The Biblical 'Jewish Republic' and the Dutch 'New Israel' in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Thought

Miriam Bodian

Abstract: The discourse of political biblicism in the Netherlands has often been depicted as providing a unifying basis for an emerging Dutch national consciousness. In this article, an attempt will be made to demonstrate that this discourse did not serve a single purpose, but was shaped to further the particular political goals of the two major factions in Dutch political life. This article will also show how a minority group – the Portuguese Jews – could adapt this discourse to its own ends.

Biography: Miriam Bodian is a professor of Jewish history at the Graduate School for Jewish Studies of Touro College. She has an undergraduate degree in history and literature from Harvard University and a PhD in Jewish history from Hebrew University. She has held faculty positions at Yeshiva University, the University of Michigan, and Pennsylvania State University. Her first book, Hebrews of the Portuguese Nation (Indiana, 1997), received both a National Jewish Book Award and the first Koret Book Award in History. Her second book, Dying in the Law of Moses: Crypto-Jewish Martyrdom and the Iberian Inquisitions, is forthcoming.

Volume 1, Number 2 (Winter 2006) pp. 186–202