The Dutch Libertines / Les libertins néerlandais



Convenors: Mogens Lærke (MFO), Nicole Gengoux (IHRIM, ENS de Lyon), Pierre Girard (Lyon III)

Language: English and French


This two-day workshop is dedicated to the 17th-century Dutch libertine tradition broadly construed. It takes a transversal look on political, theological, moral, and philosophical libertinism, and addresses themes of Machiavellism and reason of state, enthusiasm and Anabaptism, pornography and sexual liberation, atheism and spinozism, etc. It is planned in view of the 2022 volume of the book series Libertinage et Philosophie à l’époque classsique, dir. N. Gengoux, P. Girard, M. Lærke (Paris : Classiques Garnier,


Please contact for details about how to attend and to sign up for the event.


The workshop is organised in collaboration between the Maison Française d’Oxford, the Labex Comod (Université de Lyon), and the Oxford Centre for Intellectual History (CIH).



Thursday 28 October


13:00-13:15        Welcome

13:15-14:00        Jo Spaans (Utrecht University), “Twists and Turns. The Life and Works of Berend Hakvoord.”

14:00-14:45        Maxime Rovere (Rome), “Lights and Words: Pieter Balling’s Account of Truth and Reason in the Collegiant Practices.”

14h45-15h00      Pause

15h00-15h45      Eric Jorink (Huygens Institute, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences / Leiden University), “Cartesian sex. Dutch Anatomists on Female and Male bodies, Procreation and Lust.”

15h45-16h30      Karen E. Hollewand (Utrecht University), “Sex and Scandal: Dutch scholars in polemics and prison.”

16:30-16:45      Pause  

16h45-17h30      Barbara de Negroni (Saint Quen), “Histoire, critique, tolérance: les enjeux de l’Histoire des juifs de Basnage de Beauval.”


Friday 29 October


13:00-13:15        Welcome

13:15-14:00        Mogens Lærke (Maison Française d’Oxford), “Homo Politicus: Spinoza, Oldenburger, and the Politics of Envy and Friendship.”

14:00-14:45        Sonja Lavaert (Vrije Universiteit Brussel VUB), “Political Considerations of a Freethinker: Franciscus van den Enden.”

14:45-15:00        Pause

15:00-15:45        Jonathan Israel (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), “Spinoza’s Libertine ‘French Circle’.”

15:45-16:30        Wiep van Bunge (Erasmus University, Rotterdam), “Seventeenth-Century Dutch Libertines: Classicists, Spinozists, and Travelogues.”