This work supplies a long-standing need in the field of early modern studies by providing a basic introduction to Reformed Scholasticism. Although technical studies abound and interest in the subject continues to rise, until the appearance of this work by Willem van Asselt and his colleagues, students of history have lacked a concise guide to help them navigate the difficult waters of Reformed Scholasticism. This book carefully defines the phenomena of scholasticism and orthodoxy, concisely surveys the era, notes the most significant thinkers together with the various trajectories of thought, and references the relevant secondary scholarship. Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism surveys the topic thoroughly and provides a guide for further study in early modern Reformed thought.
“The term ‘scholasticism’ thus should not so much be associated with content but with method, an academic form of argumentation and disputation.” (Page 1)
“Two methods can be applied in both the discovery and the presentation of knowledge: either one proceeds from the causes to the effects, or else one begins with the end and from there traces back to the causes. The first option, from cause to effect, Zabarella called the way of composition or synthesis. The second option, from the end back to its causes or the means to that end, he called the way of resolution or analysis.” (Page 95)
“The extent to which the views propounded at this university later came to be identified with scholasticism is evident in Calvin’s use of the word scholasticism in the Institutes. In the Latin edition of the Institutes, he regularly criticizes the scholastics. In the French edition of 1560, this term is not always translated with the equivalent French term, but most often with ‘the theologians of the Sorbonne’ (théologiens Sorbonniques). This proves that in these passages Calvin is attacking particular theologians rather than medieval theology as a whole.” (Page 66)
“While medieval universities taught the seven artes liberalis of the trivium and the quadrivium (see chapter 5), the humanists emphasized grammar and rhetoric (the art of speaking well). Logic and the quadrivium (mathematics, geometry, astronomy, and music) did not form part of humanistic studies, nor did theology, law, or medicine.” (Page 73)
“Scotus posited that natural human reason is unable to reach to God. For that reason revelation is necessary and forms the foundation of ‘our theology’: ‘Holy Scripture sufficiently contains the doctrine necessary for the traveler’ (Sacra Scripture sufficienter continet doctrinam necessariam viatori).” (Page 119)