Open main menu

Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Bekker, Balthazar

BEKKER, Balthazar, a celebrated Dutch divine, was born in Friesland in 1634. He was the author of several works in philosophy and theology, which from their freedom of thought and critical rationalism excited considerable enmity against him. His most celebrated production was the work entitled Die Betooverde Wereld, or The World Bewitched, in which he examined critically the phenomena generally ascribed to spiritual agency, and exposed with much force the many absurdities regarding the power of Satan that had become articles of Christian faith. The odium theologicum was fiercely roused by this book, and Bekker was deposed from the office of the ministry. He resided at Amsterdam till his death in 1698.