Protestant Politics Beyond Calvin : Reformed Theologians on War in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries book cover
1st Edition

Protestant Politics Beyond Calvin
Reformed Theologians on War in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

ISBN 9780367525088
Published March 31, 2022 by Routledge
316 Pages

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Book Description

The Reformed (or Calvinist) universities of sixteenth and seventeenth-century Europe hosted rich, Latin-language conversations on the nature of politics, the powers of kings and magistrates, resistance, revolution, and religious warfare. Nevertheless, it is too often assumed that Reformed political thought did not develop beyond John Calvin’s Institutes of 1559. This book remedies this problem, presenting extracts from major Reformed theologians and intellectuals (including Peter Martyr Vermigli, Guillaume de Buc, David Pareus, Lambert Daneau, and Bartholomäus Keckermann) which demonstrate both continuity and change in Reformed political argument. These men taught in France, the Holy Roman Empire, the Low Countries, and England, between the 1540s and 1660s, but they were read in universities throughout the North Atlantic world into the eighteenth century. Should all political action be subject to God’s direct command? Were humans capable of using their own God-given reason to tell right from wrong? Was it ever just to resist tyrants? Was religious difference enough by itself to justify war? Their political doctrines often aroused the greatest controversy in their own time; this is generally the first time that these extracts from their works have been translated into English. These texts and translations are accompanied by an introduction placing these authors in the context of the great European religious wars, advice on further reading, and a full bibliography.

Table of Contents

Part 1 - Ian Campbell

Introduction: Calvinism, Warfare, and the Politics of Duty

Part 2 - Floris Verhaart

Editorial Note

Chapter 1: Peter Martyr Vermigli and his Commentary on Genesis

Chapter 2: Lambert Daneau on Ethics, Politics, and the Anti-Christ

Chapter 3: Bartholomäus Keckermann, Aristotelianism, and the Holy Roman Empire after the Peace of Augsburg

Chapter 4: Guillaume du Buc and the Institutiones Theologicae

Chapter 5: David Pareus and his Commentary on Romans

Chapter 6: Johann Heinrich Alsted on Interaction with non-Christians and War against Blasphemers

Chapter 7: Amandus Polanus von Polansdorf on Religious Intervention in Foreign States

Chapter 8: Venceslaus Clemens’ Gustavis and the Thirty Years’ War as a Religious Conflict

Chapter 9: Dudley Fenner, Puritanism, and Reformed Resistance Theory

Chapter 10: Gisbertus Voetius, the Dutch Revolt, and Religious Toleration in the United Provinces

Chapter 11: Johannes Hoornbeeck and the Reformed against Holy War


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Ian Campbell is Senior Lecturer in the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen’s University Belfast. His research interests include early modern British and Irish history; political thought and intellectual history; and the history of race.

Floris Verhaart is a Government of Ireland Research Fellow in the School of History at University College Cork. His research interests are the intellectual and religious history of Europe, especially the Dutch Republic, Britain, and France.