Beyond Dordt and De Auxiliis

The Dynamics of Protestant and Catholic Soteriology in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries


Beyond Dordt and ‘De Auxiliis’ explores post-Reformation inter-confessional theological exchange on soteriological topics including predestination, grace, and free choice. These doctrines remained controversial within confessional traditions after the Reformation, as Dominicans and Jesuits and later Calvinists and Arminians argued about these critical issues in the Augustinian theological heritage. Some of those involved in condemning Arminianism at the Synod of Dordt (1618-1619) were inspired by Dominican followers of Thomas Aquinas in Spain who had recently opposed the vigorous defense of free choice by Jesuit Molinists in the Congregatio de auxiliis (1598-1607). This volume, appearing on the 400th anniversary of the closing of the Synod of Dordt, brings together a group of scholars working in fields that only rarely speak to one another to address these theological debates that cross geographical and confessional boundaries.

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Jordan J. Ballor, Dr. theol. (2012), University of Zurich, Ph.D. (2015), Calvin Theological Seminary, is senior research fellow at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty and associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research. He is the author and editor of numerous volumes, including Church and School in Early Modern Protestantism (Brill, 2013).

Matthew T. Gaetano, Ph.D. (2013), University of Pennsylvania, is associate professor of history at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan (USA). He specializes in early modern intellectual history and has published on figures including Francisco Suárez and Domingo de Soto.

David S. Sytsma, Ph.D. (2013), Princeton Theological Seminary, is associate professor at Tokyo Christian University and research curator of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research. He is the author of Richard Baxter and the Mechanical Philosophers (Oxford, 2018) and editor of Church and School in Early Modern Protestantism (Brill, 2013) and Matthew Hale - 'Of the Law of Nature' (CLP Academic, 2015).
"an extremely interesting volume of essays, showing exciting interconfessional cross-relationships"

Klaas van der Zwaag, in Protestants Nederland 85.2

"The title of the book mentions two of the most important events among Protestants and Roman Catholics in the early modern period dealing with the nature of divine grace:The Synod of Dordt and the Congregatio de Auxiliis. Yet the preposition governing those two events hints at the way [...] to view them: not as mere intra-tradition talking-shops, but as snapshots of the history of dogma which represent a larger conversation in these Western traditions. When one moves beyond or, perhaps, dives deeply into the Remonstrant and Contra-Remonstrant debates leading to and subsequent to Dordt and the Congregatio, one finds a rich inter-theological discourse of interpreting and polemicizing within and between all of these groups [...]
The truth of this story is not as difficult to believe after reading the various essays in Beyond Dordt and De Auxiliis. Catholics and Protestants relied on each other in early modern polemics. Because of the lingua franca of the day—Latin—theologians were able to keep up with what other Christian traditions in Europe were teaching. Beyond Dordt and De Auxiliis reminds us that just as the early modern theologians read outside their own tradition to understand it more fully, so contemporary Protestants and Roman Catholics will best understand our own traditions by reading earnestly outside of them. If there is any hope of reconciliation between Protestants and Roman Catholics, such reading will be essential.

Dr. Michael Lynch (Calvin Seminary) in Ad fontes July 2020
Notes on Contributors

1 Introduction: Augustinian Soteriology in the Context of the Congregatio De Auxiliis and the Synod of Dordt
Jordan J. Ballor, Matthew T. Gaetano, and David S. Sytsma
2 Calvin and Aquinas Reconsidered
Charles Raith ii
3 Domingo Bañez and His Dominican Predecessors: the “Dominican School” on the Threshold of the Controversy De Auxiliis
Stephen Gaetano
4 Spanish Thomists on the Need for Interior Grace in Acts of Faith
Thomas M. Osborne Jr
5 Predestined a Passible Redeemer: the Use of Scientia Media in Early Modern Christologies
Robert Trent Pomplun
6 Arminius’s “Conference” with Junius and the Protestant Reception of Molina’s Concordia
Richard A. Muller
7 ‘In the Footsteps of the Thomists’: an Analysis of Thomism in the Junius-Arminius Correspondence
Jordan J. Ballor
8 Scientia Media : the Protestant Reception of a Jesuit Idea
Keith D. Stanglin
9 Aquinas in Service of Dordt: John Davenant on Predestination, Grace, and Free Choice
David S. Sytsma
10 Samuel Ward and the Defense of Dordt in England
Stephen Hampton
11 Divine Causality and Human Freedom: Aquinas, Báñez, and Premotion after Descartes
Reginald M. Lynch, OP
12 ‘The World is Content With Words’: Jansenism Between Thomism and Calvinism
Eric J. DeMeuse
13 Defending Grace: References to Dominicans, Jesuits, and Jansenists in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Reformed Theology
Aza Goudriaan
14 Calvin against the Calvinists in Early Modern Thomism
Matthew T. Gaetano

This volume’s audience extends beyond scholars of early-modern Europe and Western intellectual history and include readers outside the academy with interests in ecumenism, the Reformed tradition, Thomism, and soteriology. Keywords: reprobation, preterition, salvation, Thomism, Remonstrance, damnation, free will, polemic theology, theological disputations.
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