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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.

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Per Pippin Aspaas and László Kontler

Maximilian Hell (1720-1792, originally Höll) was one of the foremost Jesuit scholars from eighteenth-century Central Europe. Maximilian Hell (1720–92) and the Ends of Jesuit Science in Enlightenment Europe seeks to offer an interpretation of the relationship of Enlightenment, Catholicism, state building, and the practice and pursuit of scientific knowledge (in particular, “Jesuit science”) in the eighteenth-century Habsburg Monarchy and its wider European contexts through the prism of the career of the imperial and royal astronomer Maximilian Hell.

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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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Bess 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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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.

Beyond Dordt and De Auxiliis

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

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Edited by Jordan Ballor, Matthew Gaetano and David Sytsma

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.

Reformation and the Practice of Toleration

Dutch Religious History in the Early Modern Era

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Benjamin Kaplan

The Dutch Republic was the most religiously diverse land in early modern Europe, gaining an international reputation for toleration. In Reformation and the Practice of Toleration, Benjamin Kaplan explains why the Protestant Reformation had this outcome in the Netherlands and how people of different faiths managed subsequently to live together peacefully. Bringing together fourteen essays by the author, the book examines the opposition of so-called Libertines to the aspirations of Calvinist reformers for uniformity and discipline. It analyzes the practical arrangements by which multiple religious groups were accommodated. It traces the dynamics of religious life in Utrecht and other mixed communities. And it explores the relationships that developed between people of different faiths, especially in ‘mixed’ marriages.

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Thomas M. McCoog, S.J.

The British Isles and Ireland tested the self-proclaimed adaptability and flexibility of the new Society of Jesus. A mission to Ireland highlighted the complexities and ended in failure in the early 1580s, not to be revived until 1598. The fabled Jesuit mission to England in 1580 conceived in wistful optimism was baptized with blood with the execution of Edmund Campion in 1581 and the consequent political manoeuveres of Robert Persons. The Scottish mission began in December 1581. The three missions remained distinct in the pre-suppression period despite an occasional proposal for integration. The English mission was the largest, the bloodiest, the most controversial, and the only one to progress to full provincial status. The government tried to suppress it; the Benedictines tried to complement it; the vicars-apostolic tried to control it; and foreign Jesuits tried to recognize it. Nonetheless, the English province forged a corporate identity that even withstood the suppression.

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Juan Luis Vives

Edited by Edward V. George and Gilbert Tournoy

The De Europae dissidiis et republica ( On Conflicts in Europe and on the Commonwealth) is a collection published by Vives in 1526 that has been called his “summa politica.” It contains five letters, to Henry VIII and three prelates including Cardinal Wolsey; a Lucian-style underworld satire on European wars and the Turkish threat; and Latinizations of two political speeches by Isocrates.

It counsels the pursuit of peace following Christian principles, but it also explores the possibility of an aggressive war against the Turks as the means of unifying and saving European Christendom. It urges the calling of a council to deal with Luther. We present critical Latin texts and, for the first time, English translations, with introduction and notes.