Category Archives: 16th Century

Truth Is Not Always As Easy As We Think It Should Be

Eric Parker’s post Luther and Valla on The Donation of Constantine: Thoughts about Truth and History is a great read. I agree with his major points. The following comment I posted there is not a critique of his view, but … Continue reading

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An Invaluable Reformation Resource (Wessel Gansfort)

This is just fantastic! I ran across Wessel Gansfort a few years ago while researching the connections between conciliarism and the Reformation, and found him to be a pivotal figure who was very influential upon Luther. These books are incredibly … Continue reading

Posted in 15th Century, 16th Century, General | 5 Comments

Sketch: Religious Humanism

Religious humanism was a variety of the humanistic endeavor that explicitly tied the new learning of the Renaissance to the explication and defense of the Christian religion. The religious humanists were all Christians working within the classical and Christian heritage … Continue reading

Posted in 15th Century, 16th Century, The Renaissance | 2 Comments

Sketch: Philosophical Humanism

Philosophical humanism was a strain of Renaissance thought which, like the other strains of humanism, creatively made use of the existing philosophical schools to shed new light on contemporary problems. It was chiefly concerned with Platonism, for in the mid-fifteenth … Continue reading

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Sketch: Civic Humanism

Civic humanism was a movement within the Italian Renaissance which focused on encouraging young men to take an interest in the government of their cities, and to educate themselves primarily in rhetoric and ethical philosophy so as to best serve … Continue reading

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Insight Into U.S. Politics

Here’s some interesting thoughts on politics by Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), which disturbingly describe the contemporary American political scene. Consider these thoughts from Chapter 9 of The Prince on the need for a ruler to studiously avoid pursuing what he ought … Continue reading

Posted in 16th Century, Christianity in Modernity | Leave a comment

Why the Puritan Attack on Reason Doesn’t Work

(HT: Steven Wedgeworth) Richard Hooker (1554-1600) writes the following excellent words on the tendency of the extreme Puritanism of his day to devalue human reason in the name of preserving the authority of Holy Scripture: “Judge you of that which … Continue reading

Posted in 16th Century, Reformational Ruminations | 1 Comment

“Those Who Demand A Reformation Should Accept The Council That Will Be Held”

In line with the work I’ve done here regarding Luther, here’s a huge proof, this time from John Calvin’s pen, that the Reformation was deeply indebted to Medieval conciliarism and on the issue of authority in the Church was not … Continue reading

Posted in 16th Century, Conciliar Theory & Practice, Reformational Ruminations | 2 Comments

Machiavelli on Religion and Society

Interesting words from Machiavelli: Having therefore considered everything, I conclude that the religion introduced by Numa was among the principal reasons for the happiness of that city [Rome], because it produced good institutions, the good institutions created good fortune, and … Continue reading

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Iustitiam Carnis and “Total” Depravity

Philiip Melanchthon identifies the hotly-disputed issue of free will as being “about the deterioration of human strength through sin, man’s inability to free himself from sin and death, and about the works that man is able to do in such … Continue reading

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