Mechanica Medicina Sacra: Biblical Vegetarianism in Philippe Hecquet’s Theological Medicine

2021 ◽  
Vol 26 (5-6) ◽  
pp. 539-560
Julia Reed

Abstract In the early eighteenth century, the French Jansenist physician Philippe Hecquet began publishing prolifically on the benefits of what he called “meatless medicine,” calling for a “Catholic cook” to guide France’s physical, moral, and spiritual health. This paper analyzes Hecquet’s defense of vegetarianism as an early modern example of a distinct kind of Biblical medicine – what Hecquet termed “theological medicine” – in the context of his understanding of bodily mechanism, natural history, and Biblical literalism, in his Traité des dispenses du carême (1709) and La medecine théologique, ou la medecine créée (1733). I argue that vegetarianism was the first principle of Hecquet’s Biblical medicine, which he considered both a natural and revealed truth to be grasped and applied by the pious physician.

2004 ◽  
Vol 31 (2) ◽  
pp. 318-329 ◽  
K. A. James

Over the winter and spring of 1713–1714, Dr Patrick Blair (1666–1728) acted as agent for James Petiver (c. 1664–1718) while in Dundee and Edinburgh, promoting the London apothecary's publications on natural history. Blair was successful in attracting a readership for Petiver's works, despite enduring the diffi culty of having to wait for Petiver to act on his promise to supply the publications. Publications - through presentation copies, dedications, or subscriptions - were used as compliments to attract individuals into the network of correspondence and acquaintance by which natural history in early modern Britain was conducted. These dedications also exhibited the readership to itself, acting as a social advertisement for natural history. Blair's endeavours in 1713–1714 offer insight into the role of audience in the practice of natural history in early-modern Britain.

Floris Verhaart

This chapter looks at examples of scholars who, in the early eighteenth century, worked on texts that were highly controversial from a moral perspective. The focus is on Pieter Burman’s edition of Petronius (1709) and Bentley’s work on Horace. Looking at this material from a perspective of textual criticism allowed Burman and Bentley to avoid delving too deeply into passages of a sexually loaded nature. Nevertheless, political and scholarly opponents of both men tried to blacken their reputation by connecting their research interests with their private lives. It is demonstrated that the association of textual critics with immorality was a commonplace in early modern Europe and that the tensions between in particular Burman and his opponents reveals a struggle to make classical philology a more independent field of enquiry versus other disciplines, such as theology.

Animals ◽  
2020 ◽  
Vol 10 (11) ◽  
pp. 2024
Helen Parish

The pages of early modern natural histories expose the plasticity of the natural world, and the variegated nature of the encounter between human and animal in this period. Descriptions of the flora and fauna reflect this kind of negotiated encounter between the world that is seen, that which is heard about, and that which is constructed from the language of the sacred text of scripture. The natural histories of Greenland that form the basis of this analysis exemplify the complexity of human–animal encounters in this period, and the intersections that existed between natural and unnatural, written authority and personal testimony, and culture, belief, and ethnography in natural histories. They invite a more nuanced understanding of the ways in which animals and people interact in the making of culture, and demonstrate the contribution made by such texts to the study of animal encounters, cultures, and concepts. This article explores the intersection between natural history and the work of Christian mission in the eighteenth century, and the connections between personal encounter, ethnography, history, and oral and written tradition. The analysis demonstrates that European natural histories continued to be anthropocentric in content and tone, the product of what was believed, as much as what was seen.

Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara

Chapter 1 examines the hagiography of local holy woman Anna Guerra de Jesús who migrated to Guatemala’s capital in the late seventeenth century. While the early modern Catholic ideal of feminine piety prized enclosure, obedience, and virginity, Anna was neither nun nor virgin, but rather a poor abandoned wife and mother. And although Church decrees clearly required actively religious laywomen to live in cloistered communities, Anna became an independent beata (laywoman who took informal vows) and Jesuit tertiary. This chapter explores Anna’s lived religious experience as a poor migrant and abandoned wife and mother, her engagement with female mysticism and devotional networks, and her alliances with powerful priests and religious orders. It also places Anna’s story within the context of late seventeenth and early eighteenth-century Santiago de Guatemala, particularly urban demographic shifts and social tensions, as well as movements for spiritual renewal and enthusiastic lay female piety.

Roni Cohen

Abstract This article examines an unknown collection of 16 letters written by the 14-year-old Moses Samuel ben Asher Anshel of Gendringen found in a small booklet for Purim that he copied in Amsterdam in 1713. In the letters, written in Hebrew and Yiddish and decorated with illustrated frames, Samuel (as he calls himself) writes to his parents about his studies and ambition to become a professional scribe. This article discusses Samuel’s letters as sources for the history of Jewish book culture in Early Modern Amsterdam, and for the history of professional Jewish scribes and copyists in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. It does so by offering an analysis of Samuel’s descriptions of his studies and his own self-perception, and of the letters in context of their presence in Samuel’s booklet.

2013 ◽  
Vol 48 (4) ◽  
pp. 1096-1133 ◽  

AbstractThis paper examines the public debate that happened among Delhi's Sikh community following the formation of the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh. The detail of this debate was expressed in the early eighteenth century Sikh text, Sri Gur Sobha. The Sri Gur Sobha explains how Delhi's Sikhs became divided into pro-Khalsa and anti-Khalsa factions, and how this conflict resulted in a campaign of persecution against Delhi's Khalsa Sikhs. In this paper I endeavour to analyse exactly why this dispute occurred and how it reflects wider political and socio-economic processes in early modern India and Sikh society. In addition, the paper will explore how the elite Khatri community consequently became an object of hatred in eighteenth century Khalsa Sikh literature.

2019 ◽  
pp. 12-37
Matthew C. Bingham

Chapter 1 introduces the individuals described in standard histories as “Particular Baptists.” Drawing upon the manuscript collection of the early eighteenth-century Baptist historian Benjamin Stinton, the chapter surveys their origins, formation, and early attempts at ecclesiastical organization. But, more importantly, the chapter examines the development of Baptist historiography and the ways in which the deliberate distortions of early Baptist historians continue to influence present scholarship. As the chapter contends, the basic interpretive framework within which early English Baptists have been understood is seriously flawed. Rather than growing organically out of the evidence, many of the fundamental conventions which govern scholarly discussion of early modern English Baptists have been bequeathed to modern historians by eighteenth-century Baptist churchmen. These early denominational historians wrote the story of their collective past with an eye firmly fixed upon the needs of their own collective present, and their decisions continue to negatively affect modern scholarship.

2015 ◽  
Vol 8 (2) ◽  
pp. 276-308 ◽  
Rudi Matthee

This essay analyzes the incontrovertible weakening of the Safavid state in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century by putting it in a larger context. It does so by comparing various manifestations of Iran’s “decline” at the time to conditions and developments in the adjacent Ottoman and Mughal states, where similar processes were playing out in the same period. In order to arrive at a measured and balanced view of similarities and differences between these three early modern Islamic empires, it singles out and focuses on four areas: geographical/environmental and economic conditions, political developments, the state of the army, and ideological characteristics.

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