Op 13 april a.s. houdt Prof. Dr. Steven Vanden Broecke van de Universiteit Gent de tweede Hurgronje-lezing onder de titel Spirituality and astronomy in the debate surrounding Philips Lansbergen’s Copernican “Bedenckinghen” (1629).
In 1629, a Calvinist minister from Middelburg called Philips Lansbergen (1561-1632) published the first-ever defense of Copernican cosmology for a general audience, in Dutch. A subsequent Latin translation of Lansbergen’s “Bedenckinghen” (1630) formed the basis of a number of Northern European debates concerning the reality, legitimacy and dangers of Copernicanism, in which Philips and his son Jacob Lansbergen (1590-1657) confronted a number of prominent Catholic intellectuals, including Jean-Baptiste Morin and Libertus Fromondus. Recent research has highlighted the extent to which spiritual concerns and convictions shaped Fromondus’s interpretation of the Copernican challenge. In this lecture, I wish to revisit the Lansbergen side of the debate, so as to develop a comparative perspective on the relation between spirituality and astronomy in the Low Countries of the 1630s.
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