Mirjam van Veen is one of the Netherlands’ leading scholars of the Dutch Reformation, with books and articles on Calvin and Calvinism, spiritualism, Coornhert and Castellio to her credit. Beginning with her published dissertation of 2001 entitled Verschooninghe van de roomsche afgoderye (Whitewashing of Rome’s idolatry) on Calvin’s polemics against the spiritualists, and especially Coornhert, van Veen has explored the broad and long term influence of spiritualists and their attitudes, as well as the vociferous attacks of their orthodox opponents. Her current research (undertaken together with Jesse Spohnholz from Washington State University) focuses on “External Threats to Dutch Tolerance? Religious Fugitives from the Rhineland (1550-1618).” The research question of the Rhineland project is to investigate under what conditions refugees became radicalized, what what effects their religious and political engagement had in the development of the young Republic. She will contribute to the “Amsterdamnified!” project through her ongoing work on the history of religious attitudes, tolerance and polemics, and by helping to trace the networks among spiritualists and their audiences.
Congratulations to Mirjam and Jesse! Their Rhineland project has been funded by the Dutch NWO to the tune of 750,000 euros!
Hans de Waardt is the leading scholar of witchcraft and its prosecution in Holland. De Waardt has also published a major study of the history of psychiatry as a discipline in the Netherlands and is currently pursuing research on the networks, correspondence and writings of key spiritualists. These include the famous Johann Wier (Weyer), author of the anti-witch prosecution treatise De praestigiis daemonum (The trickery of demons) of 1563 which argued that women accused of, or who voluntarily confessed to witchcraft, were suffering from a mental disturbance arising from a medical diagnosis of melancholia and should therefore be treated by a physician, not a legal court. De Waardt has recently uncovered spiritualistic connections for Wier, both in his personal network and in his writings. De Waardt’s most recent publication on the itinerant spiritualistic humanist Justus Velsius reveals that even the most idiosyncratic individual could have a widespread hearing and impact, even if much of this was at the time deemed a negative one. De Waardt will contribute to this program through his continuing archival work in uncovering spiritualistic networks and correspondence, and in discerning spiritualistic attitudes in published works.
David Wootton is an internationally renowned scholar who has delivered the Raleigh Lecture at the British Academy, the Carlyle Lectures at the University of Oxford, and the Benedict Lectures at Boston University. Wootton works on the intellectual and cultural history of the English speaking countries, Italy, and France, 1500-1800. He is a specialist of the Scientific Revolution, with several books (including a study of Galileo published by Yale UP) and many articles, along with a forthcoming book The Invention of Science: The Scientific Revolution from 1500 to 1750 with Allen Lane and Harper Collins on the subject. He neatly incorporates religion and religious dissent into his interpretation of changes in natural philosophy and broader attitudes, including path-breaking interpretations of Reginald Scot and John Donne as secret spiritualists. He will assist especially in identifying important sources to be included from the English context and in suggesting possible connections there among religious dissenters, freethinkers and natural philosophers.
Francesco Quatrini is an independent researcher from Recanati, Italy. He completed his PhD at the University of Macerata in March 2017. His dissertation is about Adam Boreel, one of the leaders of the “Amsterdam Collegium” in the middle of the seventeenth century. The dissertation is entitled “Adam Boreel (1602-1665): His Life and Thought.” Besides writing an updated biography, Quatrini has taken into account Boreel’s thought about free-speech and toleration, the rationality of Christian religion and the mystical union between men and God. At the moment, he is working on a further study of Boreel and the circle of his acquaintances.
Matt Milner is a digital historian specializing in the history of late medieval and early modern England. He also does freelance web design, and sings. Matt is the creator of NanoHistory (http://www.nanohistory.org/), as well as the author of The Senses in the English Reformation (2011), and co-editor with Torrance Kirby of Mediating Religious Cultures in Early Modern Europe (2013). For more about Matt’s work in published scholarship and digital projects, see his webpage (http://www.matthewmilner.name/).
The Amsterdamnified Team is partnering with Matt to test NanoHistory as a research tool.