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Title: Biblical criticism and confessional division from Jean Morin to Richard Simon, c. 1620-1685
Author: Nicholas-Twining, Timothy
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 986X
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis aims to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the history of biblical criticism in the seventeenth century. Its central objective is to put forward a new interpretation of the work of the Oratorian scholar Richard Simon. It does so by placing Simon's work, above all his Histoire critique du Vieux Testament (1678), in the context of the great increase in critical study of the text of the Bible that occurred after 1620. The problems and questions that confronted European scholars at this time were profound, as new manuscript discoveries combined with existing learned and polemical debates in such a way that scholars were forced reconsider their opinions on the history and text of the Old Testament. Rather than study these works solely in the discrete tradition of the history of scholarship, however, this thesis shows why they have to be considered in the context of the print culture that made their production possible, the confessional divisions that shaped and deepened the significance of their philological arguments, and the intellectual cooperation, exchange, and disagreement that determined how contemporaries understood them. The results of this research contribute to existing scholarship in several significant ways, of which four stand out for special emphasis. First, through extensive archival research it markedly revises our current understanding of the work of Jean Morin, Louis Cappel, Johannes Buxtorf II, and Richard Simon. Second, it shows that the history of biblical criticism must consider the work of Catholic scholars in the same level of detail as Protestant scholars. Third, it breaks the link between innovative philological and historical work and radical theological or political thought. Fourth, it calls into doubt the current consensus that seventeenth-century scholarly life is best understood through the concept of the international and inter-confessional 'Republic of Letters'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Biblical Criticism ; Intellectual History ; Richard Simon ; Jean Morin ; Louis Cappel ; Johannes Buxtorf ; Johannes Buxtorf the Younger ; Brian Walton ; Isaac Vossius ; James Ussher ; Septuagint ; Masoretic Text ; Hebrew Bible ; Vulgate ; Republic of Letters ; Confessionalism ; Early Modern History ; Enlightenment ; Early Enlightenment ; Erudition ; History of Scholarship