20 June 2008

"Religion, Tolerance, and Science in Early Modern Europe"



Wijnand W. Mijnhardt was promoted to professor in Comparative History of Science during a ceremonial occasion last Thursday. During his oration, Mijnhardt spoke about the intellectual attempt by Jean Fr├ęderic Bernard and Bernard Picart to unite all world religions into one system of tolerance, which was to be based on a scientific foundation (picture shows frontispiece of "Tafereel van de Voornaamste Godsdiensten der Waereldt" by Picart (1727), the main religions of the world).

Mijnhardt argued that the history of science should not only focus on the discovery of new knowledge by astronomical observations or laboratory experiments (which it largely had up until now), but also by intellectual developments in libraries, at sea, and in society.

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