Religion in the Age of Enlightenment


Book Review, Protestant, Enlightenment


P aul L. Maier, in his introduction to a recent translation of The Church History of Eusebius, has some refreshing advice: regarding Eusebius's long lists of bishops' names and dates, "the ~eader is urged to scan or to skip this material, since it can all be found in Appendix 2" (20). I can enthusiastically recommend the book under review, a new edition of what is generally known as the first work of Protestant apologetics, with no expectation that many people on the planet will read every word. To become familiar with this book, however, is to go far toward an understanding of the various arguments about religious beliefs both on the continent and in Britain from the beginning to the end of what historians are now calling the long eighteenth century. I have expanded Grotius, the author of the book, chronologically and geographically-Hugo de Groot was born in Delft, Holland, in 1583 and died in a shipwreck in 1645-but Professor Antognazza's stellar introduction suggests this is not a stretch too far.