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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: September 2020

3 - Dialogue

from Part I - The Grumbling Hive


The third chapter studies the religious, scientific and artistic dialogue between the Dutch Republic and the various civilisations with which it engaged through its overseas empire. After discussing some sporadic instances of religious dialogue through the relatively feeble Dutch missionary effort, it is shown how the Japanese mirrored European orientalism by using their own version of Dutch science to emancipate themselves from Chinese and other more traditional worldviews. Another rare but fascinating case of cross-cultural dialogue is provided by Dutch painters who were able to connect the Dutch Republic to the imperial courts of Iran and India in catering for a common appreciation of naturalism.

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