My research interests are the intellectual and social history of early modern Europe, focusing especially on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century religious dissenting minorities. Before moving to Belfast, I studied Philosophy (BA) and History of Philosophy (MA) at the University of Macerata (Italy), where I specialized in the intellectual history of early modern England and Dutch Republic. I completed my PhD in 2017 at the same university under the supervision of Prof. Filippo Mignini, with a dissertation on the life and thought of Adam Boreel. Boreel was one of the spokespersons of a Dutch dissenting minority called the Collegiant movement, which flourished during the seventeenth century and had relations with eminent intellectuals such as Baruch Spinoza, John Locke and Pierre Bayle. After the completion of my PhD I received two Junior Research Fellowships at the Amsterdam Centre for the History and Heritage of Protestantism (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) in 2017 and 2018, where I carried on my research on Boreel and his Collegiant circles and turned my dissertation into a book.
As a research fellow on War and Supernature, I am going to focus on the Socinian theologian Johann Crell and his posthumous work Vindiciae pro religionis libertate (1637). The Socinians were a religious dissenting minority settled in Poland that was attacked by both Jesuits and Lutherans because of their antitrinitarian views. As part of the project, I am going to examine the arguments for the use of force in religion and religious persecution developed by Jesuits and Lutherans against the Socinians, and to explore how Crell’s work can be regarded as a reply to these arguments. On the other hand, Crell developed one of the most progressive advocacies for religious freedom and toleration in seventeenth-century Europe and it was translated and reissued many times for this reason. Therefore, I will also examine the long European debate on toleration and see how Crell’s Vindiciae can be regarded as a fundamental milestone in its history.
My research interests are the intellectual and religious history of Europe, especially in the Dutch Republic, Britain, and France. Before moving to Belfast, I studied Classics and Slavic languages at the universities of Leiden and Cambridge and worked as a research assistant to Karl Enenkel (Münster) for his project on the transmission of classical Latin literature via Neo-Latin commentaries, The New Management of Knowledge in the Early Modern Period: The Transmission of Classical Latin Literature via Neo-Latin Commentaries, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). In 2012, I moved to Oxford to write my D.Phil. thesis under the supervision of Laurence Brockliss. This thesis, completed in 2016, is about debates in the Dutch Republic, Britain, and France about the direction classical learning ought to take following the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns at the turn of the Eighteenth Century.
As a research fellow on War and Supernature, I will write a monograph about the Dutch Reformed theologian Gisbert Voetius’s involvement in debates about the religious justification of warfare during the period 1648-1713. Voetius was a professor of theology at the University of Utrecht whose religious ideas initiated a revival of Reformed conservatism in the United Provinces during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. These ideas included emphasis on the literal interpretation of the Bible, a complete rejection of Cartesian theory, but also a marked hostility towards those who held other religious convictions. Taking Voetius—and especially his magnum opus, the Politica ecclesiastica (1663-1676)—as my starting point, I will look to what extent the concept of a religious war remained alive during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and to what degree the idea of an entirely secular war gained ground during this period.
I am also editing and translating a selection of extracts from early modern Reformed authors on the relationship between faith and warfare.
- “Scholars and the Public Sphere: The Transmission of Knowledge via Polemics in the Republic of Letters at the Turn of the Eighteenth Century,” in De Achttiende Eeuw 45.2 (2013), 142-163.
- “Horace and Ramist Dialectic: Pierre Gaultier Chabot’s (1516-1598?) Commentaries” in K.A.E. Enenkel (ed.) Transformations of the Classics via Early Modern Commentaries (Leiden – Boston: Brill, 2014), 15-46.
- “L’anglois a autant de civilité que le hollandois: Jean Le Clerc, Pieter Burman and the Strategic Use of Stereotypes in the Republic of Letters,” in De Zeventiende Eeuw 29.1 (2013), 64-80.
Personal webpage: https://qub.academia.edu/FlorisVerhaart
In May 2019, Dr Rester left the project team to take up a Associate Professorship of Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary.
My research interests center on the development of religious doctrine and practice in the early modern period of Europe from the medieval and patristic philosophical and exegetical traditions. Along these lines, I am also interested in the development of early modern universities and matters of institutional continuity and discontinuity in the transmission of religious doctrine and practice as well as in the formation of confessional identities in discrete social and cultural contexts. Prior to work on this project, I was involved with the Junius Institute for Post-Reformation Digital Research and the Post-Reformation Digital Library. In 2007 I began my research program as a doctoral student at Calvin Theological Seminary (Grand Rapids, MI USA) in historical theology under the supervision of Richard Muller. While at Calvin Theological Seminary I served as a teaching assistant for Lyle Bierma and Neal Plantinga and as a research assistant for Richard Muller. In 2010 while a doctoral candidate at Calvin Theological Seminary, I had the privilege of also being a research fellow at the Scaliger Institute at Leiden University. My doctoral dissertation examines the nature of institutional continuity and traces the theological and philosophical development and transmission of the theologia viatorum as it was deployed in the tenures of theology professors from Franciscus Junius to Bernhardinus De Moor at Leiden University. Part of the story of the doctrinal development of Junius’s framework is also the story of its reception, critique, and defense as evidenced by almost 180 years of archival material of course lectures, disputations, theological handbooks, and public orations at Leiden University.
As a research fellow on the War and Supernature project, my monograph will focus on the nature of religious war among the Franciscans in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as it was often expressed within the broader structure of a Just War theory as developed from the patristic and medieval teachings. The Franciscans of this period were actively engaged in debates with other religious orders within the Roman Catholic church as well as with Protestants. This monograph will endeavor to map the debated theological and philosophical issues, their relevance for and impact on early modern politics, and their transmission through Franciscan teachers at various early modern Roman Catholic universities and academies. Of particular interest are the various commentaries on the nature of war and its political implications by the Spaniard Alonso de Castro, O.F.M. (1495-1558), the Irishman John Punch, O.F.M. Obs. (1599-1672), and the Italian Bartolomeo Mastri, O.F.M. Conv. (1602-1673). Also there will be a separate translation of selected extracts from various early modern Franciscan authors on the nature of religious war as a species of just war and the extent to which shifting confessional allegiances justify rebellion, invasion, and coercion in early modern politics.
Selected translations and publications:
- William Ames’s Sciagraphia Catecheseos Christianae (1635), published as “A Sketch of the Christian’s Catechism”, volume 1 of Classic Reformed Theology Series, ed. Dr. R. Scott Clark, (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2009)
- Petrus Van Mastricht’s The Best Method of Preaching: the Use of the Theoretical-Practical Theology, trans. T. M. Rester (Reformation Heritage Books: Grand Rapids, 2013).
- Franciscus Junius, The Mosaic Polity, trans. T. M. Rester (Grand Rapids: Christian’s Library Press, 2015). Franciscus Junius, De Mosis Politiae Observatione (1592).
- “Dominus Dixit: principles of exegetical theology applied in two loci of Peter Martyr Vermigli’s 1 Corinthians commentary” in Reformation & Renaissance Review: Journal of the Society for Reformation Studies , Vol 15, No. 1 (2013).
- “Type, Anti-type, and the Sensus Literalis: Protestant Reformed Orthodox Approaches to Psalm 2” in Church and School in Early Modern Protestantism: Studies in Honor of Richard A. Muller on the Maturation of a Theological Tradition (Brill, 2013).
- “Roman Canon Law in Protestant Reformed Theologians as Both Touchstone and Foil” in Law and Religion: The Legal Teachings of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations (Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 2014).
I am an historian of early modern Ireland and early modern political thought. After undergraduate and graduate training at Trinity College Dublin and the University of Durham, I spent a year learning Latin at the Centre for Neo-Latin Studies, University College Cork, before beginning my Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences-funded doctoral research under the supervision of Professor Jane Ohlmeyer at Trinity College Dublin in 2005. I defended my thesis in 2008. Completing an IRCHSS-funded postdoctoral fellowship at University College Dublin in 2011, I taught there as an occasional lecturer while finishing my first monograph. I returned to the Centre for Neo-Latin Studies in 2012 as a postdoctoral researcher before taking up a three-year Irish Research Council Elevate Fellowship at the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, alongside a Postdoctoral Research Associateship at Trinity Hall. I resigned this fellowship in order to move to Queens in 2014. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2016. I have been awarded funded-research fellowships by the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC, the Scaliger Institute, Leiden, and the Huntington Library, California.
I am the principal investigator on War and Supernature. I am writing a history of early modern Scotist political thought.
- Renaissance Humanism and Ethnicity before Race: The Irish and the English in the Seventeenth Century (Manchester University Press, 2013).
- ‘John Punch, Scotist Holy War, and the Irish Catholic Revolutionary Tradition in the Seventeenth Century’, forthcoming, Journal of the History of Ideas, 77 (2016), pp. 401-421.
- ‘Select Document: Sir George Radcliffe’s “Original of Government” (1639) and Absolutist Political Theory in Stuart Ireland’, Irish Historical Studies 39 (2014), pp. 308-322
- ‘Calvinist Absolutism: Archbishop James Ussher and Royal Power’ in Journal of British Studies, 53 (2014), pp. 588-610.
- ‘Truth and calumny in Baroque Rome: Richard O’Ferrall and the Commentarius Rinuccinianus, 1648-1667’ in Irish Historical Studies, 38 (2012), pp. 211-229.
- ‘Aristotelian Ancient Constitution and Anti-Aristotelian Sovereignty Theory in Stuart Ireland’ in Historical Journal, 53 (2010), pp. 1-19.
- with Nienke Tjoelker, ‘Transcription and Translation of London Version of Richard O’Ferrall’s Report to Propaganda Fide (1658)’ in Archivium Hibernicum, 61 (2008), pp. 7-61.
My research interests are in the political, religious, and intellectual history of seventeenth-century Britain and continental Europe. The majority of my past and present work focuses on theories of political resistance within the Calvinist and Lutheran traditions and the employment of those theories in the seventeenth and eighteenth-century Atlantic world. In 2014, I graduated summa cum laude from Hillsdale College with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies and German. At Hillsdale, I wrote and defended an honours thesis on the relationship between political sermons of the American Revolution and Protestant resistance theory. Later that year, I moved to Belfast to write my Master’s thesis on the Parliamentary fast sermons of the second English civil war under the supervision of Professor Crawford Gribben. This thesis established links between preachers and Parliamentarians in the second English civil war to demonstrate how the fast day programme countered rather than reinforced political radicalisation from 1646. I graduated with distinction from Queen’s University in 2015 and received the John Beecher Award for the best overall MA performance.
As the PhD student on the War and Supernature project, I will write a thesis about the reception of continental Calvinist scholastics’ political and theological doctrines in early seventeenth-century Scotland and England. My research situates conversations from 1600 to 1638 in the six Scottish and English universities in the context of a wider transnational discourse of faith and warfare. My work examines how Calvinist scholars in continental Europe informed conversations amongst Scottish and English theologians about resistance to Charles I, including David Pareus, a German theologian who taught some of those Scots at the University of Heidelberg. This PhD thesis will contribute to the War and Supernature project by exploring the relationship between human reason and divine revelation among the elites of early modern Germany, Scotland, and England.