The Systematic Place of Reformed Scholasticism: Reflections Concerning the Reception of Calvin’s Thought

In: Church History and Religious Culture

Modern notions like “Catholicism,” “Lutheranism,” and “Calvinism” are not helpful in describing the history of the thought at the early modern universities. However, the early modern university forms the context of Reformed academic thought, which has to be interpreted and to be analyzed in continuity and discontinuity with the thought of the medieval centuries. The decisive question to be raised is how a certain movement is related to the classic Christian model of necessity-contingency thinking: God exists necessarily and he acts contingently. The Reformed tradition of theology and philosophy closely followed this model, whereas Calvin did not.

  • 3

    Willem J. van Asselt and Eef Dekker‘Introduction,’ in Reformation and Scholasticism: An Ecumenical Enterprise ed. Willem J. van Asselt and Eef Dekker (Grand Rapids 2001) pp. 11–43 there p. 15. Cf. Richard A. Muller ‘The Problem of Protestant Scholasticism—A Review and Definition’ in Reformation and Scholasticism pp. 45–64 there pp. 48–50.

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  • 11

    Ibid. p. 224.7–8: “Atque id dictat sensus communis ut necessarium censeatur quidquid sic esse oportet nec aliter esse potest.”

  • 12

    Ibid. p. 224.8–10: “Hoc modo immutabilitas sub necessitate continebitur unde et continuo sequetur Deum necessario bonum esse.”

  • 13

    See ibid. p. 224.10–12: “Quod si necessaria est eius bonitas cur non inde mihi colligere liceat necessario tam bene velle quam bene facere?”

  • 14

    Ibid. p. 224.12–15: “Cum vero ita stabilis perseverat ipse sibi quodammodo necessitas est non aliunde cogitur nec tamen seipsum cogit sed sponte et voluntarius ad id quod necessitate agit inclinat.”

  • 15

    Ibid. p. 224.16–19: “Diabolus contra necessario et malus est et male agit nihilo tamen minus voluntate. Hinc liquido confici mihi videtur quod volui: non adeo dissidere a necessario voluntarium quin societatem aliquando admittant.”

  • 34

    See Willem J. van Asselt‘De zeventiende eeuw,’ in Handboek Nederlandse Kerkgeschiedenised. Herman J. Selderhuis (Kampen 2006) pp. 484–486. Cf. Jaroslav Pelikan Reformation of Church and Dogma (1300–1700) (Chicago 1984) pp. 322–331.

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  • 35

    See A. Vos‘Duns Scotus’s Significance for Western Philosophy and Theology,’ Canterbury Studies in Franciscan Historyvol. 2 (Canterbury 2009) pp. 61–84 there pp. 70–72.

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