Arminius, Arminianism, and Europe

Jacobus Arminius (1559/60-1609)


19 October 2009 marked the 400th anniversary of the death of Jacobus Arminius in Leiden. He was esteemed for the way in which he sought a via media between strict Calvinism and a more humanistic variant of Christian belief. However, because of his deviation from mainstream Calvinism, he has also been violently attacked. Was he a pioneer, who enriched the Reformed tradition by opening it towards new horizons, or a heretic, who founded a new tradition, as an alternative to Reformed theology?

The day of the death of this remarkable theologian was commemorated with a conference at Leiden University on Arminius, Aminianism, and Europe (9 and 10 October 2009). The main contributions to that conference are collected in this book. The first part contains some essays on the thinking of Arminius himself: the structure of his theology, his relation to Augustine, and to Rome. The second part deals with Arminianism. Was it influenced by Socinianism, as its opponents often claimed? How was it received in Europe: in Germany, Switzerland (Geneva), England, and Ireland? How far did Arminianism prepare the way for the ideals of the Enlightenment, which made its entry later on in the seventeenth century? An extensive iconography of Jacobus Arminius and an annotated bibliography of all his known writings complete, in the third part, this volume.

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Biographical Note

Th. Marius van Leeuwen is Professor at the Remonstrant Seminary (Institute for Religious Studies, Leiden University). He holds a Ph.D. from Leiden University ( The surplus of meaning. Ontology and eschatology in the philosophy of Paul Ricoeur, (Rodopi 1981). Van Leeuwen authored several books and articles on biblical hermeneutics, liturgy, the Christian year, the history of the Remonstrant Brotherhood, and ecumenism.

Keith D. Stanglin, Ph.D. (2006) in Historical Theology, Calvin Theological Seminary, is Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Harding University. He has published Arminius on the Assurance of Salvation: The Context, Roots, and Shape of the Leiden Debate, 1603-1609 (Brill, 2007), as well as several articles on the history of theology. He specializes in Reformation and Post-Reformation theology.

Marijke Tolsma is art historian and coordinator at the Remonstrant Seminary, Institute for Religious Studies, Leiden University. She publishes mainly on seventeenth-century art, related to religious subjects. She published Prachtig Protestant (Waanders, 2008), and contributed in Jane Turner (ed.), The Grove Dictionary of Art (Oxford University Press, 2000).

Review Quotes

“This collection is a stimulating introduction to the valuable work on Arminianism which is being done by an increasingly wide range of scholars.”
Stephen Hampton, Peterhouse, Cambridge. In: The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 62, No. 3 (July 2011).

“… this book is very well-researched, well-produced, and well-indexed. It makes an essential contribution to our knowledge of Arminius and his legacies in Europe. It is highly recommended for all serious theological, historical, and philosophical libraries.”
Douglas A. Sweeney,Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. In: Trinity Journal.

Table of contents

List of Plates

Introduction: Arminius, Arminianism, and Europe, Th. Marius van Leeuwen


Arminius and Arminianism: An Overview of Current Research, Keith D. Stanglin

Jacobus Arminius: Theologian of God’s Twofold Love, William den Boer

‘Augustine Asleep’ or ‘Augustine Awake’? Jacobus Arminius’s Reception of Augustine, Aza Goudriaan

Arminius and Rome, Eric H. Cossee


The Biblical Hermeneutics of Socinians and Remonstrants in the Seventeenth Century, Kęstutis Daugirdas

Arminius und die Herborner Theologen: am Beispiel von Johannes Piscator, Andreas Mühling

Arminius Redivivus? The Arminian Influence in French Switzerland, and at the Beginning of the Eighteenth Century, Maria-Cristina Pitassi

Arminianism amongst Protestant Dissenters in England and Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, David Steers


Facing Arminius: Jacobus Arminius in Portrait, Marijke Tolsma

Iconographia Arminiana: Portraits from 1609 until ca. 1850, Marijke Tolsma

Bibliographia Arminiana: A comprehensive, Annotated Bibliography of the Works of Arminius, Keith D. Stanglin and Richard A. Muller

List of Contributors
Index of Names
Index of Places
Index of Subjects


All those interested in protestant reformation studies, the Enlightenment, Remonstrants, Arminianism, and Anti-Calvinism.