A fair indication of the quantitative and qualitative changes in the intellectual relations between the Dutch Re- public and Germany is provided by the number of religious books translated from Dutch into German during the eighteenth century.
A recent bibliography mentions eight religious books of Dutch origin translated into German in or after , as opposed to books between and In particular, two kinds of religious literature ap- pealed to German readers. The first kind was pietist in nature. The second kind of religious literature concerns Cocceianism, a brand of Reformed theology based on the work of the Bremer-Dutch theologian Johannes Cocceius Cocceians generally attempted to devise a historical rather than traditional scholastic theological system, and partly because of their emphasis on bible studies they exerted a strong influence on both Reformed and Lutheran divinity in Germany.
Bertelsmann , Vitringa Sr. The book was published in with a foreword by no one less than Johann Lorenz Mosheim. Translations on the Dutch Market After about there was, then, a sharply declining market for Dutch religious books in Ger- many, but a rapidly growing market for German religious books in the Netherlands. Firstly, a probably considerable number of educated readers could understand written German, and many read Latin.
This meant that it was not in all cases necessary to translate German books into Dutch. For instance, I have been un- able to find any translation of a work by Christian Thomasius, but it seems likely that at least some of his writings were read in either German or Latin. Secondly, until well into the nineteenth century the Dutch tended to emphasize much more strongly than the Germans the need for a conciliatory form of literary publicity.
For a review periodical to risk a religious dispute meant that potential readers could be lost, and on the relatively small Dutch book market this could imply a fatal blow to its existence. The inability of the Nederlandsche Bibliotheek to continue for long as an expressly orthodox journal illustrates this.
It was wiser for editors to include re- views of books that were either reputable best-sellers or kept to the religious middle. A periodi- cal had to be sold in order to survive, and this implied that literally all potential readers had to be seduced to a subscription, irrespective of their literary or religious leanings. In a typical commentary on controversial religious developments the conclusions would be summed up like this: [Anyone who has followed recent developments in Germany knows] that mistakes have been made on both sides.
An all too strong attachment to the old on the one hand, and an all too strong longing for novelties on the other, have embittered the Parties, and made them diverge from each other more than 18 perhaps would have been the case if they had treated each other with more composure.
If German books of a critical nature were published, they were generally reviewed if, indeed, they were reviewed at all in such a manner that only the very orthodox or the very heterodox 16 The change is illustrated by the large number of Germans whose treatises were selected for translation in a short- lived theological journal, De schatkamer der geleerden, Amsterdam Jacobus Loveringh , 2 vols. The emphasis was on uncontroversial articles on bible studies by, among others, T. Lilienthal, J. Walch, C.
Walch and H. The outcome of this policy — an apparent mediocrity — was, of course, ridiculed by German journalists. Similarly, very few radical books were published in the Dutch Republic. This was probably the result of several factors: the sometimes strict censure policy of the civil authorities, the need for a publisher to maintain his good repute, and the fact that books could be read in the original language.
Thus a publisher at Utrecht had intended to translate the in- famous Fragmenten by Hermann Samuel Reimarus , published anonymously by Lessing after In the end, the Fragmenten were never published. It was not a state church, but generally functioned as one, being the only church officially supported and financed by the political authorities. Hence for the political elite membership of the Reformed church was mandatory. While the former played a minor role in intellec- tual life, the contribution of the latter group, comprising Remonstrants, Mennonites and Luther- ans, was substantial.
Because the political structure was exceedingly complex, and because the civil authorities were intensely aware that the subtle balances of power in the Republic were bound to be endangered through religious strife, the Reformed church managed to retain a com- paratively strong hold on public life until the s. To put it another way, there were no figures of unquestionable power who could lend open support to, or actively stimulate, anti- clerical critics: there was, that is, no Frederick the Great in the Dutch Republic. All this does not imply that the confessional clergy was not subject to criticism.
Traditionally Remonstrants and politiques21 had taken the lead in opposing the established Calvinist church, but in the eight- eenth century criticism was growing, or at least becoming more evident, in all sections of soci- ety. Meersch, Amsterdam Petrus den Hengst, Wed. Given the parameters of Dutch literary publicity, the amount and the variation of books translated from the German is quite astonishing.
The main German writers, in terms of the num- ber of translated book titles explicitly concerned with religion, are shown in the first set of fig- ures in Table 1. This first set is not, however, conclusive, since it is difficult to classify books in any definitive way. Many authors who wrote on other than solely religious topics could be re- garded as religious writers.
Mosheim 21 1 J. Lavater 25 1 J. Mosheim 59 2 J. Schubert 20 2 C. Gellert 16 2 J. Michaelis 45 3 J. Lavater 18 3 J. Mosheim 22 3 J. Schubert 28 4 J. Michaelis 17 4 J. Schubert 20 4 J. Michaelis 18 5 J. Cramer 23 6 K. Bahrdt 9 6 A. Kotzebue 14 J. Lavater 23 J. Cramer 9 7 J. Ewald 13 6 G. Zollikofer 22 7 J.
Jacobi 7 C. Salzmann 13 7 T.
Lilienthal 19 C. Sturm 7 8 J. Cramer 11 8 J. Stapfer 15 J. Niemeyer 13 8 G. Less 6 C. Sturm 13 , one of the best-selling German authors, does not figure in the first set because only five of his writings can be classified as explicitly religious in nature on the basis of book titles alone. But as the second set of figures in Table 1. Of course, the ranking of a writer is not necessarily indicative of his reputation among the reading public.
Some authors were better known than others. Hence the third set of figures in Table 1. These figures are based on the number of volumes rather than book titles reviewed in the three main review periodicals mentioned above.
Some authors, who might have been expected on account of their significance in Germany it- 21 Cf. Oberman, Leiden etc. Brill , For example, the arch-pietist of German Lutheranism, Philip Jakob Spener , awakened only limited interest with the Dutch. The reason for this is probably that German pietism developed much later than Dutch pietism and therefore had little to offer to the Dutch reading public.
Pioneering Wolffian theologians were not prominent either; a major divine from Halle like Siegmund Jakob Baumgarten remained untrans- lated. As we shall see, second and third generation Wolffian divines such as Stapfer, Schubert and Jerusalem enjoyed much greater popularity. The more radical theologians are conspicuously absent — a case in point are the Fragmenten. But many German divines active during the second half of the eighteenth century were very much in vogue in the Dutch Republic. These divines will be examined more closely in the following, using Table 1.
Pietist publications after about consisted mainly of reissues of seventeenth-century native Dutch writings. To be sure, in orthodox quarters the opposition to these new trends was 23 Cf. This article is limited in scope, however, in that it exclusively treats orthodox pietism within the Reformed church. It should be pointed out that Dutch pietist literature also included works by radical German pietists, such as Fatum fatuum ; D. Noordhoek, Lavater und Holland, in: Neophilologus 10 , ; M. While corruptions of traditional doctrine were rejected, the orthodox clergy, both the Lutheran and the Reformed, certainly valued new developments in philology and criti- cism.
At the same time, however, they were bent on defending their respective confessional traditions in a period of increasing polarization. Conflicts between rival factions respectively defending and criticizing confessional orthodoxy ultimately led to a schism in the Lutheran church at Amsterdam in The anti-confessional faction included a pupil of Semler, August Sterk , who was responsible for translations of Heumann, Michaelis and Bahrdt see below.
The orthodox faction included Johan M. Boon , who supervised the first Dutch translation of the Institutiones theologiae dogmaticae by Johann Franz Bud- deus in The demand for translated German books was hardly the result of internecine Lutheran quar- rels alone. Dutch Lutherans, who in the Netherlands formed only a small minority, were almost wholly dependent on German writers in order to keep in touch with their religious roots.
Indubi- tably the most important author who provided them with a sense of religious continuity was Johann Ernst Schubert , professor of theology at Greifswald, and in all respects a major best-selling writer. Klenke, the director of a Dutch and German school in Amsterdam, about whom unfortunately little else is known. Schubert was very well-received among the Reformed also, and had to vie in this respect with another popular traditionalist, the Swiss Calvinist Jo- hann Friedrich Stapfer He, too, was an orthodox Wolffian, of whom seven writ- ings were translated, including the multi-volume Institutiones theologicae polemicae universae ; D.
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The cases of both Schubert and Stapfer testify to the growing interest in Wolffian philosophy among Dutch theologians, especially in the s and s. Pastoral and moral writings also found a ready market.
He was considered eminently reliable in doctrinal terms, a man of deep personal piety and excellent 26 Georg Friedrich Seiler should als be mentioned 5 translations. On Wolffianism in the Netherlands, see Michiel R. Wielema, Ketters en Verlichters. De invloed van het spinozisme en wolffianisme op de Verlichting in gereformeerd Nederland, unpublished Ph. Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam Gellert was probably the most uncontroversial religious writer to be exported from Germany to the Netherlands.
One writer of pastoral books stands out: Christoph Christian Sturm , with seven books in all. Another important category of German writers that attained unparalleled popularity were apologists who claimed to face the threat of freethinking radicalism imported from England and France. A good indication of who, exactly, were regarded as competent opponents of indiffer- entism, scepticism, deism, atheism or naturalism is provided by a middle-of-the-road Dutch minister, Joannes F. Martinet , whose own physico-theological best-seller was, incidentally, translated into German as the Katechismus der Natur The odd one out in this list seems to be the Hamburger pas- tor Johann Melchior Goeze , the able Lutheran adversary of, among many others, Lessing and Bahrdt.
Like Schubert and Stapfer, Goeze was an orthodox Wolffian; he was par- ticularly valued by the orthodox Dutch clergy, as Martinet well knew. Cordes, originally from Jeverland, translated some 40 books from German into Dutch between and Curiously, he seems to have become interested in less explicitly confessional writings as his career as a Lutheran minister progressed.
He was the translator of J. Rambach and C. Sturm in the s, J. Hermes, J. Campe and C. Salzmann in the s, and A. Knigge and Ewald in the s. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :.
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