Doing some translation for my friend, I met the following sentence.
For Foppe Ten Hoor, it presented a foil against Anglo-American — and not coincidentally, Arminian, subbiblical — ways.
It is from a book titled "Reformed Theology in America: A History of Its Modern Development." For its context, see this capture, which I capture from Google Books.
I couldn't figure out what "presented a foil" means, so checked online dictionary.
Merriam Webster has three entries for foil as a noun;
foil noun (1)
1: very thin sheet metal aluminum foil 2: a thin piece of material (such as metal) put under an inferior or paste stone to add color or brilliance 3: someone or something that serves as a contrast to another acted as a foil for a comedian 4 a: an indentation between cusps in Gothic tracery b: one of several arcs that enclose a complex figure 5: HYDROFOIL sense 1
foil noun (2) 1: a light fencing sword having a usually circular guard and a flexible blade > of rectangular section tapering to a blunted point — compare ÉPÉE, SABER 2: the art or sport of fencing with the foil —often used in plural
foil noun (3) 1 archaic : DEFEAT 2 archaic : the track or trail of an animal
I guess the definition in 1-3 seems fit to this case. Do I understand its meaning right? Or could you propose a rephrase for 'present a foil against'?