Foreign Wisdom: Ethnological Knowledge in the Work of Franciscus Ridderus


  • Bettina Noak


Cultural Turns, Translational Turn, Knowledge Transfer, Cultural Exchanges


This article examines the reception of ethnologic knowledge in the work of Franciscus Ridderus resulting from Dutch expansion. Against the backdrop of the concepts of ‘domestication’ and ‘foreignization’, it highlights the difficult position of the theologian at a time of cultural transformation during which he endeavours, on the one hand, to make non-European knowledge accessible to his contemporaries whilst, on the other hand, warning against the dangers of using this knowledge carelessly. The technique of ‘foreignization’ of Christianity and ‘domestication’ of other religions, in particular Islam, will be examined in this context.

Author Biography

Bettina Noak

Dr Bettina Noak is a Netherlandist and an historian. Her PhD thesis dealt with political perceptions in seventeenth-century Dutch drama (2001). Her published work mainly focuses on the history of early modern literature and on Dutch-German knowledge transfer since that period. At present she is working on a DFG-funded research project on the topic ‘Medical Case Histories in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Literature’.




How to Cite

Noak, B. (2012). Foreign Wisdom: Ethnological Knowledge in the Work of Franciscus Ridderus. Journal of Dutch Literature, 3(1). Retrieved from