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The traditional debate on the superiority of theology than to philosophy, that had characterized the culture of the middle ages and in part that Renaissance found new outlets in defining the precise limits of the two fields of investigation and all ’ within the ’ theological-religious flipped on the sermon on the tolerance. On the religious aspects and reflected needs tolerance, political and social issues. The Protestant Reformation and the Counter Reformation had made problematic coexistence among “reformed” and “Papists” and had seen inside factions often opposed to each other (Calvinists, Lutherans,..). The clash with theologians and ’ meeting with different cultures, very culturally rich but with different religions had brought the debate on religious tolerance and coexistence of cultures in a very turned on.
The nation that better presented the situation of the new cultural climate of the 17th century was the ’ Holland. The development of trade,economic growth (banks,..) and consolidation of mercantile bourgeoisie allowed this country and particularly in Amsterdam to become a centre of passage of many communities persecuted. The Republic of the United provinces, where dell ’ cultural heritage still ’ humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam (1469-1536) of pacifism and tolerance, accepted and defended all the exiles of every nation and religion, also offered him hospitality at political and religious minorities.
This country was born and lived the great Jewish philosopher Benedict Spinoza (1632-1677), author of the Theological-political treatise (1670), where claimed freedom of thought and civil liberties, theorizing the concept of democracy.
Another important figure active in the Netherlands was Hugo Grotius, Che getto le basi per il diritto dei popoli nella sua opera De jure belli ac pacis (1625).
The issue of religious tolerance was taken very seriously by this country that allowed many people, who later became great thinkers or important figures in a given social context of living in a more peaceful.