Projects

Currently, I am working on two projects. My major project concerns PhD research on Salomon van Til (1643–1713), a protestant theologian in the time of the early enlightenment. Besides that, I am contributing to the new, bilingual edition of the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae (1625), an important early modern theology textbook.


 

PhD Project (ETF Leuven)

Towards an Enlightened Orthodoxy: The Cartesio-Cocceian Synthesis in the Theology of Salomon van Til (1643-1713)

This research project concerns a period of significant theological and philosophical developments in the Dutch Republic. Due to the influence of thinkers like R. Descartes, T. Hobbes, and B. de Spinoza, the intellectual climate began to change considerably in the course of the seventeenth century ultimately giving way to the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century.

These developments set the context for the work of Salomon van Til (1643–1713), a Protestant minister and theology professor at the prestigious University of Leiden. As a pupil of the controversial Leiden theologian J. Cocceius, Van Til adhered to an innovative method of biblical interpretation. At the same time, he took a sympathetic stance towards major aspects of Descartes’ philosophical ideas. This two-fold allegiance has earned Van Til the reputation of being one of the foremost proponents of the so-called ‘Cartesio-Cocceian school’. According to leading experts in the field, this ‘school’ played a key role in the formation of the ‘Dutch Enlightenment’.

In light of this assessment, it is an astonishing fact that Van Til’s work has never been treated in any detail and that the ‘Cartesio-Cocceian school’ for a considerable part is still unknown territory. By analyzing Van Til’s theological and philosophical outlook, this project seeks to make a significant contribution towards a better understanding of the nature and role of this ‘school’ within the context of the Early Enlightenment in the Netherlands.


Synopsis Purioris Theologiae (NOSTER Research Group)

As a member of the international research group ‘Classic Reformed Theology’, I am involved in the process of translating, annotating, and editing of the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae, an important theology textbook published by four professors (Johannes Polyander, Andreas Rivetus, Antonius Walaeus, and Anthonius Thysius) of Leiden University in 1625.

The first (of three) volumes was publicly presented in September 2014. For more information on this volume see the website of the publisher (Brill).

Salomon van Til
Johannes Cocceius
René Descartes
Synopsis Purioris Theologiae