Theories of the Sublime in the Dutch Golden Age: Franciscus Junius, Joost van den Vondel and Petrus Wittewrongel

Stijn Bussels
2016 History of European Ideas  
This article explores how writers from the Dutch Golden Age thought about human contact with that which is elevated far above everyday life. The Dutch Republic offers an interesting context because of the strikingly early use there by seventeenth-century humanists of the Greek concept u ῞ψος, from (pseudo-)Longinus, to discuss how writers, artists and their audiences were able to surpass human limitations thanks to an intense imagination which transported them to supreme heights. Dutch poets
more » ... hts. Dutch poets also used the Latin sublimis to discuss how mankind constantly aims at that which is far above it, but, despite this, can never entirely be a part of it. Thirdly, protestant writers discuss the concept of the Fear of God by explaining that elevated contact with God should be accompanied by the contrasting emotions of attraction and fear. With reference to the humanist Franciscus Junius, poet Joost van den Vondel and preacher Petrus Wittewrongel, I will discuss how these artistic, literary and religious discourses concerning contact with the sublime are related to one another.
doi:10.1080/01916599.2016.1161532 fatcat:as7ggqdbsfer3ipvaxdhuqd3vy