Petrus Mastricht, van

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Mastricht, van
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Petrus van Mastricht studied in Utrecht, Leiden and Duisburg. He was a theology professor (1667) at the university of Frankfurt an der Oder, and professor of theology and Hebrew in Duisburg (1667). Van Mastricht succeeded Voetius in 1676, presumably as a counterweight against the liberal Frans Burman. His most important work is Theologia theoretico-practica (1655). See: NNBW, vol. 10, cols 591–2; BLGNP, vol. 5, pp. 360–2; Thijssen-Schoute, 1989, p. 450; TDDP, vol. 2, pp. 687–8; Neele, 2009.

Van Mastricht in the first section (pp. 1–148) of his vitriolic assault on Cartesianism in Novitatum cartesianarum gangrenae and his old enemy Christoph Wittich and supporters, rebuts the overt call of Spinoza's Philosophia S. Scripturae interpres to separate and make philosophy free from theological judgement and let the Bible be its own interpreter. He also opposes to Spinoza—for Voetian Van Mastricht the chief enemy—and the Theological-Political Treatise (Israel, 2002, pp. 215–6). The theologian qualifies him as ‘Atheus quidem; sed Cartesianus’ (an atheist certainly, but a Cartesian). Van Mastricht also rigidly contends that, by building on Descartes, Spinoza’s treatise opens up the gates to atheism and should therefore be considered a serious threat to religion and to society.