Video Recordings from the Colloquium on the Synopsis Purioris at the Junius Institute

Synopsis Purioris Colloquium organized by the Junius Institute

On Thursday, March 31  -Friday April 1, the Junius Institute is holding a special colloquium on the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae. For this event, they have brought together an interesting array of speakers on various topics related to the SPT:

  • Keith Stanglin, “How Much Purer Is the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae? A Comparison of Leiden Theology before and after Dordt”
  • Donald Sinnema, “The First Edition of William Ames’s Medulla (1623) as a Disputation Cycle: A Precursor to the Synopsis”
  • Raymond Blacketer, “The Sabbath in the Synopsis
  • Mark Beach, “No Longer Totally Depraved: Free Choice in the Regenerate according to the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae
  • Riemer Faber, “Presiders, Respondents, and the Question of the Authorship of the Disputations”
  • Martin Klauber, “Pierre du Moulin: Disputation and Debate over Universal Grace at the Academy of Sedan”
  • Michael Lynch, “Antonius Walaeus and De Baptismo: A Case Study in the Reception History of the Leiden Synopsis
  • Todd Rester, “From the Synopsis Purioris to Marckius and De Moor: A Trajectory of Doctrine, Pedagogy, and Institutional Continuity”

For more information and online registration, see here.

The Synopsis Purioris Theologiae: A Bibliography of Primary and Secondary Sources

By way of preparing two conference contributions for major academic conferences this year, I compiled the following bibliography of primary and secondary sources. As I proceed with my research I will revise this post. Moreover, I invite other scholars to contribute to the lists by sending me suggestions via the contact form.

Seventeenth Century Editions

Polyander, Johannes, Andreas Rivet, Antonius Walaeus, and Antonius Thysius. 1625. Synopsis Purioris Theologiae, Disputationibus Quinquaginta Duabus Comprehensa. Leiden: Elzevir.
———. 1632. Synopsis Purioris Theologiae, Disputationibus Quinquaginta Duabus Comprehensa. Editio secunda, priori emendatior. Leiden: Elzevir.
———. 1642. Synopsis Purioris Theologiae, Disputationibus Quinquaginta Duabus Comprehensa. Editio tertia, prioribus emendatior. Leiden: Elzevir.
———. 1652. Synopsis Purioris Theologiae, Disputationibus Quinquaginta Duabus Comprehensa. Editio quarta, prioribus emendatior. Leiden: Elzevir.
———. 1658a. Synopsis Purioris Theologiae, Disputationibus Quinquaginta Duabus Comprehensa. Editio quinta, prioribus emendatior. Amsterdam: Johannes Ravensteyn.
———. 1658b. Synopsis Purioris Theologiae, Disputationibus Quinquaginta Duabus Comprehensa. Editio quinta, prioribus emendatior. Leiden: Elzevir.

Modern Editions / Translations

Bavinck, Herman, ed. 1881. Synopsis purioris theologiae, disputationibus 52 duabus comprehensa. Leiden: Donner.
Dijk, Dirk van. 1964. Synopsis of overzicht van de zuiverste Theologie. 2 vols. Enschede: Boersma.
Velde, Dolf te, ed. 2014. Synopsis Purioris Theologiae Synopsis of a Purer Theology Latin Text and English Translation Volume 1 / Disputations 1-23. Translated by Riemer A. Faber. Studies in Medieval and Reformation Traditions. Leiden: Brill.

Secondary Literature

Belt, Henk van den. 2012. “The Vocatio in the Leiden Disputations (1597-1631): The Influence of the Arminian Controversy on the Concept of the Divine Call to Salvation.” Church History & Religious Culture 92 (4): 539–59.
———. 2015a. “Developments in Structuring of Reformed Theology: The Synopsis Purioris Theologiae (1625) as Example.” In Reformation und Rationalität, 289–312. Refo500 Academic Studies 17. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
———. 2015b. Puur en ongezoet: gereformeerde orthodoxie in de Synopsis Purioris Theologiae (1625). Baarn: Willem de Zwijgerstichting.
———. 2015c. “Spiritual and Bodily Freedom.” Journal of Reformed Theology 9 (2): 148–65.
Broeyer, F. G. M. 2005. “Theological Education at the Dutch Universities in the Seventeenth Century: Four Professors on Their Ideal of the Curriculum.” Dutch Review of Church History / Nederlands Archief Voor Kerkgeschiedenis 85 (1): 115–32.
De Lind van Wijngaarden, Jan Daniël. 1891. Antonius Walaeus. Leiden: G. Los.
Eekhof, A. 1921. De theologische faculteit te Leiden in de 17de eeuw. Utrecht: G.J.A. Ruys.
Faber, Riemer. 2012. “The Synopsis Purioris Theologiae (1625): Aspects of Composition, Content, and Context.” Church History & Religious Culture 92 (4): 499–501.
Faber, Riemer A. 2012. “Scholastic Continuities in the Reproduction of Classical Sources in the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae.” Church History & Religious Culture 92 (4): 561–79.
Honders, H.J. 1930. Andreas Rivetus Als Invloedrijk Gereformeerd Theoloog in Holland’s Bloeitijd. ’s-Gravenhage: Martinus Nijhoff.
Itterzon, Gerrit Pieter van. 1931. Het Gereformeerd Leerboek Der 17de Eeuw: “Synopsis Purioris Theologiae.” ’s-Gravenhage: Martinus Nijhoff.
Lamping, A. J. 1980. Johannes Polyander: een dienaar van Kerk en Universiteit. Leiden: Brill.
Sepp, Christiaan. 1873. Het godgeleerd onderwijs in Nederland: gedurende de 16e en 17e eeuw. 2 vols. Leiden: De Breuk en Smits.
Sinnema, Donald, and Henk van den Belt. 2012. “The Synopsis Purioris Theologiae (1625) as a Disputation Cycle.” Church History & Religious Culture 92 (4): 505–37.
Tukker, C. A. 1974. “Vier Leidse Hoogleraren in de Gouden Eeuw: De Synopsis Purioris Theologiae Als Theologisch Document (I).” Theologia Reformata 17: 236–50.
———. 1975. “Theologie En Scholastiek: De Synopsis Purioris Theologiae Als Theologisch Document II.” Theologia Reformata 18: 34–49.
Velde, Dolf te. 2012. “Eloquent Silence: The Doctrine of God in the Synopsis of Purer Theology.” Church History & Religious Culture 92 (4): 581–608.
———. 2015. “‘Eén Middelaar van God en mensen’ De eenheid van persoon en werk van Christus in de Synopsis purioris theologiae (1625).” In Weergaloze kennis: Opstellen over Jezus Christus, Openbaring en Schrift, Katholiciteit en Kerk aangeboden aan prof. dr. Barend Kamphuis, edited by Ad de Bruijne, Hans Burger, and Dolf te Velde, 79–88. Zoetermeer: Boekencentrum.
Walt, B. J. van der. 1984. “The Synopsis Purioris Theologiae – Is It Really so Pure? Philosophical Impurities in the Post-Dortian Theology.” In Our Reformational Tradition: A Rich Heritage and Lasting Vocation, 378–423. Potchefstroom: Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education.
———. 2008. “Imago et similitudo Dei : op soek na die betekenis van die mens as beeld en gelykenis van God vanuit ’n Christelikfilosofiese hoek.” Koers – Bulletin for Christian Scholarship 73 (2): 207–46.
———. 2011a. “Die ‘suiwer’ gereformeerde teologie van 1625 sonder ’n ‘suiwer’ filosofiese grondslag: is dit moontlik? ’n Christelik-wysgerige ondersoek.” Tydskrif vir Christelike Wetenskap 47 (2): 1–33.
———. 2011b. “Flagging Philosophical Minefields at the Synod of Dort (1618-1619) – Reformed Scholasticism Reconsidered.” Koers – Bulletin for Christian Scholarship 76 (3): 505–38.
———. 2011c. “ ’n Onsuiwer mensbeskouing, kenteorie en wetenskapsleer in die Synopsis Purioris Theologiae (1625): ’n Christelik-filosofiese verkenning.” Tydskrif vir Christelike Wetenskap 47 (3-4): 49–86.
Wingerden, J. A. van. 2011. “Arminius en de Synopsis Purioris Theologiae: tucht als twistpunt?” BA Thesis, Utrecht: Universiteit Utrecht.

Sarah Hutton: Towards a ‘Conversation Model’ in the History of Ideas

History of European IdeasIn a 2014 essay entitled Intellectual History of Philosophy, Sarah Hutton (University of York) addresses what she considers to be a significant problem in the Anglophone tradition of the history of Philosophy, namely a rather sharp separation between the history of Philosophy proper and the history of ideas. According to this tradition, the former analyzes philosophical ideas expressed by people in the past with reference to present day philosophical problems.  The history of ideas on the other hand – so the tradition goes – is mainly concerned with  more peripheral matters, like the social-political context of thinkers in the past.

Hutton rejects this bifurcation arguing that (traditional) history of Philosophy its not worthy of the term “history” as it does not follow a truly historical approach.  In line with Quentin Skinner and the Cambridge School she bewails the “historical absurdities” that have been spread by scholars who failed to situate philosophers and their ideas within their broader historical context. Some describe the history of Philosophy as a “continuing conceptual dialogue between the living and the dead.” This approach, however, is problematic because the starting point of this dialogue is always the present. It is contemporary philosophers who get to decide not only on the topic(s) of the conversation, but also on the conversation partners. Histories of philosophy in this tradition inevitably end up being biased renderings of the past.

In the final section of her paper, Hutton proposes her own approach which she labels a “conversation model” of the history of Philosophy and summarizes as follows:

[T]he history of philosophy might fruitfully be treated as an ongoing conversation—not a oneway conversation between present and past, but a series of conversations in a variety of directions, all located in the past. The conversation which I have in mind is not one between the living and dead, but a historicised ‘conversation’ among the dead. Crucially, to pursue the history of philosophy as an inter-philosophical dialogue is not to track a oneway conversation between modern philosophy and the past. But it historicises that dialogue, eschewing as far as possible the perspective of the present by returning it to its original context.

This approach does justice to the particular nature of philosophical discourse that has always exhibited a strong indebtedness to ideas of the past. Secondly, it avoids the pitfalls of the so-called “great thinker model” with its exclusive focus on some towering figures in the history of ideas. By exploring the web of conversations, also lesser known figures will be given their proper due. Thirdly, the “conversation model” encourages reflection on how ideas have been received and adapted over time as the conversation among philosophers was carried on.

Hutton, Sarah. “Intellectual History and the History of Philosophy.” History of European Ideas 40, no. 7 (2014): 925–937.

Wim van Vlastuin: A Theology of Contentment

On September 11, Dr. Wim van Vlastuin gave his inaugural address as the Professor of Theology and Spirituality of Reformed Protestantism at VU University in Amsterdam. His lecture focused on the concept of participation in the English Puritan theologian Jeremiah Burroughs (1599-1646). More specifically, he analyzed Burroughs’ famous series of sermons published posthumously in 16451 under the title The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment (Scan on GoogleBooks). He does so, with the conviction that the spirituality that is reflected in this work has the potential of addressing an urgent need in modern-day fragmented societies.  Moreover, he argues that a focus on spirituality more generally is needed in order to overcome a one-sidedness in modern Christianity. Since the late middle ages, Vlastuin holds, there has been a strong emphasis on the mind (doctrine) and the hands (good deeds), while the attention for the heart (spirituality) has dwindled.

Following these introductory remarks, Vlastuin analyzed Burroughs concept of the believers relationship with God as it is set down in the Jewel. He notes Burroughs’ indebtedness to ancient greek thinkers, but is quick to add that he transformed their concepts in order bring them more in line with Christian thought. Thus, Burroughs made use of the greek notion of αὐτάρκεια, but applied it only to God. Divine self-sufficiency means that God enjoys perfect bliss in himself. Man, on the other hand, is not self-sufficient and can find true contentment only by means of partaking in God’s self-sufficiency. In contrast to an ontological understanding of participation in the Platonist sense, Burroughs followed Augustine in giving participation a decidedly Christological spin: Christians participate in God’s happiness through union with Christ. Yet, Vlastuin goes on, Burroughs theology and spirituality falls short of the christological concentration found in the magisterial reformers (Luther, Calvin) and in some of his contemporaries (Goodwin, Rutherford).

Having laid out Burroughs’ spirituality, Vlastuin moves on to a comparison with a more recent endeavor to emphasize the affective aspect of the Christian faith, namely the ‘Christian Hedonism’ of the American pastor and theologian John Piper (*1946). According to Vlastuin, Piper’s combination of Christianity and Hedonism does not concur with the classic Christian tradition. It amounts to an anthropocentric spirituality that cannot do justice to the painful reality of suffering. Burroughs’ “theocentric-anthroposensitive spirituality”, on the other hand, can accommodate suffering as well as self-denial while avoiding to fall prey to otherworldliness.

Towards the end of his address, Vlastuin reflected on the value of the concept of participation for theology today, particularly in its christologically modified form.

  • He argued that it has the potential to contribute to a better integration of salvation history and the ordo salutis. 
  • Secondly, it helps to integrate salvation history and the affective dimension of the the human heart. The love for the person of Christ does not disappear behind the knowledge of his “function” as the redeemer.
  • Thirdly, it provides the possibility of distinguishing creation and redemption without separating the two.
  • Fourthly, it provides a theological framework within which it is possible to talk about a participation of the believer in God’s nature without sacrificing the categorical distinction between creator and creature.
  • Finally, It does justice to the importance of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit

Vlastuin concludes his lecture with some observations about Burroughs’ spirituality. He highlights the fact that this spirituality does justice to the reality of suffering, it is firmly rooted in the awareness of the transcendence of God, and it provides an alternative to the consumerism of our age.

Book Review: Spinoza & Dutch Cartesianism: Philosophy and Theology

9780198732501_450Douglas, Alexander X. Spinoza & Dutch Cartesianism: Philosophy and Theology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. VIII + 184 pages.

Recent decades have seen a considerable resurgence of interest in Spinoza’s philosophy and its role in what is nowadays called the “Early Dutch Enlightenment”. In their analysis of Spinoza’s thought a number of scholars (Wiep van Bunge, Jonathan Israel, Theo Verbeek and others) have given fresh attention to the philosopher’s intellectual environment in the seventeenth-century Dutch republic. The present book by Alexander Douglas (lecturer in Philosophy at Heythrop College, London) follows in the footsteps of this historical contextual approach by asserting that Spinoza’s philosophy should be read primarily as a rebuttal of the “separation thesis” advocated by his Dutch Cartesian contemporaries.  According to this thesis, philosophy and theology must be kept separate as they “belong to completely independent domains of knowledge.” (4) It was this approach, Douglas argues, that Spinoza sought to refute in all of his writings starting with his Principles of Cartesian Philosophy and ending with his magnum opus, the Ethics.

In the first chapter on the so-called “Utrecht Crisis”, Douglas sketches the debate that (to his mind) is crucial when it comes to understanding the development of the Cartesian “separation thesis.” Because of their adherence to Descartes’s mechanistic theory of nature, Dutch Cartesians like Henricus Regius (1598-1679) had to defend themselves against the sharp criticism voiced by traditional Scholastics like Gisbertus Voetius (1589-1676). This criticism was aimed mainly at the Cartesian denial of substantial forms. By rejecting this crucial concept, Voetius and his followers feared, Cartesian natural philosophy could no longer account for the revelation of God’s goodness and generosity in nature.

It was in reaction to these charges of impiety (so Douglas’s argument in chapter two goes), that the Cartesians developed their “separation thesis” arguing that philosophy is concerned with a completely different category of knowledge (theoretical knowledge of the intrinsic nature of things) than the other academic disciplines like theology, law, and medicine (practical knowledge based on ‘common experience’). Here, Douglas pays close attention to the work of the prominent Dutch Cartesian Johannes de Raey (1622-1702). De Raey’s position according to Douglas “emerged as the most consistent and thoroughgoing version of the Dutch Cartesian separation idea.” (51) Yet, Douglas goes on to explain, this separation idea did not sufficiently address the question of the proper place of metaphysics, which traditionally was an area of overlap between theology and philosophy.

In his third chapter, Douglas sets out to show how Dutch Cartesians dealt with this difficulty and how Spinoza posed a significant challenge to them. The dominant approach taken by De Raey was to ignore metaphysics altogether. Spinoza, in sharp contrast dared to develop a metaphysical theory drawing on Descartes work, thereby undermining the Dutch Cartesian attempt of keeping theology and philosophy separate. Moreover, Spinoza’s ‘Cartesian metaphysics’ also moved into a strongly heterodox direction. Taking up Descartes’s notion of God as causa sui Spinoza developed a thoroughly necessitarian worldview, which he defended by using a version of the Dutch Cartesian ‘accommodation theory’ in scriptural interpretation.

In fact, as Douglas argues in his fourth chapter, the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus was written in order “to show that Spinoza’s philosophy, which included a great deal of speculative theology, was at no risk of contradicting Scripture and faith.” (91) This Spinoza did by pointing out (against Wittich and others) that Scripture did not contain any mysteries of faith, but rather could be understood by every common man endowed with sane reason. Moreover, he maintained that the Bible is not concerned with knowledge at all, not even with the knowledge of the alleged ‘tenets of faith’ necessary for salvation, but rather aims at practical piety only.

Spinoza’s most elaborate rejection of the “separation thesis”, Douglas argues in chapter five, is to be found in his Ethics and more particularly in his ‘Idea of God’ (Deus sive natura) as well as in his rejection of the distinction between will and intellect. Both of these issues evoked criticism among Dutch Cartesians. Douglas focuses on the critique found in Wittich’s Anti-Spinoza but finds it wanting. Wittich misunderstood Spinoza’s method and failed to provide a convincing argument defending the Dutch Cartesian distinction between intellect and will.

In the epilogue to this book, Douglas treats the empiricism that emerged towards the end of the seventeenth century. Contrary to Spinoza’s philosophy and Dutch Cartesianism it did not rely on innate ideas and could therefore be seen as a more fundamental and hence more effective antidote to Spinozism. Yet, as Douglas goes on to argue, Newton and his followers admitted that new empirical evidence could overturn present theories. Thus, at least implicitly, they allowed for the possibility that Spinozist ideas could ultimately be vindicated by new discoveries.


This book is a very interesting study on the relationship between philosophy and theology in Dutch Cartesianism and in Spinoza. Douglas makes a good case that this issue lay at the very heart of Spinoza’s philosophical endeavor. Moreover, this book can be commended for is clear structure and its lucid style. Anyone interested in this topic will certainly profit from reading this concise work.

Yet, there are also questions that could be asked and some points of criticism. First of all, one wonders, if De Raey’s conception of the relationship between theology and philosophy is representative of the Dutch Cartesian movement. To be sure, Douglas does mention other Dutch Cartesians (Wittich, Van Velthuysen et al.), but he seems to rely mainly on De Raey’s work. While there can be no doubt about the Dutch Cartesian insistence on separating philosophy and theology, there seems to be a certain variety when it comes to the way in which this separation was argued for. According to Douglas, Dutch Cartesian natural theology is ruled out by the “separation idea”. But how is it then possible, that beginning already in the 1650s prominent Cartesians like Clauberg, Wittich, and Röell published books that can only be classified as natural theologies? Moreover, De Raey’s “separation idea” is clearly at variance with that of the prominent ‘Cartesio-Cocceian’ like Johannes Braun (1628-1708), who did not confine the Cartesian truth-criterion of clear and distinct perception to philosophical matters, but also applied it to theological knowledge.

Another point of criticism concerns the terminology being used by Douglas. At a number of occasions, he applies the label “traditionalists” to those theologians belonging to the anti-Cartesian fraction among Dutch academics. This is problematic, because “traditionalist” is a pejorative term that implies a value judgment on the part of the author. Moreover, as Douglas (following Han van Ruler) readily admits, Voetius did not reject Cartesianism simply because he hated new ideas, but rather because “he had a philosophical system, which he believed, not without justification, to be more rationally defensible than that of the Cartesians.” (23)

Finally, a note about Douglas’ remarks concerning the nature of Cocceianism is in order. On page 112, he writes: “Cocceian theology is based around the idea of a kind of legal relationship existing between God and humans.” Here, he probably hints at the prominence of the covenant concept in Cocceian theology. In fact, some scholars (like J.B. Torrance) have argued that Cocceius’ notion of the covenant is strongly indebted to seventeenth century legal thought. However, more recent scholarship (M. Beach, R. A. Muller et al.) suggests that this assertion is rather questionable. Moreover, it can easily be argued that western Christianity in the Augustinian tradition has always made use of legal concepts and terminology in order to describe the divine-human relationship. It is not a unique characteristic of Cocceianism.

Junius Institute introduces “Digital Companions”

Last week, the Junius Institute announced a thrilling new project called “Digital Companions”. Jordan Ballor explains:

The idea for this project is to produce open-access digital editions of translations, enhanced with specialized and integrated hyperlinks, paired with the original language text.

As a matter of fact, the first “digital companion” is already available free of charge from the institute’s website. Unsurprisingly, it is a work by the institute’s namesake Franciscus Junius, namely his treatise De vera theologia (1613, engl. On True Theology). This work has recently been translated by David C. Noe (associate professor of classics at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI). In 2014, Noe’s translation was published by RHB together with a foreword from the pen of Richard Muller and an introduction by Willem van Asselt. Thanks to the Junius institute, this translation can now be read side by side with the Latin original. Moreover, the digital companion also includes embedded hyperlinks to other primary sources freely available online.

For more information click here.


Making Sense of Scholastic Distinctions

Anyone interested in Scholastic theology (medieval, Roman-Catholic, or Protestant) sooner or later has to familiarize himself with the peculiar method and style of Scholastic discourse. For modern readers, the frequent use of theological and philosophical distinctions can be puzzling. Yet, as Willem van Asselt once wrote “making clear distinctions (distinguere) was the heart of the scholastic tradition.” Thus, they are of paramount importance if one wants to come to grips with Scholasticism.

Fortunately, in recent years resources have become available that make studying these distinctions possible even for those who are not well-versed in (Scholastic) Latin. The most important resource for Reformed Scholasticism is the bilingual edition of the Distictiones et regulae theologicae ac philosophicae (Theological and Philosophical Distinctions and Rules) written by Johannes Maccovius (1588-1644). This book was published in 2009 and includes not only a critical edition of the Latin text along with an English translation, but also a very valuable introduction. Its back cover reads:

Omslag_Scholastic_DiscourseThis book presents a new critical Latin edition and an English translation of Johannes Maccovius’ (1588–1644) seminal and fascinating work on theological and philosophical distinctions. Considered one of the sharpest theological minds of his time, Maccovius played an important role in ongoing debates on seventeenth-century theology, particularly in terms of his contribution to logic and metaphysics.
During the first half of the seventeenth century, his book on distinctions was a very popular class textbook used at Reformed universities and academies from England to Transylvania. It explained the main topics of early seventeenth-century Reformed theology and its basic conceptual framework and tools.
For the modern reader, it provides an answer to the intriguing question: What did seventeenth-century scholastic discourse in theology and philosophy mean in its own context? Therefore, the Distinctiones are still immensely helpful for today’s students of Post-Reformation theology who try to understand Protestant scholastic discourse in light of its own concerns and vocabulary. Moreover, the English translation of this work will allow greater access to a seminally important corpus of writings that has by now become obscure to most students.
This book is the outcome of several years of scholarship on the works of Maccovius by individuals in Europe and the United States of America.

I highly recommend this book to any serious student of (Reformed) Scholasticism. It is available from the Webshop of the Theologische Universiteit Apeldoorn for only 10 Euro.


Whiggism and Reformed Scholasticism

While preparing for an upcoming class on Protestant Scholasticism, I re-read an article by Richard A. Muller in an excellent collection of  essays on the “Return of Religion” in intellectual history edited by Alister Chapman, John Coffey, and Brad S. Gregory. In this piece, Muller argues that much of the older research dealing with early modern Protestant thought suffers from a certain “Whiggism” (Sir Herbert Butterfield). He explains:

The Whig party of the eighteenth century is the ancestor of modern British liberalism – with reference to historical method and to an underlying, often unanalyzed, assumption in historiography, the term indicates not only a sense of progress in history but a consistent reading of the past with primary reference to the present. There has been, in other words, a fundamental tendency in theological and philosophical historiography to identify what is important in a past era on the basis of the seeming importance, influence, or relevance of a person, idea, or event to the present-day self-understanding of the writer or the society, rather than asking the documents of the past era what persons, ideas, or events were then understood as important or influential – or, indeed, rather than asking the documents themselves what concepts, language, and contexts are requisite to the understanding of the documents!

Although past decades have seen a considerable shift in historical scholarship on early modern thought, it appears to me that “Whiggism” is still very much of a problem, particularly among theologians with a strong confessional interest.

Marcel Sarot reviews new edition of Synopsis Purioris Theologiae (1625)

Marcel Sarot

Marcel Sarot, professor of fundamental theology at Tilburg School of Catholic Theology, reviewed the first volume of the new bilingual edition of the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae (1625) for the Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift. This review is freely available online here (PDF). Its conclusion reads:

Deze uitgave ontsluit een belangrijk 17de-eeuws werk, waarvoor niet alleen ideeën- en dogmenhistorische, maar zeker ook theologische interesse zal zijn. Op onderdelen verrast het boek, bijvoorbeeld in zijn genuanceerde behandeling van het filioque. Dit geldt ook voor de toeschrijving van affecten aan God. Waar een groot deel van de traditie (van Anselmus tot Thomas, van Calvijn tot Klaas Schilder) zegt dat wanneer de Schrift een emotie aan God toeschrijft het niet om een affect maar om een effect gaat (God is niet echt boos maar straft wel), zegt de Synopsis dat het niet om een passie maar wel om een affect gaat. Het is niet moeilijk om te voorspellen dat deze fraaie uitgave nog veel bestudeerd en geciteerd zal worden.

Next Posts