professor Robertson's ‘Introduction’ (p. xviii) to Trevor-Roper, History and the enlightenment, it is interesting to note that these interests are absent from Trevor-Roper's later work. For a possible context for the anticlerical turn, see Sisman, A., Hugh Trevor-Roper: the biography (London, 2010), pp. 454–74Google Scholar.

204 Pocock, Barbarism, v, p. 3.

205 Trevor-Roper, ‘Middleton’, p. 112.

206 Israel, Enlightenment contested, p. 419.

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