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Calvinists and LibertinesConfession and Community in Utrecht 1578-1620$
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Benjamin J. Kaplan

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202837

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202837.001.0001

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‘To Remain in Christian Freedom’

‘To Remain in Christian Freedom’

(p.68) 2 ‘To Remain in Christian Freedom’
Calvinists and Libertines

Benjamin J. Kaplan

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the very different piety and community of the Libertines. Libertinism was certainly no coherent belief system. It cannot even be reduced to any two or three strains. Rather, it seems to have been a broad cultural milieu, drawing its strength partly from the very variety of its cultural components and social constituencies. What all these components had in common was their position outside the emerging confessional categories of the day. As Calvinists accused, some Libertines were probably not deeply pious people. Many more, however, had a piety that was a-confessional and thus beyond the Calvinists' understanding or appreciation. What appeared to reformers as a lack of piety was often, in fact, a rich variety of pious forms for which none of the confessional churches had tolerance or room.

Keywords:   Dutch Libertinism, Libertines, piety, religious community, confessionalism, Dutch Calvinists

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