Dangerous Enthusiasm: An Aspect of the Clash between Cartesianism and Orthodoxy at Utrecht University

Hendrik van den Belt

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    This paper argues that the clash between Reformed orthodoxy and Cartesianism in the early history of Utrecht University - known as the Utrecht Crisis - was so vehement because the issue of the ultimate source of knowledge and certainty was at stake. The accusation of 'enthusiasm' from the Reformed side indicates that one of the most important issues was the so-called ‘epistemological turn’ from objectivity to subjectivity. The rise of modern philosophy was marked by a new concern with epistemology and a shift in perspective from the known object to the knowing subject. The essential difference between Cartesianism and Reformed orthodoxy was epistemological: the ultimate foundation of certainty.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationContesting Religious Identities
    Subtitle of host publicationTransformations, Disseminations and Mediations
    EditorsBob Becking, Anne-Marie Korte, Lucien van Liere
    Place of PublicationLeiden
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9789004337459
    ISBN (Print)9789004336049
    Publication statusPublished - 1-Feb-2017

    Publication series

    NameNumen Book Series
    ISSN (Print)0169-8834


    • Utrecht University
    • Gisbertus Voetius (1589–1676)
    • Martinus Schoock (1614–1669)
    • Enthusiasm
    • Epistemological Turn

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