Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Ernestine van der Wall

Professor emeritus

Prof.dr. E.G.E. van der Wall
+31 71 527 2575

Curriculum vitae

Full curriculum vitae

Field of Interest

At the beginning of the 21st century, political and social debates about the Enlightenment and its impact on culture give rise to specific questions about the relationship between religion and Enlightenment. Since the beginning of the Enlightenment in the late 17th century this relationship has been a major topic of discussion, so there is every reason to look at the issue from a historical perspective.

What is the impact of the so-called Radical Enlightenment on the transformation of Christian religion and theology from 1700 onwards up till the twentieth century? What is the role of the Moderate Enlightenment in the religious domain? These questions are studied in relation to developments within Western Christendom, including 19th- and 20th-century currents such as religious modernism within Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. Issues concerning the relationship of science/scholarship and religion were high on the agenda in Europe and the United States. Bible criticism, inspired by modern historical and philological methods, provoked a series of polemical exchanges and had far-reaching consequences not only for theology as such but also for society at large.

By analysing the impact of the Enlightenment on religion one gets a highly interesting insight into the motives of liberal and enlightened believers and the religious and societal tensions occasioned by the upsurge of liberalizing and modernizing tendencies in the religious and theological domain.

The study of religion and Enlightenment lays bare the various mechanisms which play a role in the exchanges between traditionalist and liberal believers, modernists and anti-modernists, freethinkers and fundamentalists.

Selected Publications

  • (2007) Een veelzijdige verstandhouding. Religie en Verlichting in Nederland 1650-1850, co-edited with Leo Wessels, Nijmegen
  • (2007) Religion, Science, and Modernism (Uhlenbeck Lecture 25), NIAS, Wassenaar
  • (2006) ‘Protestants en rooms-katholiek modernisme: een tragische geschiedenis. Aanzetten tot comparatief onderzoek naar aanleiding van Fredrik Pijper, Het modernisme en andere stroomingen in de katholieke kerk (1921)’, in: Tom Mikkers en Ineke Smit (red.), Van Augustinus tot atheïsme.Kerkhistorische studiën2006, 63-88
  • (2005) ‘Lof der eerlijkheid. Anna de Savornin Lohman en de “vrouwenkwestie” (1898)’, in: F.G.M. Broeyer en D.Th. Kuiper (red.), Is ’t waar of niet? Ophefmakende publicaties uit de ‘lange’ negentiende eeuw. Jaarboek voor de geschiedenis van het Nederlands Protestantisme na 1800 vol. 13, Zoetermeer, 261-283
  • (2005) ‘Godsdienstkritiek bij Multatuli en Anna de Savornin Lohman’, Over Multatuli 55/27, 4-26
  • (2004) ‘Newtonianism and Religion in the Netherlands’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science; Special issue: Newton and Newtonianism (ed. S. Mandelbrote), 493-514
  • (2004) ‘Ways of Polemicizing: The Power of Tradition in Christian Polemics’, Religious Polemics in Contexts, T.L. Hettema & A. van der Kooij (eds.), Assen, 401-414
  • (2003) Is godsdienst schadelijk?De Verlichting en de grenzen van de godsdienstkritiek, Haarlem
  • (2003) ‘The Religious Context of the Early Dutch Enlightenment: Moral Religion and Society’, in Wiep van Bunge (ed.), The Early Dutch Enlightenment 1650-1750. Selected Papers of a Conference held at the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel 22-23 March 2001 (Brill’s Studies in Intellectual History 120), Leiden-Boston, 39-57
  • (2002) ‘De Verlichting: christelijk of anti-christelijk? Enkele twintigste-eeuwse visies’, in J. de Mooij en Ineke Smit (red.), Balans van een eeuw. Wendingen in de historiografie van het christendom 1901-2001, Heerenveen, 67-91
  • (2001) ‘Mystical Millenarianism in the Early Modern Dutch Republic’, in J.C. Laursen and R.H. Popkin (eds.), Millenarianism and Messianism in Early Modern European Culture: Continental Millenarians - Protestants, Catholics, Heretics (Millenarianism and Messianism in Early Modern European Culture vol. IV) (Archives Internationales d’Histoire des Idées 176). Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 37-47
  • (2001) ‘Religious Pluralism, Toleration, and the Enlightenment: the Dutch Novelists Elisabeth Wolff-Bekker and Agatha Deken’, in Henry Méchoulan, R.H.Popkin, Guiseppe Ricuperati, Luisa Simonutti (eds.), La formazione storica dell’alterità. Studi sulla storia della tolleranza nell’Europa moderna offerti a Antonio Rotondo, T. III, Firenze: Leo S. Olschki, 1069-1083
  • (2000) ‘Religie en Verlichting. Harmonie of conflict?’, De Acht­tiende Eeuw 32 (2000), 5-16
  • (2000) ‘Religiekritiek en apologetiek in de achttiende eeuw. De dynamiek van een debat’, De Acht­tiende 32 (2000), 17-36
  • (2000) Socrates in de hemel? Een achttiende-eeuwse prolemiek over deugd, verdraagzaamheid en de vaderlandse kerk, Hilversum
  • (2000) ‘Toleration and Enlightenment in the Dutch Republic’, Toleration in Enlightenment Europe, Ole Peter Grell and Roy Porter (eds.), Cambridge, 114-132
  • (1999) ‘Marmontel et la “querelle socratique” aux Pays-Bas’, in K. Meerhoff et A.Jourdan (eds.), Mémorable Marmontel 1799-1999. Etudes réunies (CRIN 35), Amster­dam-Atlanta, 83-96
  • (1999) Het oude en het nieuwe geloof. Discussies rond 1900, Leiden
  • (1998) ‘The Tractatus Theologico-Politicus and Dutch Calvinism, 1670-1700’, in Studia Spinozana 11 (1995 = published in 1998), 201-226
  • (1996) ‘“Antichrist Stormed”: The Glorious Revolution and the Dutch Prophetic Tradition’, in Dale Hoak and Mordechai Feingold (eds.), The World of William and Mary. Anglo-Dutch Perspectives on the Revolution of 1688-89, Stanford 1996, 152-164
  • (1996) ‘Cartesianism and Cocceianism: a natural alliance?’, in: Michelle Magdelaine and others (eds.), De l'Humanisme aux Lumières, Bayle et le protestantisme.Mélanges en l'hon­neur d'Elisabeth Labrousse, Paris-Oxford, 445-455
  • (1994) ‘Between Grotius and Cocceius: The “theologia prophetica” of Campegius Vitringa (1659-1722)’, in: Henk J.M. Nellen and Edwin Rabbie (eds.), Hugo Grotius Theolo­gi­an. Essays in Honour of G.H.M. Posthumus Meyjes (Studies in the History of Christian Thought 55), Leiden enz., 195-215. (1993) ‘Orthodoxy and Scepticism in the Early Dutch Enlightenment’, Scepticism and Irreligion in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, R.H. Popkin and A.J. Vanderjagt (eds.), Leiden, 121-141

Professor emeritus

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • LUCSoR



  • No relevant ancillary activities
This website uses cookies.  More information.