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American Philosophical Society
“Godded with God”: Hendrik Niclaes and His Family of Love: Transactions, APS (vol. 71, part 8)
Jean Dietz Moss
The Family of Love, the name by which the disciples of Hendrik Niclaes were known in England, must certainly pique the curiosity of almost anyone. The name together with the reputation for loose living & absurd theological pretensions that attached to the sect throughout its existence on the continent & England in the 16th & 17th centuries, makes it surprising that the group was never studied in its entirety. This study of the Family of Love begins with an account of the life & teachings of Niclaes, his organization of the House of Love, & its growth on the Continent. The first chapter treats also the causes of schism within the group & the differences expressed by the rival leaders. Successive chapters focus on the development of Familism in England, describing its earliest stirrings in Queen Mary’s day, the effect of Niclaes’s teachings as they appeared in the English eds. of his books, & the rising opposition of the Crown to the movement. The final chapters treat the gradual disappearance of the sect & reflect upon the ultimate influence of their views on the colony at Massachusetts Bay. Illus.
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