Dirck Volkertszoon Coornhert

In many of his publications, Dirck Volkertszoon Coornhert (1522–1590) devoted himself to promoting an extremely broad conception of freedom of belief.

Closely involved in the Dutch Revolt, Coornhert was a prominent supporter of William of Orange. He put great emphasis on the personal nature of belief: belief is ‘free’, is adopted, interpreted and practised freely, and therefore, strictly speaking, it cannot be compelled. It thus holds that the government must not interfere with the church, save to guarantee tolerance. In turn, churches must not hinder the government, they must maintain peaceful relations, and limit themselves to carrying out their own task: preaching and practising religious charity.

This database contains the complete Coornhert text from the Wercken of 1630. It also includes various texts by Coornhert that are not in the Wercken. The database can be searched using keywords.

3 July 2014