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In the 17th century Amsterdam became a hotbed of religious exchange, as religious exiles from all over the continent flocked to the Netherlands and especially its capital city because of relatively lax laws on religious expression and publishing. One center of such exchange was the so-called House with the Heads on Keizersgracht, the home of Louis de Gheer and later his son Laurens. Both men acted as patrons to a variety of religious free thinkers and reformers. Figures such as Jan Comenius, Friedrich Breckling and Christian Hoburg gathered in the de Gheer home to discuss their ideas. Today, the House with the Heads is home to the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica and its associated museum, the Embassy of the Free Mind. In the Autumn of 2022, we will present an exhibition on the history of the House with the Heads. In conjunction with this exhibition, we are hosting a conference 11-12 November 2022 on the role of Amsterdam as a haven for religious refugees.
We invite proposals (by 22 April 2022) of up to 500 words for papers exploring different groups’ or individuals’ experiences (Quakers, Radical Pietists, Huguenots, etc.), the role of publishing in the city, patronage, conflicts between groups, urban versus rural strategies for survival, the role of war in the era and other related topics. The conference is planned to take place on-site, but can accommodate speakers from afar through digital connection. Speakers without institutional support may apply for a travel subsidy. A conference publication is planned.
Proposals should be sent to Dr. Lucinda Martin, Director of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica and Ritman Research Institute: firstname.lastname@example.org
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