Enlightened Wisdom, in the Form of the Goddess Minerva, takes the Faithful of all Religions under her Protection (1791)
As the Enlightenment gained traction in Germany during the second half of the eighteenth century, calls for understanding and mutual tolerance between the religious creeds grew louder. The image shown here – “Enlightened Wisdom, in the Form of the Goddess Minerva, Takes the Faithful of all Religions under her Protection” – is from the Goettingen Pocket Calendar [Goettinger Taschen-Kalender] for 1792. The calendar was published by the influential editor Johann Christian Dietrich (1722-1800), who was also an official bookseller for the Christian multi-confessional Georg-August-University of Göttingen. Among the figures in the foreground are representatives of various faiths, including (from left to right) a Muslim, a Jew with a Torah scroll, and a Catholic monk. Dietrich managed to enlist renowned artists for his illustrations. This etching, for example, was the work of Daniel Chodowiecki (1726-1801), 1791.