Athanasius in Reformed Protestantism: Some Aspects of Reception History (1527–1607)

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This article considers how Athanasius of Alexandria was read by Reformed Protestants of the early modern period. Attention is given to anthologies of patristic material, to John Calvin, Reiner Bachoff (Bachofius), and his Catechesis religionis christianae (1603), Abraham Scultetus’s Medulla theologiae patrum (1606), and Amandus Polanus of Polansdorf’s Symphonia catholica (1607, 1612). The latter three works provide evidence of a direct acquaintance with Athanasius’s writings. Though in comparison with other patristic quotations the Athanasian citations contained in them are in number rather limited, they do come from a broad range of Athanasius’s writings. The references are further not limited to Christology, but deal with a variety of themes relevant to Reformed theology.

Church History and Religious Culture

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5

Ibid., pp. 86, 94–95.

18

P. Gautsch, ‘Bachoff: Reinhard B., Bac-hof, Bakoven, mit dem Zunamen von Echt,’ Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie vol. 1 (Leipzig, 1875), p. 755; available online at http://www.deutsche-biographie.de. J.H. Zedler, Grosses vollständiges Universallexicon aller Wissenschaften und Künste, vol. 3 (Halle/Leipzig, 1733), cols. 60–61; available online at http://www.zedler-lexikon.de. L.M. Chaudon/F.A. Delandine, Nouveau dictionnaire historique, vol. 2, 8th ed. (Lyon, 1804), p. 9; available online at http://books.google.com.

19

Bachoff, Catechesis, pp. 64–65, 67, 100, 200, 291.

20

Ibid., pp. 227 (quoted title: Ad solitariam vitam agentes; 33, cf. PG 25, 730–731; and 67, cf. PG 25, 774) and 228 (§41. cf. PG 25, 741).

21

Ibid., p. 430 (quoted title: Oratio contra idola; 19, cf. E.P. Meijering, Athanasius: Contra gentes. Introduction, Translation and Commentary (Leiden, 1984), p. 71).

22

Ibid., p. 207 (quoted title: Compendium de Spiritu sancto; 2, 8; cf. PG 26, 620–621).

23

Ibid., p. 227.

24

Ibid., pp. 321–322.

25

Ibid., pp. 98–99 (quoted title: Epistola contra Arianos. §15; cf. PG 25, 502).

26

Ibid., pp. 77–78.

27

Ibid., p. 86.

28

Ibid., p. 395.

29

Ibid., p. 422.

30

Ibid., p. 437.

31

Ibid., p. 316.

32

Ibid., p. 62.

33

Ibid., pp. 64–65. Athanasius, De Incarnatione verbi, 45–46; cf. E.P. Meijering, Athanasius: De Incarnatione verbi. Einleitung, Übersetzung, Kommentar, Amsterdam 1989, 314–317.

34

Ibid., p. 67. Athanasius, De Incarnatione verbi, 49–50; Meijering, Athanasius: De Incarnatione verbi, 335–336.

35

Ibid., p. 100. Athanasius, De Incarnatione verbi, 18; Meijering, Athanasius: De Incarnatione verbi, 153. J.N. Bakhuizen van den Brink, De Nederlandse belijdenisgeschriften, 2nd ed. (Amsterdam, 1976), pp. 164–165.

36

Ibid., p. 200, at question 45. Athanasius, De Incarnatione verbi, 27; Meijering, Athanasius: De Incarnatione verbi, pp. 203–204.

38

Bachoff, Catechesis, p. 291; Athanasius, De Incarnatione verbi, 57; Meijering, Athanasius: De Incarnatione verbi (see above, n. 33), pp. 369–370.

40

Bachoff, Catechesis, p. 227. Athanasius, Apologia de fuga sua, 23; PG 25, 673–674, with reference to the text of the Song of Moses in Exodus 15, 9 (here cited in the AV).

41

Ibid., p. 227; Athanasius, Historia Arianorum, 33; cf. PG 25, 730–731.

42

Ibid., p. 227; Athanasius, Historia Arianorum, 67; cf. PG 25, 774.

43

Ibid., p. 228; Athanasius, Historia Arianorum, 41; cf. PG 25, 741.

44

Ibid., p. 430 (at question 98); Athanasius, Contra gentes, 19, cf. E.P. Meijering, Athanasius: Contra gentes. Introduction, Translation and Commentary (Leiden, 1984), p. 71.

45

Ibid., pp. 321–322 (at question 78); Athanasius, In illud: Qui dixerit verbum in filium, 19; cf. PG 26, 665–668 (printed in the Patrologia graeca as a part of the Epistula IV ad Serapionem).

47

Ibid., p. 207; Athanasius, Epistulae IV ad Serapionem, 2, 8; cf. PG 26, 620–621.

48

Ibid., pp. 98–99; Athanasius, De sententia Dionysii, §15; cf. PG 25, 502. The Dionysian authenticity of Athanasius’s quotations from Dionysius is uncertain, or even unlikely; see U. Heil, ‘Athanasius von Alexandrien,’ in: Döpp/Geerlings (eds.), Lexikon (see above, n. 1), pp. 69–76, there p. 72; cf. U. Hamm, ‘Dionysius von Alexandrien,’ ibid., pp. 201–203.

51

Ibid., 19. See also Gustav Adolf Benrath (ed.), Die Selbstbiographie des Heidelberger Theologen und Hofpredigers Abraham Scultetus (1566–1624) (Karlsruhe, 1966). On Scultetus’ Medulla: Irena Backus, Historical Method and Confessional Identity in the Era of the Reformation (1378–1615) (Leiden, 2003), pp. 218–227; see also Irena Backus, ‘The Fathers and Calvinist Orthodoxy: Patristic Scholarship. The Bible and the Fathers according to Abraham Scultetus (1566–1624) and André Rivet (1571/73–1651). The case of Basil of Caesarea,’ in: Irena Backus (ed.), The Reception of the Church Fathers in the West. From the Carolingians to the Maurists, vol. 2 (Boston/Leiden, 2001), pp. 839–865, there pp. 842–855.

71

Ibid., pp. 85, 178 (here cited by Polanus as the Oratio tertia), 436, 776–778.

72

Ibid., pp. 28, 38, 130 (Athanasius, De Incarnatione verbi); pp. 18, 77, 284 (Ad Serapionem); pp. 608, 731, 736–737 (Historia Arianorum); pp. 165, 177–178, 856 (Oratio tertia contra Arianos).

73

Ibid., pp. 55, 57.

74

Ibid., pp. 43, 713 (Athanasius, Contra gentes); pp. 56–57, 158 (Epistola ad Epictetum).

75

Ibid., pp. 3–4.

76

Ibid., p. 168 (cited as the Disputatio secunda contra Arianos).

77

Ibid., p. 167.

78

Ibid., pp. 176–177.

79

Ibid., p. 18 (Epistola ad Iovinianum imperatorem). The other quotation (p. 167) that Polanus attributed to this Epistola is actually from the inauthentic dialogues De sancta Trinitate (PG 28, 1253–1254).

80

Ibid., p. 341.

81

Ibid., p. 41; cf. PG 25, 451–452.

82

Ibid., p. 615.

83

Ibid., pp. 3–4; cf. PG 26, 1457–1458.

84

Ibid., pp. 56–57; Athanasius, Epistula ad Epictetum, PG 26, 1051–1052.

85

Ibid., pp. 18 (Athanasius, Ad Serapionem, PG 26, 573–574; Epistula ad Iovinianum imperatorem, PG 26, 815–816), 43 (Contra gentes, 1; PG 25, 3–4; Meijering, Athanasius: Contra gentes, p. 10).

86

Ibid., pp. 28, 38; PG 25, 195–196; Meijering, Athanasius: De Incarnatione verbi (see above, n. 33), p. 366.

87

Ibid., pp. 41 (cf. PG 25, 545–546), 64, 596, and 599 (cf. PG 25, 543–544)—all from the Epistola ad episcopos Aegypti et Libyae.

88

Ibid., p. 167; Athanasius, Fragmenta commentariorum in Psalmos, PG 27, 587–588.

89

Ibid., p. 158; Athanasius, Epistula ad Epictetum, PG 26, 1063–1064.

90

Ibid., p. 168; Athanasius, Oratio prima contra Arianos, PG 26, 93–96.

91

Ibid., p. 167; Ps.-Athanasius, De sancta Trinitate (cited by Polanus as the Epistula ad Iovinianum imperatorem), PG 28, 1065–1066.

92

Ibid., pp. 175–178; Athanasius, Epistola ad Adelphium, PG 26, 1073–1076 and 1078–1079; Oratio secunda contra Arianos, PG 26, 197–198 (cited by Polanus as the Oratio tertia).

94

Ibid., pp. 736–737; Athanasius, Historia Arianorum, 33, PG 25, 729–732, and 67, PG 25, 773–774.

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