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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Church History and Religious Culture
Volume (Issue) 100(2-3)
Page(s) 272 - 286
Title of proceedings Church History and Religious Culture
DOI 10.1163/18712428-10002008


Abstract In this article, I intervene in a long-standing debate over the alleged assumption and teaching of Spinozist ideas by the Dutch philosopher and scientist Burchard de Volder (1643–1709). I discuss De Volder’s position with respect to three main topics (necessitarianism, substance monism, and biblical interpretation), as well as the use his student Jacob Wittich made of De Volder’s ideas in Wittich’s highly controversial De natura Dei (1711). Eventually, I argue that De Volder was certainly a sympathizer of Spinoza, accepted necessitarianism, and considered Spinoza a reliable interpreter of Descartes in physics, even if he did not accept Spinoza’s monist metaphysics, nor his biblical hermeneutics.