Abstracts Short Papers

Version: May 2, 2022

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Piotr Alexandrowicz, The Poznań Society for the Advancement of Arts and Sciences: The salus animarum Principle in Action: the Purpose of Law as the Argumentative Resource in the Early Modern differentiae iuris civilis et canonici

The tension between canon law and civil law is an inherent characteristic of the Western legal tradition. In the early modern period one of the scholarly tools developed by jurists to settle the dispute between the two laws was the legal genre called differentiae iuris civilis et canonici. These works consisted of the enumeration of various discrepancies between the two laws and the proposed solutions to them. Differentiae originated in the late medieval law but in the early modern period their method and scope changed radically. The objective of this paper will be to examine how the ancient canon law principle of salus animarum supported the preference of canon law solutions over the civil law approach. The investigation of selected issues from differentiae will show how the theological framework of canon law was implemented in the legal discourse on the basis of the salus animarum principle. There were at least three levels on which this principle interfered with particular differentiae. Firstly, for some authors the overall purpose of canon and civil laws was the focal point for their discussion over differentiae (as was in the case of the treatise of Fortún García de Ercilla y Arteaga). Secondly, the salus animarum principle was regularly used as the backbone of the general rules established for the reconciliation between the conflicting norms (as it was e.g. implemented in the rules compiled by Konrad Rittershausen). Thirdly, this principle was at times referred to in solving particular discrepancies between the two laws and in this case it served as one of the argumentative resources available for the scholars to support their claims. The paper will present all these functions of the salus animarum principle for the early modern differentiae and will contribute to the overall understanding of the purpose of canon law in the past.

Sivert Angel, University of Oslo: Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg’s (1682–1719) Dialogues with Indian Brahmins on the Soul and the Lutheran Understanding of the Soul 

The first Lutheran mission to India brought Lutheran theology in dialogue with Indian philosophy and religion. Due to the great scholarly interest for the mission and the missionary fields, Ziegenbalg’s dialogues and reports from India involved a considerable homely readership. Since many held insights and results from the missionary activity to be indicative of the true church and true Christianity, Ziegenbalg’s writings were part of a learned exchange in Europe. This paper discusses how Ziegenbalg, through his discussions with Brahmins over the theme of the soul, took part in ongoing discussions in Halle at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Several of his dialogues were published by his former teacher Joachim Lange, who had been his teacher in Berlin and later became professor at the University in Halle, where he entered into fierce disputes with the famous philosopher Christian Wolff. The paper will trace the Indian concepts in scholarly discussion on the soul in early eighteenth century Halle and discuss which role Ziegenbalg’s dialogues played in the exchange between Lange and Wolff and in contemporary understandings of anthropology and the borders between scholarly disciplines.

Ruth Atherton, University of South Wales: Religious Education in Reformation Germany, 1525–1597

This paper considers how shifts in sacramental understanding and application were communicated during the Reformation. It is based on an exploration of pedagogical material printed in the sixteenth century, including catechisms, sermons, and church orders. Written by theologians for a lay audience, analysis of this literature will help us to understand how changes in social and cultural practices were communicated to the people and how an individual came to identify themselves with a given faith, whilst illustrating the fluid nature of this identity across time and space. The paper suggests that reformers sought to discipline society and cultivate obedience to a given faith through developing an inclusive as opposed to exclusive approach to confessional diversity. While catechisms, sermons and church orders did not endorse rival doctrines, they permitted a degree of latitude within the parameters of their own faith in order to avoid the exclusion of those whose religious practices differed from the ‘orthodox’. Through foregrounding the intended recipients of religious education, this paper emphasises how the laity could impact educational content and considers how we can approach questions regarding confessional identity formation in early modern Germany. It suggests that whilst church leaders sought the collection of souls, secular bodies pursued obedience, and catechists desired to teach their own interpretation of a doctrine, educational texts reflect the influence of popular agency, which could support, curtail, or reject each of these goals. The argument developed throughout the paper is that educational material reflects the fluid nature of confessional identity formation in early-modern Germany and, crucially, suggests that this fluidity was accommodated for with regards to religious instruction.

Andreas Bergman, University of Helsinki: True Worship in the Spirit: Martin Chemnitz’s Complicated Relationship to Outward Worship 

Martin Chemnitz contended that true worship must be commanded by God. His position has significant implications for the soul–body relationship: as Chemnitz believes the sacraments are the only rites of the New Testament God has commanded, he denies that all other acts of piety are worship. Sacraments being excluded, true worship occurs only internally, “in the spirit”. Nevertheless, Chemnitz does not reject all extra-scriptural ecclesial customs. His attitude towards them, however, is complicated: on the one hand, he claims that if we get rid of man-made ceremonies, we lose nothing; on the other hand, he argues that outward gestures in prayers spur inner devotion. He also acknowledges that our senses need outward rites to understand spiritual truths. My presentation argues that the tension concerning the usefulness of outward religious acts emerges from the problematic combination of divine commandment theory of ethics with an Aristotelian-influenced understanding of cognition.

Gabrielle Bertrand, KU Leuven: The Correspondence Between Louvain Theologians Tiletanus and Baius after the Council of Trent (1563-1568)

Upon Leuven theologian Michael Baius’ return from the Council of Trent’s third session in 1563, his colleague Judocus Tiletanus (Josse Ravesteyn) privately deplored the former’s remaining unchallenged doctrinal stances and concluded that “another plan” would be sought. Given that the Council endeavoured across nearly twenty years to properly delineate the Catholic doctrine and practices, could and would perilous ambiguities remain? A number of letters written by Tiletanus about or with Baius between 1564 and 1568 disclose the doctrinal divergences remaining within Leuven’s Theology Faculty, despite it being propelled as a guardian of religious orthodoxy on an imperial scale. This paper will focus its attention on the six letters exchanged between both theologians across 1568 and 1569; this correspondence was initiated by Baius himself due to Tiletanus’ condemnation of his stance on the Eucharist within the Faculty. Throughout these letters and the various theological points they address, the difference in rhetoric, tonality and sense of urgency between the two theologians is striking. What is more, Trent’s conclusions seem to have offered an advantageous leeway to Baius all the while rendering Tiletanus’ accusations for the most part ineffective.This private altercation followed what has been coined as the “Baius affair”, also quite personally conducted by Tiletanus due to his disappointment with the Council’s vague conclusions and Baius’ ensuing publications. Evidently, Trent had failed to efficiently align the various stances and methodologies within Catholicism. By looking into Tiletanus’ evolving role within the Faculty and relationship with Baius across the 1560’s, this article hopes to better determine the impact of the Council’s outcomes on local universities and their various practices, as they attempted to combat the Reformation’s progression.

Alicja Bielak, Polish Academy of Sciences: The Notebook Locus communis de Trinitate and the Outbreak of anti-Trinitarianism among Polish Students in Tübingen in the Late 1550s 

In March 1559, a Polish student was stabbed to death in Tübingen. However, it was not the murder that started the Polish nation’s troubles at the university, but the objects that remained of the murdered noble, Michał Zaleski. Among his books and notes, apart from Philipp Melanchthon’s Loci communes and the works of John Calvin, was a manuscript of the Declarationes Iesu Christi Filii Dei (A Revelation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God), attributed to the Spanish Unitarian theologian Miguel Servet. Although recently it has been believed that the work was written by Matteo Gribaldi, this does not change the fact that Polish students were accused of promoting anti-Trinitarian content in line with Servet’s views, that were condemned with tragic results by Calvin six years earlier. The subject of the presentation will be the analysis of the notes left by Polish students in the manuscript of Servet-Gribaldi’s work and in the notebook entitled Locus communis de Trinitate excerptus ex locis communibus Michaelis Salevii Poloni. The aim of the paper will be to present the structure of the notebook and to answer the questions: does the order of the commonplace book reveal the intention with which Servet/Gribaldi’s work was read? Why was the biblical translation by Sébastien Castellion (1551) applied in the manuscript? To what extent do the highlights and notes coincide with anti-Trinitarian views (and who was their author)? Is it possible to indicate in the mentioned sources the influence of Peter Gonesius, also a student of Gribaldi? To answer these questions the notebook will be juxtaposed with the script of the testimony of the Polish students put on trial by Pier Paolo Vergerio, a proponent of Lutheranism acting in the service of Duke Christoph of Württemberg.

Lyle Bierma, Calvin Theological Seminary: Embodied and Disembodied Souls in the Heidelberg Catechism (Panel: Calvin, Calvinism, and the Care for Body and Soul)

In a fascinating study published in 2000, entitled The Reformation of the Dead: Death and Ritual in Early Modern Germany, 14501700, Craig M. Koslofsky argued that the early Protestant view of death entailed much more than a separation of body and soul. This view of death also involved a new separation of embodied souls in the earthly realm from the disembodied souls now in the spiritual realm. The Protestant rejection of the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory meant the end of priestly prayers and masses for the dead, particularly dead relatives, in purgatory. And the gulf between the living and the dead was further widened by the Protestants’ refusal to pray any longer to Mary and the saints in heaven or to recognize Mary and the saints as interceding on behalf of those still on earth. What I wish to argue in this short paper is that Koslofsky’s theological analysis is incomplete when it comes to the sixteenth-century Protestant view of the connection between embodied and disembodied souls. In a representative digest of Protestant doctrine like the Heidelberg Catechism, at least, the gap between the realm of the living and the realm of the dead is not as wide as Koslofsky portrays it. The catechism does indeed reject the doctrines of purgatory and intercession of the saints, but it replaces them with an emphasis on some crucial Christological material.

Erik de Boer, Theological University Kampen | Utrecht: Church Fathers and Medieval Theologians in the Exchange between François Richardot and Guy de Brès in 1567 (Panel: Guy de Brès, Le baston de la foy chrestienne – the forthcoming critical edition of a patristic florilegium)

W.H.Th. Moehn has prepared a two-volume critical edition of Guido de Bres (c. 15221567), Le baston de la foy, a very popular florilegium of Bible texts and patristic quotations, systematically organized. In 2022 De Bres’ 500th birthday will be commemorated. In this panel we will demonstrate how the forthcoming critical editions of 1555, 1558, and 1565 together with the English translation will open up new research avenues.

Erik de Boer, Theological University Kampen | Utrecht: How to Reform the Sacrament of the Last Ointment? (Panel: Liturgical Formularies of the Dutch Reformed Churches in the Sixteenth Century)

The sacrament for believers facing death has for ages been the last ointment. During the Middle Ages the literary genre of ars moriendi (the ability to die well) developed. The reformers agreed that only baptism and the Lord’s Supper should be considered as sacraments: instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ and carrying a promise. As a third sacrament some considered penance, but the last ointment was in no form kept. In the Dutch reformation a text surfaced called Den siecken troost (Comfort for the Sick). It was built from Bible texts, presented in a systematically organized form, addressing the sick who were facing death. The text soon found its way into the printed hymnals of the Reformed Churches on the Low Countries in the late seventies and became the final part of the ‘Church book’, even though no ecclesial body ever seems to have decided so. In this paper Comfort for the Sick is presented as to the author (Cornelis van Hille), origin (refugee churches), sources and contents. We hope to learn how Reformed ars moriendi texts developed in other countries and confessions and if other liturgical forms developed around the deathbed.

Gert van den Brink, Theologische Universiteit Apeldoorn: Substance, Quality, and Relation in Luther’s Doctrine of Justification

In Luther’s doctrine of justification, the terms “justice”, “just”, and “justification” are important. It is not uncommon in the present Luther research to state that for Luther, “justice” is not a substance, nor is “just” a quality, but both belong to the category of relation; and this relation is constituted by God’s synthetic act of justification. I investigate whether such an interpretation is coherent with Luther’s nominalist training, and with his Ockhamist view of substance, quality, and relation.

Benedikt Brunner, Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte: Bullingers Care for the Souls of the Exiles. The Hundred Sermons upon the Apocalips (1561) in the Context of his Theological Thought and Pastoral Practice

Dass die Seelsorge eine zentrale Signatur der theologischen und kirchenpolitischen Identität des Zürcher Reformators Heinrich Bullinger gewesen ist, darauf haben Andreas Mühling und andere immer wieder hingewiesen. Zu einem wesentlichen Wirkungsfeld seiner pastoralen Tätigkeit gehörten die Glaubensflüchtlinge aus England und Italien, aber auch aus anderen Teilen Europas, die in Zürich Zuflucht fanden. Mein Beitrag fragt nach der seelsorgerlichen Bedeutung von Bullingers Hundert Predigten über die Johannesapokalypse und dem dort enthaltenen Verständnis von der Sorge um Leib und Seele. Drei Aspekte sollen in meinem Beitrag untersucht werden. Sie stammen aus dem Kontext eines größeren, in der Entwicklung befindlichen Projektes über “Bullinger als Seelsorger”. Erstens soll das Verständnis von Seelsorge bei Bullinger herausgearbeitet werden. Welche Aspekte schließt dies ein und auf welche Lebensbereiche erstreckt sie sich? Zweitens will ich dann konkret nach der Bedeutung von Leib und Seele in den Hundred Sermons fragen, um die handlungsleitenden Implikationen dieser Schrift näher zu beleuchten. Drittens möchte ich darauf aufbauend die Frage diskutieren, was uns Bullingers seelsorgerliche Tätigkeit über sein reformatorisches Selbstverständnis sagen kann.

Thom Bull, Trinity Theological College, Perth: Variegated Typology in the Early Ecclesiology of Girolamo Zanchi 

For the first Common Place within his early lectures on the book of Isaiah (15531558), Girolamo Zanchi applies himself to a lengthy discussion of the doctrine of the Church, drawing upon Isaiah 2:2-3 in order to do so. In undertaking to expound his ecclesiology from this text, Zanchi is required to give a coherent account of the relationship between ancient Israel and the Church of Christ, which maintains his conviction that the Church is the unified body of elect believers existing throughout the course of time, alongside the significant salvation-historical change in the people of God which he discerns in the Isaiah passage. This paper will argue that Zanchi seeks to meet this challenge in part, not only by identifying various Old Testament types of the Church, but by exercising a range of different modes of typological interpretation, which enables him to connect Old Testament realities to the Church of Christ with differing levels of immediacy, thus servicing a nuanced account of the continuity and discontinuity which characterises the people of God through time. Study of Zanchi’s use of typology in this regard reflects an exegetical sensitivity to the diversity and complexity of the biblical text, particularly as regards the relationship between the Testaments, as well as a sophisticated use of Aristotelian and Neo-Platonic conceptual tools as ancillaries to the interpretive task.

Katharina Chou Wu, Beijing Normal University: The Reception of Luther in China Since Nineteenth Century

The evolution of images of Luther in China shows vividly how Luther was accepted in China since the nineteenth century. Luther was first recognized in China in the first half of the nineteenth century. Missionaries and Chinese intellectuals formed the two routes publicizing his work and his ideas in China. However, Luther’s reception in China was not a holistic copy from the West, but a reshaping process which was greatly influenced by the context of Chinese history and culture. This article explores how Luther was accepted in China, in the way how his image was developed within this historical context from 1840 to the present day, namely how he was perceived as a negative “divider”, Catholic “evil destroyer” and Protestant “great reformer”,  a positive “great reform model”, and an “enemy of the working and peasant classes”. Till today, a multiple, tri-dimensional, and more comprehensive perspective on Luther exists. Most recently, a new image, the great founder of Modernity of Luther is shaping in Chinese Philosophical circles.

Marlene Dirschauer, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin: “My body the bark rows in mind’s ocean wide”. Body, Mind, and Soul in Margaret Cavendish’s poetry (Panel: Rewriting Genres, Reimagining Binaries: Body and Soul in Seventeenth-Century Women’s Poetry in English)

This panel looks at seventeen-century poetry as a productive site of reflection on the relationship between the material (body, matter, death) and the immaterial (soul, mind, the eternal) in early modern England. The female poets examined in this panel, Hester Pulter and Margaret Cavendish, write in lyric genres that organize themselves around the soul body dichotomy–the body and soul dialogue poem and the apostrophe to the soul. We aim to illuminate these poems’ indebtedness to medieval and early modern theological, scientific, and philosophical thought, while at the same time drawing attention to the ways the poems innovatively intervene in these debates through their idiosyncratic language use. Moreover, by focusing on women’s poems and their playful representations of the body and the soul, we intend to spur debate on the gendered nature of this dualism. This paper, focused on the poet, philosopher, and scientist Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673), discusses the generic richness and philosophical complexity of two of Cavendish’s poems, Soul and Body and A Dialogue betwixt the Body and the Mind. Whereas the first short poem rather conventionally revisits a common medieval idea of flesh as “garment” of the soul and meditates on the resurrected body, the second (and longer) poem reveals the radical nature of Cavendish’s philosophy. While the poem appropriates the dialogical form of the soul-body debate, its imagery not only questions Cartesian dualism, but also places its emphasis on human beings’ intellectual power. By tracing the subtle shift from “soul” to “mind”, which often appear as two interchangeable concepts, my paper identifies this very shift as one that privileges a philosophically informed mind and embodied thinking over a theologically charged soul that is distinct from the body. I argue that Cavendish’s monistic approach can be read as a challenge to the gendered implications of the long tradition of the soul-body dualism.

Rasmus H.C. Dreyer, University of Copenhagen: Johann Conrad Dippel’s Thoughts on Body, Soul and Salvation as a Theological Challenge to Early Danish Eighteenth-century Theology and Science 

The theologian Johann Conrad Dippel (1673-1734) was a troubled and difficult polemical figure, deeply preoccupied with theology, occultism, (medical) alchemy, chemistry and astrology. In 1704, he settled in Berlin as a chemist, and as a leading physician he found his way into the circles of the court of Saxony and hence the Danish court. Dippel travelled to the Danish Realm a few years later. In my new study, which is a part of the interdisciplinary research project “Managing Melancholy” at University of Copenhagen (combining Theology and History of Medicine), I seek to reconsider Dippel’s influence on Danish theology and science during the first decades of the eighteenth century. His career and the perception of his teachings and theology indicates that Dippel was taken more serious than Danish church historiography has pointed out when dismissing his key theological and medical concepts, particularly his theory of the soul and the inner man. Dippel’s view on the connection between body, soul and salvation was a radical Pietistic, yet also medicotheological way of thinking on line with the Halle-based medical theorist Georg Ernst Stahl (1660-1734). Dippel’s position in the Danish Realm was shifting, and he was condemned and banned from Denmark twice. This indicates him being understood as a real theological challenge to both the Lutheran Orthodoxy and the more moderate Pietism in Denmark (and Sweden where he was active too). Under the pseudonym Christianus Demokritus, Dippel published a series of writings containing corrosive attacks on the church and its teachings on for instance salvation. These writings are in particular subject of my upcoming investigations.

Wouter Druwé, KU Leuven: Liability of Towns and Churches for Delicts by their Leaders and Representatives: Some Remarks Based on ius commune

Delictum personae non debet redundare in detrimentum Ecclesiae. This quotation of ‘rule of law’ (regula iuris) nr. 76 of the last title of the Liber Sextus by Pope Boniface VIII (1298) has led to numerous commentaries and discussions in the ius commune-literature. Jurists, experts of civil as well as canon law, developed exceptions and nuances to that very general principle. These commentaries have helped shape a theory on the liability of an universitas (like an abbey, a local church, a town, …) for contractual or delictual misbehaviour of its leaders and representatives. This short paper aims at giving a first insight into this question, of course without claiming exhaustivity. A few sources of pragmatic legal literature (especially some consilia) from the early modern period will also be mentioned. One of the examples will concern the liability of the town of Brussels after the pacification of 1585 for debts concluded by the Protestant leaders in the early 1580s.

Ana Luiza Ferreira Gomes Silva, KU Leuven: Iconoclasm, Reconsecration and Reconciliation: the Writings of Petrus Peckius (Sixteenth Century)

This study will analyze the canon law issues concerning the spiritual reparation of sacred spaces – involving specifically the reconsecration and reconciliation of churches and altars. The Iconoclastic Fury of 15667 caused a wave of destruction of church buildings, images, altars, and many ecclesiastical objects. The damage, however, went beyond money and material reparations – reaching the spiritual realm. As a professor of the University of Leuven and jurist in this time of religious and political turmoil, Petrus Peckius both commented on the topic of reconsecration and reconciliation of churches and altars in his published treatise De sacrosanctis et catholicis, Christi ecclesiis reparandis ac reficiendis (1573); and later taught about the subject as ordinarius of Canon Law (as a part of his lectures on the Liber Sextus – ms. 22153 KBR, from 1577). This study seeks not only to understand how the author treated this matter but also to observe the similarities and differences between these two sources of different spheres: the line between classroom and published work in this delicate subject, directly connected with the core conflicts of the late sixteenth century. While the sources show differences (be it in textual style and structure; focus; references; and intended audience), they also bring some notable similarities and no internal contradiction. Both printed text and teaching notes reveal a detailed analysis, primarily based on the work of older canon lawyers, which considered many types of damage to church buildings and altars and what it might imply to their spiritual state. Peckius shows a comprehensive examination of the rites of reconsecration and reconciliation: their causes, consequences, and limitations.

Holly Fletcher, University of Manchester: Body Size, Gender and Marriage in Reformation Germany (Panel: Marriage, Gender, and the Body)

Body size, fatness and thinness, held meaning in the Lutheran Reformation. Discussions of fatness and the belly were entangled with fundamental debates about sin and salvation, becoming embedded in ideas about what it meant to be a Lutheran. Yet how far were such understandings shaped by ideas about gender? As Lyndal Roper has shown, the Reformation was in many ways guided by a ‘theology of gender’ and in this paper I will explore how Reformation ideas about body size interacted with gendered conceptions of the body, particularly in the context of marriage. Firstly, I will consider how body size and form was used by Lutherans to present a gendered image of both the Catholic church and the Reformation movement. Then I will focus on how body size took on meaning in Lutheran understandings of marriage, including questions of marital compatibility, as well as the need for both members of a partnership to play a role in the maintenance of the household, especially through the nourishment of one another’s bodies. By examining contemporary sermons, broadsides, texts on marital discipline, church records and personal letters, this paper will demonstrate how body size was implicated in ideas about gender and marriage which were at the centre of the new reformed order.

Sjur Atle Furali, University of Oslo, Faculty of Theology: Structure of Legislation as Symbolic Communication 

In this short paper, I will examine two Danish laws from the seventeenth century: Christian IV’s Great Reces (1643) and Christian vs Danish Code (1683). During the forty years that separated these laws, Denmark-Norway became an absolute monarchy (1660). I suggest that by studying how these books were structured in very different ways, it is possible to bring new insights into the changes in the relationship between church and state in the beginning of absolutism. Great Reces consisted of two books, while the codification of the Danish Code was inspired by the Roman law principle of quinque compilationes antiquae, and divided into six books. This meant that the individual legal rules also had to be structured in new ways. This was not always a simple exercise. I will use the legal rules that were moved from the canon law in Store Reces to the criminal law in Danish law as an example, and argue that the transfers helped to strengthen the king’s position as a religious symbol in Denmark-Norway.

Marco Giardini, École Pratique des Hautes Études: The Council, the King, and the “Angelic Pope:” Some Aspects of Guillaume Postel’s Anti-papalism 

Among the most controversial statements made by Guillaume Postel, certainly one of the most enigmatic figures in sixteenth-century France, his peculiar understanding and assessment of the Papacy deserve special attention. Since his encounter with the “Venetian Virgin” in Venice, whom he understood as the indwelling of the spirit of Christ within a feminine body, the French visionary and polymath launched several attacks in his writings against the Roman Papacy, assimilating it more than once to a truly demonic or “anti-Christian” power. The anti-papalism of Guillaume Postel appears to be multifaceted: this paper intends to survey the main trajectories of his accusations, which can be classified on the basis of at least three main assertions: 1) the superiority of the Council’s authority over the papal authority; 2) Postel’s support of the French monarchy’s claims both in the temporal and in the spiritual fields; 3) above all, the spiritual understanding of the “Venetian Virgin”, whom Postel assimilated to the second manifestation of Christ, charged with a major task in the redemptive process of humanity, as well as to the “Angelic Pope,” a prophetic figure of medieval origin that Postel re-interpreted in accordance with his complex cosmological and metaphysical doctrine. In the paper, possible influences of other sixteenth-century authors and environments on Postel’s assessment of the papal institution will be rapidly explored, starting from the influences of Annius of Viterbo and Jean Lemaire de Belges in reshaping the ancient French claims to universal monarchy, the resurgence of interest in medieval prophetic collections in France and Italy during the first half of the century, as well as the influences of some Jewish traditions (both Talmudic and Kabbalistic) in Postel’s understanding of the messianic function.

David Gudmundsson, Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University: “A certain sect in France.” Questioning God’s Providence as a Threat to the Immortal Soul. A Warning Against Deism in a Swedish Military Sermon

Deism found its way to Sweden in the first half of the eighteenth century. It was first mentioned in print in 1722. However, already in 1707 a Swedish chaplain in the army of Charles XII called his audience’s attention to the danger of the Deists’ denial of the providence of God, a cornerstone in Lutheran theology. It was in a sermon held at the Swedish headquarters in Altranstädt in Saxony, on Trinity Sunday 1707, by chaplain Magnus Aurivillius. The main argument of the sermon was that God’s providence may seem strange and incomprehensible to man, but still is righteous and holy, and even though providence may seem unfair, it is always just. Man shall not seek the reasons for God’s doings, only praise Him and his actions. And at this point both Deists and Calvinists fail dramatically, Aurivillius stated.This theology on providence and the polemics against its adversaries could be described as part of a Lutheran Confessional culture (Ge. Konfessionskultur, as developed by Church historian Thomas Kaufmann), aiming at defending “true” doctrine against different opponents, thus shaping the identity of the confessional culture. While the relationship between Lutheran Orthodoxy and Pietism in Sweden has been frequently studied over the past years, early Deist ideas, or as in this case, early polemics against Deism, have not been subject to much investigation. This paper is a first step towards such an undertaking, first by establishing some early influences of early Enlightenment ideas in Sweden, then by looking closer at the sermon delivered by Magnus Aurivillius in 1707 and his arguments against Deism.

Joar Haga, VID Specialized University: Soul without Body? Christoph Scheibler´s Account of the Soul after Death

I will present how Christoph Scheibler treated the question of the immortality of the soul in his collection of disputations, Liber de anima, published 1627. Scheibler underlined the importance of the body to anthropological make-up, rejecting any attempts to frame human beings solely in light of the soul. According to him, corporality should also be accounted for. How did Scheibler solve the problem of an immortal soul and a perished body after death?

Nikolina Hatton, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich: My soul, why art thou full of trouble”: Hester Pulter’s Apostrophes to the Soul (Panel: Rewriting Genres, Reimagining Binaries: Body and Soul in Seventeenth-Century Women’s Poetry in English

The only recently available poems of Hester Pulter (1605-1678) provide an invaluable insight into the intellectual interests and spirituality of a Royalist woman living through the English Civil War and Interregnum. This paper focuses on Pulter’s apostrophes to the soul. These poems lack the disciplinary and violent language that Abe Davies (Imagining the Soul in Premodern Literature, 2021) recognizes as common in the genre in the period. Instead, Pulter utilizes the apostrophic form to highlight her feeling of body/soul fragmentation, a fragmentation that in turn reflects her political and personal isolation. These poems contain an evolving speaker that at various moments appears to be Pulter’s maternal body, her Reason, or Pulter dissolved into the broader universe. Through a shift in pronouns, from “I” and”‘thou” to “we”, Pulter uses the space of the poems to redress the body/soul dichotomy by looking forward to an eternal wholeness. That she expresses these sentiments with echoes of the Psalms and John Donne and in the meter of popular metrical Psalms sung in church highlights their subversive potential, as she performs the unification of body and soul in the register of the Anglican church service. In so doing, she utilizes generic and biblical forms to turn her lone, female body into the voice of the nation—enacting a form of unification in the face of national, personal, and existential division.

William de Hek, Theologische Universiteit Apeldoorn: Affections in Melanchthon’s Loci Praecipui Theologici (1559)

In Melanchthon’s first edition of the Loci, the Loci communes of 1521, affections are a key concept. “The heart with its affections” is, stated the young Melanchthon, “the highest and strongest part of man.” There is agreement among scholars that this anthropological consideration shaped Melanchthon’s early theology of sin, law and grace. The role of affections in Melanchthon’s later theology is scarcely researched. This short paper examines the place of affections in Melanchthon’s later theology, by looking at the third aetas of Melanchthon’s Loci, the Loci praecipui theologici (1543–1559). Firstly, the role of affections in the first aetas of Melanchthon’s Loci will be considered. Then the place of affections in the anthropology of the Loci praecipua theologici will be introduced, from the locus de humanis viribus seu de libero arbitrio. After that, the place of affections in the theology of the third aetas of the Loci will be examined, in three points: the role of affections in Melanchthon’s doctrine of sin, of the law, and of faith. It will be shown that, even though the shape of his anthropology is thoroughly changed, affections keep playing a critical role in Melanchthon’s theology.

Sabine Hiebsch, Theological University Kampen | Utrecht: How Often Can You Inaugurate a Church? A Critical Look at the Four Inauguration Sermons of the Round Lutheran Church in Amsterdam (1671) 

When the Lutheran congregation in Amsterdam inaugurated the Round Lutheran Church in 1671 it wasn’t just the senior minister who preached the inauguration sermon, as had been the case with their first church in 1633. Instead there were four services where all four ministers preached individual inauguration sermons.  This has normally been explained by practicalities: 1. The interior of the new church was not yet finished and therefore couldn’t hold the whole congregation. 2. The consistory wanted to give all ministers the opportunity to preach on this solemn occasion. In this paper, utilizing a broad cultural analysis, I will argue that it was not practicalities, but rivalry between the ministers that led to the four inauguration sermons. I will show how Dutchification of the congregation and international Lutheran influences were the underlying competing concepts. As such the four inauguration sermons are an expression of the competition for constructing an authentic and authoritative brand of Dutch Lutheranism.

Andrea Hofmann, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: Women as Authors of Protestant Devotional Literature in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Panel: Women Making Reformation. Writings and Reception)

As authors of prayer books, hymns and other devotional literature, women in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries contributed significantly to the formation and dissemination of evangelical piety. Three women and their writings will be the focus of the lecture. The first woman, Elisabeth Cruciger (ca. 15001535), belonged to Luther’s circle of acquaintances in Wittenberg. She wrote Herr Christ der einig Gotts Sohn, one of the most important hymns of the Reformation period, which can be found in almost every Protestant hymnal from 1524 until today. The second woman, Elisabeth von Calenberg-Göttingen (15101558), introduced the Reformation in the Duchy of Calenberg-Göttingen in 1542 and was active throughout her life as an author of religious literature. With her Witwentrostbuch, she not only gave instructions for an appropriate spiritual life in widowhood, but also criticized society’s treatment of widows. Anna Ovena Hoyers (15841655), the third wife, was a landowner from North Friesland who sympathized with spiritualist theologians and emigrated to Sweden during the Thirty Years’ War. She published numerous theological writings and spiritual songs. The lecture will focus on her Gespräch zwischen Mutter und Kind, a catechetical instruction that she probably used herself in the religious education of her children. The three women were each shaped by different social, societal, and theological contexts. They lived in different places at different times. What they have in common, however, is that through their literary work they played a significant role in ensuring that ideas of the Reformation could also spread in the domestic context, especially among women.

Gabór IttzésDebrecen Reformed Theological University: David Chyträus and the Sixteenth-Century Lutheran Doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul

David Chyträus (c.15301600), a leading theologian of the North German Reformation in the latter part of the sixteenth century, published a two-volume eschatological work in Latin in 15811582 (De morte, et vita æterna). By the end of the century, the book had gone through several editions and appeared in various translations as well. In this paper I will discuss Chyträus’ work, with special reference to its place in the development of the doctrine of the immortality of the soul in the later Lutheran Reformation. Starting from a philological base, I will offer a structural and theological analysis, exploring connections to other contemporary works on the topic. I will primarily situate De morte in the context of a body of literature including Melchior Specker’s Vom Leiblichen Todt (1560), Andreas Musculus’s Gelegeinheit, Thun vnd Wesen der Verstorbenen (1565), Basilius Faber’s Tractetlein von den Seelen der verstorbenen (1569), and Johannes Garcaeus, Jr.’s Sterbbüchlein (1573), which I have discussed elsewhere. I will focus on thematic parallels, structural similarities, shared motifs, possible common sources, influences, and borrowings. I will argue that Chyträus was probably aware of the preceding tradition and engaged in it quite directly, but, given his towering intellect and the originality of his thought, he provided novel answers to several questions raised in the earlier discussion. ― Research for this paper was supported by the Debrecen Reformed Theological University.

Klaas-Willem de Jong, Protestantse Theologische Universiteit (PThU): Who Established the Dutch Liturgy? (Panel: Liturgical Formularies in the Making)

From a modern perspectieve the answer to this question seems rather simple; the church, or rather the official gremium to which the task has been assigned by ecclesial procedure is in charge to do so. However, the historically sound answer is far more complex for the period in which the Dutch liturgy developed, the second half of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth century. In this paper I scout this early phase. On the one hand it is an individual (for example, Petrus Dathenus), on the other hand an ecclesial gathering, or even the government, which takes the lead. In most cases, there is a degree of cooperation. In all this, it should not be forgotten that it is the local churches that ultimately determine the liturgical practice.

Byunghoon Kang, Theological University Kampen | Utrecht: Guy de Brès and Iconoclasm: Review with Le Baston de la foy  chrestienne (Panel: Guy de Brès, Le baston de la foy chrestienne – the Forthcoming Critical Edition of a Patristic Florilegium)

As a panel of the session of Guy de Brès’ anthology, Le baston de la foy chrestienne, I will focus on the Chapter on Images in it. With it, I will deal with the relation between De Brès’ thoughts on Images and the Beeldenstorm (Iconoclasm in the Low Countries). De Brès was a reformed pastor in Valenciennes when the iconoclasm broke out in 1566. Was not De Brès related to the iconoclasm? De Brès, who served in Lille since 1552, published his first work Le baston de la foy chrestienne in 1555. This work was an anthology collecting patristic quotations and biblical references topic by topic to refute the Roman-Catholic doctrines. Through this, De Brès wanted his saints to become familiar with the words of the church fathers and the Word of God. When one had to be interrogated, De Brès wanted him to be armed with such knowledge and ready to refute the claims of the inquisitors. He took this mission very seriously and revised Le baston three times, twice in 1558 and once in 1559. Since then, it continued to be published and widely distributed until 1565. This means that Le baston was actually used in the reformed congregations of the Low Countries. Probably De Brès also educated his saints through this. De Brès dealt with the Chapter on Images in Le baston. In other words, De Brès educated the saints about the images in the Church. Through this, we would figure out De Brès’ position on the images. Le baston also included the chapters dealing with relations with the government. Through this, we could get a hint as to what stance De Brès took on the violent iconoclasm. In addition, in December 1566 and January 1567, De Brès wrote political petitions to appeal for the help of magistrates. In this paper, I would like to analyze his position on the iconoclasm through De Brès’ writings. The structure will be as follows: 1. Introduction 2. Iconoclasm and Reformed Pastors in the Low Countries 3. The Chapter on Images in Le baston 4. Guy de Brès and Iconoclasm 5. Conclusion.

Thomas Klöckner, JGU Mainz: Early Modern Approaches to the Early Church – the Primitive Church as a Historical Construct and Object of Idealization

The idealization of the primitive church was a concept in early Christianity from the very outset, portrayed for the first time in the Book of Acts (cf. Acts 2:42–47; 4:32–37). In Pauline ecclesiological terminology, the impressive image of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12–26) conveys this new somatic existence most emphatically. Modern New Testament scholarship discusses whether the idealistic point of view was really the scopus of Luke’s art of writing history or if he offers a more realistic and „historical“ picture of the ecclesia primitiva than his followers, the early church fathers, or, for example, Ernst Troeltsch using the later problemated term „religiöser Liebeskommunismus“. Nevertheless following the lines and traces of the primitive church as presented in the first accounts in the New Testament, a life in unity and a community of property was achieved for instance by the early monastic movements. Apart from the question as to whether this simplified portrayal is a unique part of the early writers’ intention, all later conceptions from the early Middle Ages over the reformation movements until modern times recapture this construction in different ways. Sometimes the emphasis lies more on spiritual unity, community of property or laymen-culture (without papacy), sometimes the negative development or decay of church and/or society is the main focus. Always contrasted with the early, primitive, pure or uncorrupted church as the basis and starting point for all later phenomena. The paper briefly discusses the varying approaches of dealing with this historical construct within church history and the history of dogma. The focus is on early modern history, preluding with the mendicant orders and finally mentioning more recent approaches (cf. Vearncombe, Scott & Taussig, After Jesus – Before Christianity, New York 2021). The main purpose lies in presenting development lines in general terms and the art of modeling the ecclesia primitiva as an object of idealization.

Wojciech Kordyzon, University of Warsaw: Vernacular Printing and Astrology in the Reformation Königsberg: Prognistications and Astrological Pamphlets Printed by Hans Daubmann (15541573) 

The paper is to analyse how Hans Daubmann, for almost twenty years (155473) a monopolist printer in Königsberg, acted as a publisher of astrological and astronomical pamphlets in vernacular languages, i.e., German and Polish. Due to the confessional character of Prussian state and religious orientation of the printer’s patrons, particularly Duke Albert Hohenzollern, the large part of Daubmann’s production was Lutheran-oriented. His astrological pamphlets (there are five editions identified from 1554, 1555, 1559, 1562, 1564) serve as an informative example of the ways how local Lutheran principles influenced editions of texts for which confessional aspects were not the constitutive factor. Juxtaposition of editions printed in German and Polish enables one to observe separate publishing strategies for each language. German pamphlets are locally written prognostications and calendars for the use of the German-speaking readers in the Duchy of Prussia. Their composition and layout reproduce the already in place conventions that Daubmann had started to use while working previously in Nuremberg (before 1554) where Daubmann’s strategy was also to cooperate with local astronomers. The booklets printed in Polish, however, stand out from this pattern. Their authors were outside of Prussia and the published works were not original but translated. Moreover, they are framed with paratextual elements (particularly textual and typographical) to focalize the meanings of prognostication contents on the polemical interpretations against the Roman Church. Investigation of the interpersonal networks (of translators, editors, and dedication addressees) behind those editions combined with content analysis revealed that Polish editions had been aimed also for export to Poland and thus their role significantly differed from the German prognostications and calendars, in terms both of the Daubmann’s business model and the persuasive ideological goals set by Duke Albert.

Jakub Koryl, Jagiellonian University: “Body is the whole man”: Martin Luther the Phenomenologist in his Quest for the Carnal Meaning of Humanity 

This paper aims at elaborating the philosophical implications of Luther’s idea of human being before the man-made reality. I shall try to show that Luther’s path of thinking, driven by his proto-phenomenological goals, marks a game-changing shift in understanding the spiritual-physical difference which involves granting the human body an ontologically primal status. With such a change, either introduced or made possible by Luther, the human body ceased to be a biological fact and became a primal phenomenon of man’s being in the world. Consequently, the idea of body could no longer refer to the lower or irrational, animal element of the spiritual-physical compositum. As a category that henceforth belonged to the phenomenological inquiry, body refers to the entire man, covering his sensual, moral and discursive powers. Body makes it possible to describe the inner-worldly and temporal way of being, and thus nothing but the body or “carnal wisdom” / “carnal life”, as it was called by Luther and Melanchthon, determines the worldliness of a world consisting of embodied thoughts and acts which are genuinely human. This divinely unconditioned man-made reality was described by Luther in a particularly striking way as the mundus corporalis. For that reason Luther explicitly rejected the platonizing distinction between flesh and spirit. Instead he considered the body the way man alone situates and understands himself in his world. Such phenomenological approach led Luther to reverse the carnal-spiritual hierarchy as the one unknown to philosophy, since the body in its present here and now always remains a self-reliant whole. As such, this paper aims at unfolding an area of thought where the question “to what extent Luther paves the way for the phenomenological quests for the double-sensation of a human body (Husserl), facticity of man’s being-here (Heidegger) or for the embodiment of human expressions (Merleau-Ponty)?” becomes not only meaningful, but also necessary.

Wouter Kroese, Protestantse Theologische Universiteit (PThU), Amsterdam: Literary and Theological Dependencies of the Dutch Baptismal Form? (Panel: Liturgical Formularies)

The classical Dutch baptismal form as published by Petrus Dathenus (1566) is mainly a translation of the Form zu taufen of the Palatinate Church Order of 1563. This context is largely the same as that of the Heidelberg Catechism. In this baptismal form we can observe traces of various liturgical documents. Of the Heidelberg Catechism it was stated that “literary dependence of the Heidelberg Catechism on the works of a particular theologian or (…) the presence in the Heidelberg Catechism of doctrinal distinctives from a particular theological tradition” was proven inaccurate (Bierma, 2005). In this paper I try to answer this question as to the accuracy of literary dependence of the sources of the baptismal form, and whether we can find a distinct theology or rather theologies of the classical Dutch baptismal form.

Andrew Leslie, Moore Theological College, Sydney: Jerome Zanchi, the Typology of Adam and Eve, and Christological Mediation of their Creation in the Image and Likeness of God

A striking feature of Jerome Zanchi’s exposition of the creation of humanity in his posthumously published hexameron, De Operibus Dei Intra Spatium Sex Dierum (1591), is the proliferation of typological associations he draws out of the relevant texts in Genesis 1-2. Next to the exegetical minimalism of his mentor, John Calvin, for instance, Zanchi’s allegorical flourishes on these texts are comparatively baroque. Whilst clearly drawing on a long-standing exegetical tradition, this paper will argue that Zanchi assumes the legitimacy of these allegorical insights on the grounds of a pre-lapsarian and post-lapsarian continuity he detects in Christ’s mediatorial office, a judgment which he in fact shares with Calvin. That he does not intend these connections to be misunderstood as a later layer of spiritual meaning that is subsequently (and one might argue, arbitrarily) imposed on the historico-grammatical meaning of the text, but rather, as something integral to the literal meaning of the text itself, stems from his theological conviction that Christ, as the eternal wisdom of God, is the sole mediator of humanity’s creation and redemption alike. In that way, Zanchi believes the divine grace and wisdom that is operative in the formation of Adam and Eve is fundamentally continuous with the grace and wisdom that operates in the context of redemption, and which is yet to be consummated in heaven. Not only does this continuity of Christological mediation allow Zanchi to discern post-lapsarian realities figured in the pre-lapsarian state, I will also show how it leads him to be explicit about a specifically Christological agency in the creation of Adam and Eve after the image and likeness of God. In this way the paper seeks to make a modest contribution to the growing body of scholarship on Zanchi as a significant voice in the early development of Protestant theology in the second half of the sixteenth century.

Moses Lim, Theological University Kampen | Utrecht: The Meaning of of the Laying on of Hands in Dutch Reformed Forms of Installation (Panel: The Liturgical Formularies of the Dutch Reformed Churches in the Sixteenth Century)

The laying on of hands was a critical issue for the Reformers, such as Martin Bucer and John Calvin, for their understanding of the installation’s meaning. Also, their views of the laying on of hands are directly connected with the liturgical structure and arrangements of the installation ceremony. In 1586, the Dutch installation form of the pastor was created. Like the Reformers, the Dutch Reformed churches’ view of the laying on of hands is essential to understand the liturgical form of the installation. This paper will examine the Dutch Reformed churches’ view of the laying on of hands by tracing their discussions before 1586 and analyzing the form.

Anne Lorein, Theological University Kampen | Utrecht: What is the Context of the Form for the Solemnisation of Marriage? (Panel: Liturgical Formularies in Context)

In 1566 Petrus Dathenus edited the Form for the Solemnisation of Marriage. Of course, there is a broader historical context and once the form was in use, it functioned in a social context. This contextual information is essential to understand the form. In the paper I will frame some concepts in their historical and social context, so we can grasp the form’s meaning in its time.

Balázs Dávid Magyar, University of Pretoria: “Sex and the City of Debrecen”: Figures and Statistics of Sexual Misconducts Recorded in the Registers of the Magistracy of Debrecen (1547-1625) 

The reception of John Calvin’s theology and social thoughts in Hungary raises several historical, judicial, and theological questions. The multi-faceted heritage of the first reformed bishop of the city of Debrecen, Juhász Péter Melius (†1572) reveals that Calvin’s theological and ethical considerations deeply influenced the sixteenth century moral life of the local townsfolk of Debrecen. However, it is evident that the direct way of it has remained until now a neglected part of current Calvin research. As a result, the present paper intends to point out what was the practical outcome concerning morality of the sermons and theological treatises delivered by the early protestant pastors and preachers in Debrecen. Readers will find that the Hungarian reformers did not cite directly the written heritage of Luther or Calvin, but the sifting examination of the Registers of the Magistracy of Debrecen can pave the way for the right understanding of the practical realization of moral thoughts implemented by early reformed preachers of Eastern Hungary. Moreover, the elaboration of the brighting scene of public morality in Debrecen makes it possible to compare the moral life of the townsfolk of Debrecen and Geneva in the first period of the reformation.

Hanna Mazheika, Polish Academy of Sciences: Ruthenian Students at the University of Ingolstadt and Incentives for Conversion to Catholicism 

Students of various confessional affiliations (Catholic, Calvinist and Orthodox) from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (nowadays Lithuania and Belarus) as well as Ruthenia (nowadays Ukraine) matriculated at the University of Ingolstadt, a stronghold of the Catholic faith in Southern Germany. While it was not the only Catholic institution they enrolled at during their academic peregrinations, it was a peculiar place since quite a few students converted to Catholicism there. One of such persons was Hieronim Jazłowiecki, a young nobleman from Ruthenia and a future voivode of the Podolian Voivodeship, who was raised in the Calvinist faith but converted to Catholicism when studying at Ingolstadt. While little is known about what lay behind this decision, the papers of some members of his entourage can shed some light on his motives. Of particular interest is the notebook of Albert Perlicki, a Catholic canon from L’viv of the Ruthenia Voivodeship, who served as Jazłowiecki’s preceptor and under the influence of whom Jazłowiecki may very well have decided to convert. Perlicki’s notebook was for the most part compiled in 1585-1587, when its owner was, together with his noble pupil, a student at the university. By analysing the structure of the notebook and the contents of the notes Perlicki made, the paper seeks to explore the incentives that encouraged students from Eastern Europe to join the Catholic Church while studying at the University of Ingolstadt.

Matt McNicoll, KU Leuven: The English Ambassadors to Lateran V in May 1512 

Henry VIII has never lacked scholarly attention, yet the first half of his reign still exhibits significant lacunae, such as how he engaged with Lateran V. Using letters and papers preserved mainly in the British Library or by Marino Sanuto, an analysis is offered of who (was supposed to have) represented him there in May 1512 and in what capacity. That just one of five English ambassadors appointed by Henry actually attended the council is attributed to his cautious but urgent attitude toward the Italian Wars after the Battle of Ravenna. A private arrangement with Ferdinand II, indicated by draft instructions kept at the Real Academia de la Historia, is then used to explain why, despite the presence of two long standing royal agents, no English ambassador was recorded in the conciliar acts. Both are taken as evidence that Henry regarded this council – and perhaps councils generally – with indifference.

Sini Mikkola, University of Eastern Finland: Standing by the Holy Body of her Husband: The body as Material, Spiritual and Political in the Rhetoric of Lay Reformer Katharina Schütz Zell (Panel: Marriage, Gender, and the Body)

In 1548, lay reformer Katharina Schütz Zell (1498–1562) from Strasbourg preached at the funeral of her deceased husband, Protestant pastor Matthias Zell. The clerical couple had had a prominent position in Strasbourg for over two decades, as both were working hard in pastoral and practical tasks for the benefit of both Strasbourg’s citizens and those seeking refuge there. In her funeral sermon – which she later wrote down –, Katharina Schütz Zell reminded her audience of the importance of her husband to the Protestant community and to the cause of the Reformation. By referring to, for example, her husband’s “holy body”, she painted a picture of Matthias that could be described as that of a Protestant saint. Inspired by this picturing, this paper aims to analyze the ways Schütz Zell used the body and bodiliness when describing and justifying the position of her husband and herself as the key agents of the Reformation in Strasbourg and a true Christian couple. The paper argues that in Schütz Zell’s marital rhetoric, the body was represented as material, spiritual, and political.

Wim Moehn, Protestant Theological University, Amsterdam: New Directions for the Research on Guy de Brès (Panel: Guy de Brès, Le baston de la foy chrestienne – the Forthcoming Critical Edition of a Patristic Florilegium

Research on Guy de Brès over the past century shows a remarkable discrepancy. There has been an amount of attention for his biography and several editions of the Confession de foy have appeared, but no one has ever taken the effort to provide a critical edition of his first publication Le baston de la foy chrestienne, on which he worked intensively from 1555 to 1563, nor of his voluminous book directed against the Anabaptists. Emile Braekman is to be praised for his extensive bibliographical research. After 500 years, Erik de Boer and Wim Moehn have taken up the challenge to provide a critical edition of all his writings, which meets current scholarly standards. Soon Droz in Geneva will publish the critical edition of Le baston in two volumes. This edition contains the complete text of 1555 with the parallel English translation by John Brooke and the complete text of 1565 with extensive annotations. In my presentation I will show by means of some examples the possibilities for future research on the theology and influence of Guy de Brès. When the right tools are available, plans can be made for a new, scholarly commentary on the Confession de foy – the text with which many churches around the world publicly define their faith.

Wim Moehn, Protestant Theological University, Amsterdam: The Wording of the Baptismal Form for ‘bejaarden’ (Adults) (Panel: The Dynamics of the Liturgy)

Within the context of the project “The Dynamics of the Liturgy” of the Protestant Theological University in Amsterdam and the Theological University in Kampen, I would like to present the so-called baptismal form for adults (“bejaarden”). From the very beginning Protestant liturgies knew a form to administer baptism in the Christian congregation. This baptismal form could also be used for the baptism of infants. At the end of the sixteenth century there appears to be a growing need for a form that can be used exclusively for the baptism of adults. In my presentation I will draw attention to the different versions that were in circulation and I will attempt to gauge the differences.  The library of PThU has a special copy of the liturgy, because it contains the text of the baptismal form for adults in manuscript. Does this text offer the possibility to shed new light on the discussion about adult baptism in the run-up to the Synod of Dordrecht?

Michelle Moseley, Virginia Polytechnic Institution and State University: Eve, Appetite, and the Fall of Man in Imagery of the Fifteenth-Century Low Countries

From writings of the early ascetics onward, food, hunger, and eating played an outsized role in theological and exegetical ruminations on the Fall of Man. Eve’s inability to refrain from the sole temptation of eating (forbidden) food defined, for many early Church Fathers, an everlasting human burden born from the appetites of women. Despite a great deal of textual emphasis on Eve’s appetites as a catalyst for base corporeal desires, compelling evidence for her visual depiction as a glutton has rarely been drawn into the interpretive study of images that picture the Fall of Man. This paper asks how an epistemology of eating established visual conventions for the Fall of Man in fifteenth-century Northern Europe, while facilitating an emerging discourse on taste, knowledge, and the consumption of devotional imagery. I argue that the prominence of Eve’s protruding belly, ubiquitous in imagery from the Low Countries at this time, for example, in the work of Jan van Eyck, Hugo van der Goes, and the circle of Rogier van der Weyden, is iconography that reflects on engagements with longstanding theological debates on gluttony, appetite, and corporeal desire in ways that shaped the role of Eve in Fall of Man imagery as the “first glutton.”

Thomas T. Müller, Mühlhäuser Museen: Peasants’ War at the Museum – An Exhibition Project on the Occasion of the 500th Anniversary

The Peasants’ War of 1525 shaped the collective memory of the entire German-speaking area for generations. Numerous uprisings of the rural population kept the nobility, church representatives and urban authorities on their toes. Also with reference to Reformation writings, regional expressions of legal-social discontent soon turned into a conflagration that was finally brutally put down by the authorities. Against this background, the Thuringian state government decided to mark the 500th anniversary of the Peasants’ War with a state exhibition in Mühlhausen in 2025. In the exhibition, the events in Thuringia are framed in the supra-regional context. In addition, the events in southern Germany, in Alsace, in present-day Austria, in South Tyrol and in Switzerland are also included. Starting with the late medieval conditions, the temporal arc of the exposition is widened to today’s societies. The state exhibition is planned in Mühlhausen with three thematic exhibition areas and a History Lab at four locations in Mühlhausen. The exhibition in the Marienkirche Museum will focus on the societal changes in the sixteenth century. The focus is on the living environment, models of order as well as social upheavals that occurred. The Kornmarktkirche Museum will focus on the concrete events and circumstances of the Peasants’ War. A parity view of all conflict parties is aimed at. Starting with the peasant demands, the meta-levels of radicalization, crisis management, and escalation are worked out along an event guide and rounded off by a complex on the formation of myths and the peasant war trauma that arose. The exhibition in the Kulturhistorisches Museum will focus on the interpretation and reception of the Peasants’ War from the sixteenth century to the present.The presentation at the conference will give an insight into the preparations of the project.

Octavian-Adrian Negoiță, University of Copenhagen: “Making the Lord’s Table a Table of Demons”: Orthodoxy in Faith, Heterodoxy, and Orthopraxy in the Works of the Athonite Monk Pachomios Rousanos (1508–1553)

Athonite monk, tireless traveler, autodidactic spirit, reader of the Classics and Fathers of the Church, copyist of Greek manuscripts, and defender of Orthodoxy during the Ottoman rule, the hieromonach (priest-monk) Pachomios Rousanos (15081553) was one of the most renowned intellectuals of his time. Well-known for his polemical attitude adopted in his theological writings, Rousanos was highly critical not only towards Latins (Catholics), Muslims or Monophysites, but also towards his fellow Orthodox. In his criticism towards the religious practices performed by both the Orthodox clergy and laymen, in his denunciatory attitude towards priests, and his unfavorable verdict on the level of religious instruction of Christians, Rousanos attempted to delineate the boundaries of the Orthodoxy in opposition to all the heterodox teachings and practices that stood in conflict with his understanding of the true Orthodox faith. In this paper I will analyze how Rousanos constructs the concept of “orthodoxy in faith” during the so-called “age of confessionalization”, when the Eastern Mediterranean became an arena of confessional polarization due to the Sunni policies implemented by the Ottoman sultans.

Fredrik Norberg-Schiefauer, Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University: Small Books with a Mission: Early Modern Catholic Prayer Books as Tools of re-Catholicisation 

Previous research has claimed that early modern Catholic prayer books were used as tools for resisting and fighting Protestantism, and as a means of Catholic confessionalisation. The historical sources themselves suggests that this was the case, as prayer books were considered illuminating tools for instructing readers in the faith and practises of Catholicism. Moreover, devotional literature was used in the instruction of converts alongside catechisms, and prayer books were often attached to the catechisms in the same binding. It was not uncommon that devotional literature was written and distributed by authors who were engaged in the re-Catholicisation processes and missionary efforts among Protestant populations in the Holy Roman Empire. However, with few exceptions, the subject of Catholic prayer books as tools of re-Catholicisation has been mostly overlooked by previous research. In this paper I will present my research on the role of German Catholic prayer books in re-Catholicisation processes (circa 1550–1750). The purpose of my dissertation project is to contribute to the field of European early modern church history and shed new light on the confessionalisation and re-Catholicisation processes, and the emergence of confessional cultures and identities in early modern Europe. This is also the purpose of this paper, in which I will present examples from two sixteenth century prayer books by the Dominican Johannes Faber and the Jesuit Petrus Michaelis.

Kathryn Phipps, University of Pennsylvania: Scripture as Incarnation: Perezian Divergence from the Upward Way

Neoplatonic models of ascent are frequently turned to in the sixteenth century as consolation to the persecuted. If there’s one place we might expect such a discourse to be found it would be in Juan Pérez de Piñeda’s Consolatory Epistle. Perez was an exiled Spanish reformer who worked closely with Calvin in reformed circles in Geneva. At a moment in which Neoplatonic doctrine revitalizes doctrinal debate across Christendom, Pérez writes at the nexus of Catholicism, Calvinism, Lutheranism, and Spanish Mysticism. His book-length letter detailing a theology of persecution, sent to those awaiting execution in the prisons of the Sevillian Inquisition, is the perfect moment to suggest that there is spiritual comfort in the abandonment of the flesh. And yet, narratives of ascent are remarkably absent from his work. My paper explores this absence by examining the divergences of Perezian theology from Calvinism in terms of their opposite approaches to Neoplatonic models of understanding body and soul. While Calvin relies on a strong division between body and soul to privilege the importance of contemplation of Scripture, Perez rejects anthropocentric Ficinian models of ascension which center the human soul as the link between realms. His theology of incarnation collapses the distance between Heaven and Earth as the Spirit of Jesus becomes incarnate again in human bodies through conversion. There is consequently a real presence (a transubstantiation, even?) of the divine spirit indwelling human flesh. Rather than encourage contemplation of their forthcoming emancipation from the flesh, Perez admonishes his friends to press into their present reality: real union with Christ, his Crucifixion, and his mystical body. From the cracks of sixteenth century political and religious movements, Perez presents a theology in which the burning bodies of sixteenth century Spanish men and women are essential to the salvific work of Christ.

Philipp Pilhofer, Universität Rostock: Argula von Grumbach: Reception of a Successful Reformation Writer in the Early Seventeenth Century (Panel: Woman Making Reformation. Writings and Reception)

In the last three decades, research on the Reformation writer Argula von Grumbach (1492–1556/7), who famously called the Theologians of the University of Ingolstadt for a disputatio, has brought many new insights to light. Her writings were studied in depth, and new source material on her life was discovered (Silke Halbach, Peter Matheson). This lecture will concentrate on reception of her and her writings in the controversial debates of the early seventeenth century. Some of the questions that will be touched upon are: In which context and for what reason was she commemorated? What was known about her at all by that time? How was she referred to in the polemical discourse? After Ludwig Rabus’ edition of many of her writings (1557), most mentionings by Lutheran writers were either in the context of Luther’s letters concerning her or they took her as an example of courage in the case of Arsacius Seehofer at Ingolstadt. On the Catholic side, for a long period most authors obviously only knew her from a summary mentioning in Johannes Cochlaeus’ Historia De Actis Et Scriptis Martini Lutheri. Over the decades, the story about her letter to the University of Ingolstadt was enriched by a growing number of legendary elements. Thematically, she was mentioned in regard to the preaching ministry of women as well as in regard to the question if lay(wo)men are allowed to read the bible. Parallely, a more in-depth analysis took place during the early years of the seventeenth century. Reformed writers seem to have ignored her – after a short period of interest during her lifetime.

David Quackenbos, McGill University: Letters From Strasbourg: Calvin and the Genevan Clergy (Panel: Calvin, Calvinism, and the Care for Body and Soul)

In the three years that Calvin spent as an exile from Geneva, he often had the Genevan church on his mind. Writing from Strasbourg, his personal letters rarely miss an opportunity to speak about the church he had left. Yet, Calvin’s relationship with the clergy who replaced him in Geneva was complicated. He often commended them publicly, yet he seemed to harbor tremendous doubts about their piety and competence. To explore this relationship, this essay will examine the correspondence of John Calvin from 15381541, with a specific focus upon his relationship to the Genevan clergy. Within his correspondence, a pattern is shown to emerge of Calvin privately displaying doubts about the Genevan pastors, while publicly encouraging Genevan laypeople to obey them. Calvin’s correspondence with Cardinal Jacopo Sadoleto will be analyzed separately (as this letter was written during his exile but was an open letter) to display a concrete example of the way in which Calvin often walked the tightrope between encouraging obedience to the Genevan clergy, yet doing so in a way that left his own piety and competence unquestioned. Finally, the differences between Calvin’s private estimation of the Genevan clergy and his public statements about them (and to them) will be compared. In this comparison, the influential role of Martin Bucer’s Concerning the True Care of Souls will be demonstrated. Thus, by looking at the public and private writings of Calvin during his exile, this essay will display the various factors that led to his developing theology of the pastoral role. This development would find its zenith in the Ecclesiastical Ordinances of 1541, and would remain stable throughout the subsequent editions of the Institutes of the Christian Religion.

Marta QuatraleJan Hus’ Condemnation in Constance. Signs of Election, Ecclesiology and Predestination as Metaphysical Framework of a Strenuous Attempt to Preserve the Soul

How much can I beware my body, in order not to lose my soul? Is the attempt to beware my body a sign that I have already lost my soul? Finally, are there reliable signs that I am among the elected? And on the base of which metaphysical background? The process which lead to the condemnation and the execution of the Bohemian Preacher Jan Hus (and, after some months, of his fellow Jerome of Prague) in the context of the Council of Constance (14141415) provides us a privileged insight on the issues which might emerge while analysing such topic. Even more, if we consider that the lack of official acts regarding his condemnation forces us to follow the very subjective path of the reconstruction of the events through the eyes of Hus himself, as well as of some of his closest fellows.Two elements seem to be particularly clear: on the one hand, Hus’ absolute inability to understand the political background behind the reasons of the three great actors of the council (d’Ailly, Gerson, Zabarella), on the other hand, the role of Hus’ implicit metaphysical assumption in the logical consequences which allowed his condemnation — although he never stated, actually, the thesis he was condemned for. Having recently curated an edition of Jan Hus’ letters, I would take the opportunity offered by the conceptual pair body/soul as main topic of the RefoRC Conference of this year to present the issues in Hus’ ecclesiology, in his very much questioned adherence to Wyclif’s standpoint and his ‘radical’ realism, as well as in his idea of a congregatio praedestinatorum and the role of the adherence to the ’truth’ as sign of the divine election as framework to his repeated refusal to abjure in order to preserve his soul. “Leve est loqui et illud exponere, sed grave implere“, as he stated to his patron, the Baron Jan of Chlum: that is easier said than done. Nonetheless, done.

Shiri Roelofs, KU Leuven: Money and Sin: Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) and his Moral Teachings on Usury and Exchange Dealings 

Against the Age of Reformation, the conceptions of sin and salvation opened up new perspectives. The Post-Tridentine endeavor to reconfirm the Church’s jurisdictional power over the souls led up to a soteriological regulation of every single aspect of the individual’s behavior. The birth of moral theology, in turn, gave a deeper meaning to the Church’s usury prohibition. Indeed, prompted by the rise of international trade and fairs, moral concerns on the legitimacy of profit-making required a revision of the normative framework that guides the businessman in his transactions and prevents him from the sin of committing usury. With this aim, economic analyses in the teachings and writings of early modern Catholic elites witnessed new dynamics.

Pieter Rouwendal, Theological University Apeldoorn /Summum Academic Publications: Inspiration and Error: Matthew 27.9 in Early Modern Protestant Thought 

Against the Roman Catholic clergy, Protestants held that the Bible was the highest authority in the church. My research focuses on how they dealt with problems in the text, in relation to the inspiration and authority of the Scriptures. For this paper I focus on Matthew 27.9 where a quotation from Zechariah is attributed to Jeremiah. Calvin calls that an error. I explore how other early modern Protestants thought about this issue, whether or not that is consistent with their view of divine inspiration and the supreme authority of the Bible, and if there is continuity or discontinuity with the Early Church and the Middle Ages on this point.

Patryk Ryczkowski, Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck: Saint’s Body and Soul Separated: Approaches to the Hagiographical Motif 

Both the early modern poetical and prose accounts on the saints and martyrs exploit the motif of the separation of the soul from the body. Their focus, however, tends to differ: the poetry, on the one hand, dwells on the elevation and reception of the soul in the heaven, which turns into the metaphorical narrative about achieving the status of the saint and its confirmation through the official beatification or canonisation. The prose, on the other hand, is more concerned with the remains of the saints and martyrs on earth, where they serve as a visible sign of the suffered sacrifice and thus they deserve to be venerated. These divergent approaches to the soul-body-concept pertaining to the saints and martyrs indicate that each genre was applied according to its specific function and, in addition, to the individual goals that were pursued with every singular work separately. Consequently, regarding the motif in question, not only generic or formal features of the hagiographical sources, but also the role that they were intended to play in the saints’ and martyrs’ veneration can be differentiated. In this context, the paper will discuss particularly the case of Josaphat Kuntsevych (1580–1623), a martyr bishop of Polotsk (today’s Belarus), who was beatified in 1643 and canonised in 1867. In the Latin and Polish hagiographical works on this figure, both in verse (epic poetry) and prose (vitae and sermons), the use made of the separation motif will be demonstrated and its function will be determined. Furthermore, in order to strengthen the argumentation, a few comparable examples will be given from the dossiers of more popular saints of early modern times, like John of Nepomuk and Ignatius of Loyola.

Cornelis J. Schilt, Vrije Universiteit Brussel: ‘To observe diligently the consent of Scriptures & analogy of the prophetique stile’: Isaac Newton’s Earliest Studies of the Apocalypse 

Isaac Newton’s religious studies have received ample attention over the past decades. This is unsurprising, as of the circa twelve million words he left in draft writing, over six million are devoted to Church history, theology, and eschatology. His studies of the prophecies in the books of Daniel and Revelation alone cover nearly half of his scholarly output. Yet the posthumously published Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St John (1733) provided only an edited glimpse of Newton’s original thinking, from a relatively late stage in his career. In a much earlier, unpublished major work, begun at around 1680, Newton adopted a mathematical framework reminiscent of that employed by John Napier and Joseph Mede in order to interpret the Apocalypse. The manuscript, Yahuda Ms. 1, consisting of some 650 folios in English and Latin and containing various consecutive drafts, has been discussed primarily for its hermeneutical rules, several of which would return in Newton’s magnum opus, the Principia of 1687. Yet so far little study has been made of the structure of the manuscript which contains these rules, the function of their various parts, their subsequent application, and of exactly how Newton employed his hermeneutical scheme to arrive at his particular interpretation of the Apocalypse. In this paper, I will provide an exposition of Newton’s rules for interpreting the prophetic language of Scripture in general and of the book of Revelation in particular, of Newton’s rules for ‘constructing’ the Apocalypse, and an analysis of how Newton subsequently employed these rules to provide a detailed reading of the events that would lead up to Christ’s second coming. Presented as a guide to both learned and lay persons, Yahuda Ms. 1 provides a unique insight into the eschatological thoughts of one of the seventeenth century’s greatest minds.

Bernward Schmidt, Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt: Going from Failure to Failure without a Loss of Enthusiasm? Historiographical Issues in Dealing with Luther’s Catholic Opponents

Luther’s Catholic opponents are widely regarded in historiography as having failed: they were unable to build up a powerful publishing force to make themselves heard in the “reformatory public”; they enjoyed little support from the bishops and only from a few sovereigns; ultimately, they were unable to achieve their goal in most territories: To denounce effectively Luther and his followers as heretics and eliminate them from the (ecclesiastical) political process. As undisputedly correct as each of these aspects is, historiographical consideration (particularly in theology) has often lacked the perspective of Luther’s opponents themselves, which will be addressed in this article. Therefore, the question is asked about self-perceptions and self-fashioning or narrative forms of coping in which the failure was processed. At the same time, it must be critically questioned whether the opponents of Luther saw themselves as having failed at all and how they described their position. Finally, with regard to the historiography of the Reformation since the 20th century, the question should be asked whether and how the failure of Luther’s opponents was integrated into larger narratives – and how differentiated historical analysis can be combined with ecumenical sensitivity.

Karin Sennefelt, Stockholm University: Cot Death, the Marital bed and Bodily Interdependency in Seventeenth-century Sweden and Finland (Panel: Marriage, Gender, and the Body)

Among the sins that were punished by church authorities in the seventeenth century was the accidental death of a child. This was a breach of the fifth commandment, which in Luther’s catechism was extended to include not doing harm to others. Parents accused of neglect and carelessness were cut off from the Eucharist and publicly absolved after a period of time. Rather than focusing on church discipline however, this paper discusses what we can learn from cases of cot death about how bodily and emotional care between parents and children, mothers and fathers, was practiced and understood. Based on parish records from 150 parishes in Sweden and Finland, the paper discusses how both mothers and fathers were responsible for and were expected to tend to their children’s bodies as they would their own. Likewise, in practice, married couples voluntarily took punishments together, though only the mother had been deemed culpable for a child’s death. The marital bed thereby figured both practically and symbolically as central to establishing bodily interdependency and emotional bonds within the family. In light of this, the paper suggests that we might extend our understanding of marriage as ‘one flesh’ to include the nourishment, emotional and bodily care of young children.

Sara Taglialatela, University of Copenhagen: Elements of Comparison in Philip Melanchthon’s and Giordano Bruno’s Notions of the Soul and of Language 

The works and the personal experience of Philipp Melanchthon, the theologian closest to Martin Luther and philosopher of the Reform, and those of Giordano Bruno, the Dominican philosopher, are deeply permeated and inspired by a didactic intent of reform that applies not only to religion and society, but also to the knowledge system (artes liberales), preparing the ground for the philosophical debates of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Such a didactic intent originates, on the one hand, from a reflection on language and its uses in the different disciplines e.g. philosophy, theology, dialectic, rhetoric, and astronomy, and on the other hand from a reflection on the faculties of the soul. Having read the works of Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon, and John Calvin, Giordano Bruno was already familiar with the ideas of the Reformers when he arrived in Germany, and for him they were pedants who did not deserve the appellative of theologians (Spaccio, London 1584, Cabala, London 1585). Despite his initially negative opinion of the Protestant Reformation and its representatives, at the end of his stay in Wittenberg Bruno acknowledged that among Lutherans he experienced a salient quality of tolerance in which he finally felt free to attend to his philosophical works (Oratio valedictoria, Wittenberg 1588). In Germany, Bruno was also introduced to networks that brought him into contact with the revolution of the liberal arts (trivium and quadrivium) that was taking place in the Protestant world at the time and he took part in these philosophical discussions. Considering the length of time and his degree of productivity during the periods when Bruno was in areas that were heavily influenced by Lutheran thought, it is my hypothesis that the new ideas and the experience of societal reform, that took place in these parts of Europe, had an impact on his own reform project.

Zsombor Tóth, Centre for Reformation Studies, Budapest: Pax Animae: the Tranquillity of the Soul. The Hungarian Reception of Huguenot Authors during the Long Reformation (1500−1800)

Ferenc Pápai Páriz’s (1649−1716), translation from French, deserves a special attention, as its author, Pierre du Moulin le fils (1601-1684), is an outstanding Huguenot intellectual of his age with a spectacular carrier both in France and England. Moulin’s Traitte de la Paix de L’Ame, which first had been published in an English version (A Treatise of Peace and Contentment of the Soul, 1657), became Pax Animae in Pápai Páriz’s rendering. The Hungarian translation (Pax animae, az az, a’ lelek bekessegeroel, es az elme gyoenyoeruesegeről valo tracta, Kolozsvár, 1680) would become a much appreciated piece of devotional literature enthusiastically read by Hungarian Reformed people throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. My paper offers a close reading of the Hungarian text augmented with comparative analyses of the Hungarian, French, and English versions, in order to decipher Pápai Páriz’s use of theological arguments defining the tranquillity of the soul, a conduct pattern much recommended by contemporaries for those longing for a pious and peaceful life. A second task of my endeavour consist of identifying the pertinent literary and historical-theological contexts, in order to reconstruct the process of the Hungarian reception. It is all the more important to do so as Pápai Páriz’s text was just the first published translation followed by an impressive corpus of renderings to Hungarian of such authors as Pierre du Bosc, Charles Drelincourt, Pierre Jurieu, Jean Claude, Jacques Saurin, Jean La Placette, Jacques Basnage, and Antoine Court. Finally, my paper will conclude that this reception of the Huguenot authors roughly between 1680 and 1800, confirms again the uses and benefits of the Long Reformation concept applied to the systematic study of the multifaceted devotional culture of early modern Central and Eastern Europe.

Yasmin Vetter, University of Birmingham: Echoes of Exile: Memory, Divine Judgement, and the Quest for the ‘True Church’ in Elizabethan England

After years of fleeing Catholic persecution, living among strangers, continental friends and teachers in Marian exile and the quest to redeem their former sins, the accession of a Protestant Queen in 1558 reassured the Marian Protestants that England’s punishment had ended and that they were finally under God’s mercy again. When the Marian exiles finally returned, exile had become a central part of their identity and now they were desperate to keep God’s grace. Therefore, they were eager to keep history from repeating itself. I will argue that they were motivated not only by their general experience of exile, but also by their beliefs regarding human sin and godly punishment. The exiles were keen to avoid their former mistakes and consequently the fate of having to face another ungodly ruler, persecution or worse: being forced apart from God. Instead, they were trying to rebuild a godly church and state – one that would not provoke God’s judgement, keep them in God’s grace and secure them a place in his godly kingdom. I will demonstrate that the Elizabethan bishops’ quest to perfectly reform and build an English church, was highly influenced by this fear of repeating their tragical history; of God’s punishment for not reforming the Church enough. Now, after their exile, much like the Old Testament Israelites, the English were given another chance to build God’s temple – this new English Church was supposed to be more than just an institutional building, but it was supposed to be part of Christ’s spiritual Church.
































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