Eerst de waarheid, dan de vrede (2012)

Jacob Revius (1586-1658) was one of the most prominent Reformed opinion leaders in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic, who lived through a period of revolutionary changes in science, religion and politics. He was not only a poet (he became well-known as the author of the famous poem ‘He bore our griefs’), but also a theologian who set about to reform the world by writing many historical, philosophical and theological books – mostly in Latin. Therefore the story of his life is connected to the great debates of his time.  This biography (also a PhD thesis) concentrates on the life, poetry and world view of Revius, combining for the first time the theological and literary aspects of his personality. Disclosing and analysing various hitherto unknown texts, it situates Revius’ work within the theological, philosophical, political, scientific and literary discourses in which he participated.

Enny de Bruijn, Eerst de waarheid, dan de vrede (Truth before peace). Jacob Revius 1586-1658. Boekencentrum, Zoetermeer, 2012. order here 

Reviews (selection)

Daily newspapers and weekly magazines

‘This is the first biography to present the ‘complete Revius’.
Tjerk de Reus, Jacob Revius, een man uit één stuk. Friesch Dagblad, 8 mei 2012.

‘This dissertation is striking because it’s scientific, popular and relevant at the same time. That is why [the publication of] this book is a happening.’
Herman Selderhuis, Calvijn uit Deventer. Nederlands Dagblad, 11 mei 2012, Gulliver 7.

‘Such involvement is needed to see everything, understand everything and restore the unity in a past life.’
Bart Jan Spruyt, ‘Hartstochtelijke dominee’. Elsevier 68-19, 12 mei 2012, 67.

‘De Bruijn manages to convey how a protestant intellectual tried to survive in a quickly changing world.’
Gerrit-Jan Kleinjan, Standvastig in een veranderende wereld. Trouw, 12 mei 2012, Letter & Geest 36.

 ‘God’s word is inscrutable, but this biography of Revius is a miracle of clarity and stylistic skill.’
Hans Renders [rubriek biografie], Vrij Nederland 73-23, 9 juni 2012, 63

‘In those ‘interviews’ you get the sudden feeling that Revius is like a living person to the author. Call it love.’
Aleid Truijens, Monument voor refo Revius. De Volkskrant, 7 juli 2012, Boeken 7.

‘In her exhaustive dissertation on the 17th century poet and theologian Jacob Revius, Enny de Bruijn shows that a biography can be very literary.’
Herman Amelink, Een empathische dichter-dominee. NRC Handelsblad, 27 juli 2012, Boeken 11.

‘Revius could have been worse off with his third biographer.’
S.D. Post, Revius integraal belicht. Reformatorisch Dagblad, 17 aug. 2012, PK 9.


Scholarly journals and professional magazines

‘De Bruijn has written an excellent and long overdue biography of a major figure in seventeenth-century Dutch history. It deserves a large audience, both inside and outside The Netherlands.’
Martine J. van Ittersum, [Review]. BGMN – Low Countries Historical Review 128-2 (2013).

‘Enny de Bruijn wrote an intriguing biography that paints a clear picture of the cultural changes in the seventeenth century.’
Klaas van der Zwaag, ‘Revius’ passie voor waarheid botste met Descartes’ moderne wereldbeeld’. Sophie, 2-3 (juni 2012), 50-51.

‘I almost wished that Jacob Revius, W.A.P. Smit and Leen Strengholt could return to our world for a few days, to have their expert fun with this biography.’
Hans Werkman, ‘Hét boek over Revius’. Liter, christelijk literair tijdschrift 15 (nr. 67, sept. 2012), 58-60.

‘Yet, while reading many an interesting account, I felt by and by a little doubt growing, because I sometimes noticed the author’s  lack of critical and analytical distance towards the protagonist.’
Paul H.A.M. Abels,  [review]. Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse Kerkgeschiedenis 15-3 (sept 2012), 97-99.

‘It becomes clear very quickly that De Bruijn handled her empathic attitude very sensibly. This biography is no apology, and surely no hagiography either, but a nuanced and convincing portrait.’
Jürgen Pieters, Veelzijdige eenduidigheid. Het leven van Jacob Revius 1586-1658. Ons Erfdeel, Vlaams-Nederlands cultureel tijdschrift 55-4 (nov. 2012), 137-139.

‘She elevates the history of one individual as more than incidental, by putting it against the background of the most important antitheses in the Dutch Republic, as she calls them.’
Els Stronks, [review]. Nederlandse Letterkunde 17 (2012) / Recensies, 14-15