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A Humanist in Reformation Politics

Philipp Melanchthon on Political Philosophy and Natural Law

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Mads L. Jensen

This book is the first contextual account of the political philosophy and natural law theory of the German reformer Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560). Mads Langballe Jensen presents Melanchthon as a significant political thinker in his own right and an engaged scholar drawing on the intellectual arsenal of renaissance humanism to develop a new Protestant political philosophy. As such, he also shows how and why natural law theories first became integral to Protestant political thought in response to the political and religious conflicts of the Reformation. This study offers new, contextual studies of a wide range of Melanchthon's works including his early humanist orations, commentaries on Aristotle's ethics and politics, Melanchthon's own textbooks on moral and political philosophy, and polemical works.

Quodvultdeus: a Bishop Forming Christians in Vandal Africa

A Contextual Analysis of the Pre-baptismal Sermons attributed to Quodvultdeus of Carthage

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David Vopřada

In Quodvultdeus: a Bishop Forming Christians in Vandal Africa, David Vopřada presents the pre-baptismal catecheses of the fifth-century bishop of Carthage, delivered to the new believers in extremely difficult period of barbaric incursions. Quodvultdeus is generally not appraised as an original philosopher or theologian as his master Augustine was, in this book his qualities of a bishop who was entrusted with the care of his flock come forward. Making interdisciplinary use of the ancient and ecclesiastical history, philosophy, theology, archaeology, exegesis, liturgy science, homiletics, and rhetorics, the book offers a new and most innovative contribution to the life, work, and theology of Quodvultdeus.

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Mark A. Lotito

In The Reformation of Historical Thought, Mark Lotito re-examines the development of Western historiography by concentrating on Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560) and his universal history, Carion’s Chronicle (1532). With the Chronicle, Melanchthon overturned the medieval papal view of history, and he offered a distinctly Wittenberg perspective on the foundations of the “modern” European world. Through its immense popularity, the Chronicle assumed extraordinary significance across the divides of language, geography and confession. Indeed, Melanchthon’s intervention would become the point of departure for theologians, historians and jurists to debate the past, present and future of the Holy Roman Empire. Through the Chronicle, the Wittenberg reformation of historical thought became an integral aspect of European intellectual culture for the centuries that followed.

Riches and Reform

Ecclesiastical Wealth in St Andrews, c.1520-1580

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Elizabeth Rhodes

The Scottish Reformation is often presumed to have had little economic impact. Traditionally, scholars maintained that Scotland’s late medieval church gradually secularised its estates, and that the religious changes of 1560 barely disrupted an ongoing trend. In Riches and Reform Bess Rhodes challenges this assumption with a study of church finance in Scotland’s religious capital of St Andrews – a place once regarded as the ‘cheif and mother citie of the Realme’. Drawing on largely unpublished charters, rentals, and account books, Riches and Reform argues that in St Andrews the Reformation triggered a rapid, large-scale, and ultimately ruinous redistribution of ecclesiastical wealth. Communal assets built up over generations were suddenly dispersed through a combination of official policies, individual opportunism, and a crisis in local administration – leading the post-Reformation churches and city of St Andrews into ‘poverte and decay’.

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Ondřej Schmidt

In this book, Ondřej Schmidt offers a critical biography of John of Moravia, illegitimate son of the Moravian Margrave John Henry from the Luxembourg dynasty. Earlier research has confused John with another son of the Margrave, but here, the author argues that John actually became provost of Vyšehrad (1368–1380), bishop of Litomyšl (1380–1387), and eventually patriarch of Aquileia (1387–1394). The study provides a detailed account of John’s life and his assassination in the wider context of princely bastards’ careers, the Luxembourg dynasty, and Czech and Italian history. Schmidt also explores the development of the “second life” of John of Moravia in the historical memory of the following centuries.

First published in Czech by Vyšehrad Publishers Ltd as Jan z Moravy. Zapomenutý Lucemburk na aquilejském stolci, Prague, 2016

The Eclipse of Liberal Protestantism in the Netherlands

Religious, Social, and International Perspectives on the Dutch Modernist Movement (1870-1940)

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Tom-Eric Krijger

In The Eclipse of Liberal Protestantism in the Netherlands, Tom-Eric Krijger is the first to offer a synthesis of the development of the Protestant modernist movement in Dutch religious, social, cultural, and political life between 1870 and 1940. In historiography, the liberal Protestant community is said to have lost appeal and influence in these decades due to a lack of theological clarity, inner harmony, and organisation. Analysing liberal Protestants’ self-perception vis-à-vis Christian orthodoxy, self-understanding as a faith community, attitude towards other alternatives to orthodoxy, class-consciousness, literary criticism, political commitment, and involvement with foreign mission, Krijger challenges this view. Making an international comparison, he argues that the Dutch modernist movement failed to make headway primarily due to liberal Protestant expectations and discourse.

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Marianne P. Ritsema van Eck

In The Holy Land in Observant Franciscan Texts (c. 1480–1650) Marianne Ritsema van Eck analyses the development of the complex Observant Franciscan engagement with the Holy Land during the early modern period. During these eventful centuries friars of the Franciscan establishment in Jerusalem increasingly sought to cultivate strong ideological ties between themselves and the Holy Land, participating actively in contemporary literatures of geographia sacra and Levantine pilgrimage and travel. It becomes clear how the friars constructed a collective memory using the ideological canon of their order – featuring Bonaventurian theology, marvels of the east, cartography, apocalyptic visions of history, calls for Crusade, and finally a pilgrimage- possessio of the Holy Land by Francis.

Luther at Leipzig

Martin Luther, the Leipzig Debate, and the Sixteenth-Century Reformations

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Edited by Mickey Mattox, Richard J. Serina Jr. and Jonathan Mumme

On the five-hundredth anniversary of the 1519 debate between Martin Luther and John Eck at Leipzig, Luther at Leipzig offers an extensive treatment of this pivotal Reformation event in its historical and theological context. The Leipzig Debate not only revealed growing differences between Luther and his opponents, but also resulted in further splintering among the Reformation parties, which continues to the present day. The essays in this volume provide an essential background to the complex theological, political, ecclesiastical, and intellectual issues precipitating the debate. They also sketch out the relevance of the Leipzig Debate for the course of the Reformation, the interpretation and development of Luther, and the ongoing divisions between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism.

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Edited by Edmondo F. Lupieri

An international team of twenty scholars under Edmondo F. Lupieri’s direction produced Mary Magdalene from the New Testament to the New Age and Beyond. While the historical figure of the Magdalene may be lost forever, the construction of her literary images and their transformations and adaptations over the centuries are a lively testimony to human creativity and faith. Different pictures of Mary travelled through time and space, from history to legend and mythology, crossed religious boundaries, going beyond the various Christianities, to become a “sign of contradiction” for many. This book describes a special case of biblical reception history, that of the New Testament figure of a woman whose presence at the side of Jesus has been disturbing for some, but proves to be inspiring for others.

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Kenneth J. Woo

In Nicodemism and the English Calvin Kenneth J. Woo reassesses John Calvin's decades-long attack against Nicodemism, which Calvin described as evangelicals playing Catholic to avoid hardship or persecution. Frequently portrayed as a static argument varying little over time, the reformer's anti-Nicodemite polemic actually was adapted to shifting contexts and diverse audiences. Calvin's strategic approach to Nicodemism was not lost on readers, influencing its reception in England.

Quatre sermons (1552) presents Calvin's anti-Nicodemism in the only sermons he personally prepared for publication. By setting this work in its original context and examining its reception in five sixteenth-century English editions, Woo demonstrates how Calvin and others deployed his rhetoric against Nicodemism to address concerns having little to do with religious dissimulation.