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10 - Predestination

from Part II - Concepts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 September 2021

Randall Lesaffer
Affiliation:
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
Janne E. Nijman
Affiliation:
Universiteit van Amsterdam
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Summary

This chapter investigates Grotius’s broader intellectual involvement with the doctrine of predestination. Grotius deliberately renounced the religious importance of predestination as he called for religious concord in a time of fierce inter-confessional strife in the United Provinces - an endeavour that almost cost him his life. Considering his abhorrence for religious dogmas about divine predestination and human free will, two of his writings, Meletius and Ordinum pietas, display a remarkable restraint on Grotius’s part on the matter. Social and political order was not to be found in unrelenting dogmatic questions of certainty about what Grotius’s viewed as theologically non-essential religious principles. Rather it required a commitment to religious toleration. This chapter argues that Grotius’s involvement in the Dutch predestination debates reveals important philosophical connections between his religious and political ideas and allows for further explication of two central aspects of Grotius’s political theory: natural sociability and the impious hypothesis. From a careful contextualisation of predestination in Grotius’s religious oeuvre, emerges an account of socialisation independent of the predestination question, and establishes the infamous ‘etiamsi daremus’ statement as an obligation device that served his pursuit for religious and political accord.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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References

Further Reading

Mulsow, M. and Rohls, J. (eds.), Socinianism and Arminianism, Antitrinitarians, Calvinists and Cultural Exchange in Seventeenth-Century Europe (Leiden, 2005).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nellen, H.J.M. and Rabbie, E. (eds.), Hugo Grotius Theologian – Essays in Honour of G.H.M. Posthumus Meyjes (Leiden, 1994).Google Scholar
Stanglin, K.D., Arminius on the Assurance of Salvation; The Context, Roots, and Shape of the Leiden Debate, 1603–1609 (Leiden, 2007).Google Scholar
Van Gelderen, M., ‘Freedom fighters: The Act of Abjuration, Hugo Grotius and the Dutch debates on liberty’, in Brood, P. and Kubben, R. (eds.) The Act of Abjuration – Inspired and Inspirational (Nijmegen, 2011), 155–72. Google Scholar
Van Gelderen, M., ‘Arminian trouble: Calvinist debates on freedom’, in Skinner, Q. and van Gelderen, M. (eds.), Freedom and the Construction of Europe: Religious Freedom and Civil Liberty (Cambridge, 2013), vol. 1, 2137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wetzel, J., ‘Predestination, Pelagianism and foreknowledge’ in Stump, E. and Kretzmann, N. (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Augustine (Cambridge, 2001), 4958.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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