ADP Workshops

April 21-22, 2022: Theological Prolegomena in Protestant Orthodoxies: Contexts and Issues (16th-17th century)

Since the end of the sixteenth century, Protestant theologians, both Reformed and Lutheran, began to insert at the opening of their systematic treatises “prolegomena” devoted to introductory questions about the object of theology. Structured around the four Aristotelian causes (matter, form, efficient cause, end), these introductory discussions often reproduced the order of the medieval prologues to the commentaries on the Sentences: What is the nature of theology? What is its matter or subject? What are its cause and its end? Beyond the diversity of the answers given to each of the questions treated, these prolegomena raise important issues, which make it possible to revisit, from a perspective generally neglected by modern research, problems as important as those of the continuity between early Reformation and orthodoxies, and of the link between early-modern Protestant theology and the theological tradition of the Middle Ages. As part of the research project A Disregarded Past, supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Institute of Reformation History organizes a conference devoted to these prolegomena on 21-22 April 2022 in Geneva. During two days of study and exchange, the conference will bring together an international group of specialists in the history of Protestant theology of the 16th and 17th centuries.

Click here to download the program.


Thursday, April 21

11:15 Introduction
11:30 David S. Sytsma (Tokyo Christian University) – “Sounder Scholastics” (Saniores Scholastici) in the Reformed Tradition: Perceptions of Medieval Scholasticism ca. 1530-1700”
12:15 Lunch break
14:00 Aza Goudriaan (ETF Leuven) – “Principles of Theology: Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed Versions of a Medieval Concept”
14:45 Jeffrey C. Witt (Loyola University Maryland) – “Infused and Acquired Faith and the Foundations of Theology”
15:30 Coffee break
16:00 Giovanni Gellera (University of Geneva) – “The early-modern Prooemia of Metaphysics: on the definition, division (and confessionalization) of Reformed Philosophy”
16:45 Christoph Strohm (UNI Heidelberg) – “Denominational Competition as Catalyst and Promoter of a Scientification”


Friday, April 22

9:00 William Duba (University of Fribourg) – “The Prologue to the Sentences in Scholastic Thought”
9:45 Ueli Zahnd (University of Geneva) – “From Treatises on Method to Prolegomena. The case of Benedikt Aretius”
10:30 Coffee break
11:00 Walter Sparn (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität) – “Deconfessionalizing ‘religion’: The initiative of Johann Musaeus (Jena, d. 1681)”
11:45 Zachary Seals (University of Geneva) – Theologia Unionis as Theologia Pro Nobis: Christ’s Ectypal Knowledge of God and the Beatific Vision”
12:30 Lunch break
14:00 Arthur Huiban (University of Geneva) – Disciplina operatrix or sapientia? The Debate on the Nature of Theology in the Palatine Reformed Theology”
14:45 Kęstutis Daugirdas (Leibniz IEG) – “Prolegomena in Simon Episcopius’s Institutiones theologicae
15:30 Coffee break
16:00 Eleonora Rai (KU Leuven) – “Free Will and Grace in the Netherlands: Leonard Lessius SJ and his Arminian Neighbors (1500s-1600s)”
16:45 Conclusion