Questioning Authorities: Scepticism and Anti-Christian Arguments in the Colloquium Heptaplomeres

Doucet, Delphine (2013) Questioning Authorities: Scepticism and Anti-Christian Arguments in the Colloquium Heptaplomeres. History of European Ideas, 39 (6). pp. 755-775. ISSN 0191-6599

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Abstract

Bodin's Colloquium Heptaplomeres is one of the most important clandestine manuscripts of the early modern period. A fascinating dialogue between seven different religions it tackles some of the main debates of the early modern era. It has long in the historiography been recognised as a key text promoting toleration. However, a close reading of the text and a focus on the way in which it used and debated written authorities (from ancient literature to the Scriptures) directs us toward another crucial issue of the period. Indeed, it challenges and questions received authorities by making use of the dialogue form to question each in turn. Each character relies on the likes of Aristotle, Augustine or the Bible to support their views only to see them challenged by the others through the use of counter interpretations or other authorities. This leads to seeing the text as fundamentally embedded in the sceptical arguments developing at the time, as noted by early modern readers who voiced their concerns about the way in which this text led to doubt, rather than about the potential toleration it promoted

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Culture > History and Politics
Divisions: Culture and Regional Studies Beacon
Faculty of Education and Society > Department of Culture
Depositing User: Delphine Doucet
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2013 16:06
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2017 16:39
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/3741

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