Significant Reformed Theologians Database

Discussion in 'Church History' started by Prufrock, Jul 2, 2009.

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  1. Prufrock

    Prufrock Arbitrary Moderation

    For quite some time I have been thinking that a resource like this could be useful for folks at the PB, so I started putting it together over lunch today. The following is a list of significant Reformed theologians from the period of the Reformation until Dort and the era of the Arminian controversy; separate lists will be made of the era leading up to Westminster through the end of the High Orthodox period, also of the period of Late orthodoxy, and perhaps another list of the 1800s through the present. The list, of course, is not exhaustive, so I apologize for any favorites I have excluded -- but if you PM me I will be happy to add them. The intention of this list over time is to add a brief description of each name, along with some significant works (with links for electronic works) -- I included a small amount of information for Calvin as a poor example of what this could become. I think this could be helpful for people as a lot of names are thrown around on the board that we might not all be familiar with: in time, I hope this can become a valuable resource. Please PM me with any suggestions!

    1517 - ~1620
    • Alsted, J.H.
      [*]Ames, William
      [*]Aretius, Benedict
      [*]Beza, Theodore
      [*]Boquinus, Petrus
      [*]Bres, Guido de
      [*]Bucanus, Guillaume
      [*]Bucer, Martin
      [*]Bullinger, Heinrich (1504-1575)

      Though almost entirely neglected after his name was sullied over controversy at Dort, Heinrich Bullinger was undoubtedly one of the most important theologians of the 16th century. Following Zwingli's death in 1531, Bullinger assumed the position of head pastor at Zurich, having already proven himself an able theologian; in his early years, his most significant work was in the development of understanding the Covenant, particularly in his polemic against the Anabaptists (regarding whom he was considered the expert). His career began almost as early as any of the major Reformers, and spanned for 10 years after the death of Calvin, Melanchthon, Vermigli, Musculus, etc; and during this time, he quite literally held the European Reformation together from Zurich -- his extant corpus of personal correspondence consists of approximately 12,000 letters. Chief among his works are The Decades (a collection of 50 sermons covering the whole range of Christian doctrine; all the volumes may be found here [the different volumes are found on the left of the screen]) and the Second Helvetic Confession, a confession of faith drafted near the end of his life which influenced confessional structure in the future decades.
      1. Venema, Cornelius Heinrich Bullinger and Predestination (This is a short but important work dealing with recent controversy over Bullinger and the Reformed tradition).
      2. Gordon, Bruce and Emidio Campi (eds.) Architect of Reformation: An Introduction to Heinrich Bullinger, 1504-1575
      Most literature on Bullinger is in German. Of English literature, avoid the work of J. Wayne Baker, who has been quite influential in setting forth unsustainable theses re: Bullinger and the Reformed tradition.​
      [*]Calvin, John (1509 -1564)
      A man who needs no introduction. Brought to Geneva by Farel, Calvin turned the city into the center of the European Reformation. His works today are remembered and cited more than any other Reformed theologian – his most known being the several editions of his Institutes of the Christian Religion, in addition to his commentaries and sermons.
    • Capito, Wolfgang
      [*]Cartwright, Thomas
      [*]Chemnitz, Martin
      [*]Cranmer, Thomas
      [*]Daneau, Lambert
      [*]Davenant, John
      [*]Du Moulin, Pierre
      [*]Farel, Will
      [*]Fenner, Dudley
      [*]Fulke, William
      [*]Haller, Berthold
      [*]Hyperius, Andreas
      [*]Jewell, John
      [*]Jud, Leo
      [*]Junius, Franciscus
      [*]Keckerman, Bartholomaus
      [*]Knox, John
      [*]Lasco, Jan a'
      [*]Luther, Martin
      [*]Maccovius, Johannes
      [*]Melanchthon, Phillip (1497-1560)

      Luther's right hand man, Melanchthon was a very able theologian and philosopher who exerted enormous influence upon the Reformed tradition (though he diverged at points), especially through his production of the first Protestant "systematic theology," which was first published as his Loci Communes in 1521 and underwent considerable revision and republication throughout his life.
      1. Meijering, E.P. Melanchthon and Patristic Thought. The Doctrines of Christ, Grace, the Trinity and the Creation
      2. Fraenkel, Pierre. Testimonia Patrum. The Function of the Patristic Argument in the Theology of Philip Melanchthon
      3. Wengert, Timothy J. Law and Gospel: Philip Melanchthon's Debate with John of Agricola of Eisleben over Poenitentia.
      4. Wengert, Timothy J. Phillip Melanchthon (1497-1560) and the Commentary.
      5. Schofield, Johh Phillip Melanchthon and the English Reformation.
      Also, a decent, helpful biography may be read for free online Here at Google books.
      Finally, his works (in Latin and German) in the Corpus Reformatorum have been digitized: a linked index may be found here:
      [*]Musculus, Wolfgang (1497-1563)
      Spending most of his career in Augsburg and Bern, Musculus was one of the most widely published theologians of his day, particularly noted for his highly influential commentaries (Matthew, John, Psalms, Isaiah, Genesis, and the Pauline epistles through 1 Timothy) and his famous (and massive!) Loci Communes. His work relied much more on Aristotelian categories than many of his contemporaries, and he demonstrated the compatibility of the Reformed system with his apparent nominalist leanings. There has been little secondary work on this theologian, but two works stand out as worth the read:
      1. Farmer, Craig S. The Gospel of John in the Sixteenth Century: The Johannine Exegesis of Wolfgang Musculus (This work also includes brief but helpful bibliographic material.)
      2. Muller, Richard A. Christ and the Decree: Christology and Predestination in Reformed Theology from Calvin to Perkins. (Though the section on Musculus is short in this work, he nevertheess provides valuable commentary.
      [*]Oecolampadius, Johannes
      [*]Olevian, Caspar
      [*]Pareaus, David
      [*]Perkins, William
      [*]Piscator, Johannes
      [*]Polanus, Amandus
      [*]Polyander, Johann
      [*]Preston, John
      [*]Rivet, Andreas
      [*]Rollock, Robert (1555-1599)
      A Scottish theologian, Rollock was one of the most significant developers in the field of the Covenant, most especially seen in his most important work A Treatise of Effectual Calling, which work may be found online here at Google books. In addition, Rollock wrote several influential commentaries, including an important work on Ephesians.
      [*]Trelcatius, Lucas
      [*]Ursinus, Zacharias (1534-1583)

      The principal author and defender of the Heidelberg catechism. Based upon the catechism, his lectures which make up the Doctrinae christianae compendium, or The Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism (This work has been printed under several names) were one of the most formative influences on the development of Reformed thought, particularly to English protestantism. Here is a link to the aforementioned work.
      1. The Reluctant Reformer: His Life and Times, by Derk Visser is the only English work of which I know devoted to Ursinus. Note, however, the two following works on the Heidelberg Catechism:
      2. Introduction to the Heidelberg Catechism, An: Sources, History, and Theology, by Bierma, Gunnoe and Maag.
      3. Also note Thompson, Berkhof, et al Essays on the Heidelberg Catechism.
      [*]Walaeus, Antonius
      [*]Vermigli, Peter Martyr (1499-1562)
      Trained as a successful Thomistic theologian in the Roman Catholic Church at the University of Padua, Martyr became a Protestant in 1542 when he fled the inquisition and accepted from Martin Bucer a teaching post at Strasbourg. As the result of various persecutions, he subsequently taught at Oxford (where he exerted great influence on the English Reformation), Strasbourg again, and eventually Zurich with Bullinger. He was regarded by many in his day and after his death as the greatest and most capable of the Reformed theologians, and represented the earliest strain of Reformed scholastic theology. Apart from his commentaries and philosophical works, his most important works were on the Eucharistic controversies (including the two natures of Christ); also, his writings on Predestination are regarded by many as the most influential on the ensuing Reformed tradition. His works are currently being translated into English under the title, The Peter Martyr Library, which may be found here: PMV Library
      Select Secondary Material
      1. Donnelly, John Patrick Cavlinism and Scholasticism in Vermigli's Doctrine of Man and Grace.
      2. James, Frank A Peter Martyr Vermigli and Predestination: The Augustinian Inheritance of an Italian Reformer.
      3. McLelland, Jospeh The Visible Words of God: An Exposition of the Sacramental Theology of Peter Vermigli
      4. James, Frank A (ed) Peter Martyr Vermigli and the European Reformations.
      [*]Virel, Matthieu
      [*]Viret, Pierre
      [*]Zanchi, Jerome (Hieronymous) (1516-1590)

      The most scholastic of the early codifiers of Reformed thought, thoroughly trained as a Thomist. He was brought to Strasbourg under influence of Vermigli, until controversy forced him to leave in 1563; he succeeded Ursinus' position at Heidelberg and finally took up a teaching position at Neustadt. His Confession of the Christian Religion is a brilliant summary of the Reformed faith. His most lasting contribution to Protestant theology is his massive, yet incomplete "Summa" of the Christian religion. The first volume, running to nearly 1,000 pages of two column Latin text is on the Trinity; the second (just as long), is on the Nature of God; the third, on Creation; and the fourth (incomplete) on the Fall, Sin, etc. Here is a link which contains English translations of a few of his shorter works, including his Confession, and the work Absolute Predestination translated and published by Augustus Toplady. Though there are not many major studies of Zanchi's work in English, a few short articles are quite informative: Donnelly's Calvinist Thomism, and Italian Influences, along with Burchill's Girolamo Zanchi: Portrait of a Reformed Theologian and His Work, (all found in Sixteenth Century Journal).
      [*]Zwingli, Ulrich

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  2. historyb

    historyb Puritan Board Junior

    That is a cool idea.
  3. ADKing

    ADKing Puritan Board Junior

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