Jan Amos KOMENSKÝ - life, work, legacy

Samuel Maresius

(1599 – 1673)


Theologian and preacher, professor of theology at Groningen.


Having studied in Paris and Geneva, Maresius was active as a firebrand preacher of the Reformed Calvinist Church. He undertook further studies in the Netherlands and in England, and earned a doctorate in divinity. From 1642 onwards he lectured at the university in Groningen. He knew and respected Comenius’ work, and the two met in person in Amsterdam in 1656. Maresius later helped Comenius to gain support for the refugees from Poland after the First Northern War with Sweden. He was also of assistance in rebuilding Comenius’ library. Nevertheless, three years later a fundamental disagreement arose between the two men, the immediate cause of which was chiliasm. Maresius, as a strict and orthodox Calvinist, ruled out any concessions in the explication of those theological questions on which the Catholic Church and the Reformed Church disagreed, and also ruled out the reconciliation proposed by Comenius in the Panorthosia. Later there were personal barbs between them. For Comenius, the original theological discussion evolved to become a public defence of his life’s central work – the idea of pansophy. Part of the text of Comenius’ reply was translated and published by Josef Hendrich under the title Vlastní životopis (Continuatio admonitionis) in 1924.




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