Article ID: CBB029014718

Libertas Philosophandi and Natural Law in Early Eighteenth-Century Denmark-Norway (2020)

unapi

This article examines the controversy surrounding Andreas Hojer, the future professor of natural law, and his youthful work on the non-prohibition of incestuous marriages by divine law that took place in 1719–1720 in Copenhagen. The article discusses manuscript sources from the theological faculty and central government to show how the controversy concerned not just Hojer's allegedly dangerous arguments but also embodied a heated debate about the liberty to discuss such matters in print. The controversy moreover reveals the significant presence of followers of Christian Thomasius in influential positions in Denmark in the decades around 1700. These Thomasians combined natural law with a strong criticism of the authority of orthodox theologians and, arguably the earliest and most radical, arguments for a wide-ranging liberty of thought, libertas philosophandi, in early modern Denmark. This was in turn met by proponents of a more conservative natural law supporting the theological authorities. The article concludes by discussing how Hojer and the controversy surrounding him illustrate the wider significance of Thomasian natural law for the intellectual culture, for freedom of thought, and for religious and legal reform in early eighteenth-century Denmark.

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Authors & Contributors
Brenna, Brita
Jacobsen, Anja Skaar
Kruse, Poul R.
Kapel, Finn O.
Christensen, Dan Ch.
Aspaas, Per Pippin
Journals
History of European Ideas
Science in Context
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Pharmacy in History
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Science, Technology and Human Values
Publishers
Danish Polar Center
Concepts
Natural history
Science and religion
Scientific expeditions
Natural law theory
Naturalists
Observation
People
Hauch, Adam Wilhelm
Fabricius, Otto
Hell, Maximilian
Forsskål, Peter
Gunnerus, Johan Ernst
Oersted, Hans Christian
Time Periods
18th century
19th century
17th century
20th century
Early modern
Places
Denmark
Norway
England
Greenland
Arabian peninsula
Germany
Institutions
Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters (1760-)
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