Category Archives: 17th Century

Locke on Philosophy and “Ordinary Language”

Modern philosophers—and sometimes philosophy in general—have often been charged with speaking in a rarified discourses of their own making, unintelligible to the general public. Here’s what Locke has to say on the subject: “Nor do I deny that those words … Continue reading

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Locke’s Anxiety of Influence

At the beginning of the Essay, Locke asserts that the rigorous thinker should follow his own experience and not the theories of others. Of course, this claim is not derived from Locke’s experience but is a trademark of modern thought … Continue reading

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Calvinists and Cartesians (Part III)

Walter E. Rex in his book Essays on Pierre Bayle and Religious Controversy (Martinus Nijhoff: The Hague, 1965) makes a sustained argument that throughout the 17th century Calvinist orthodoxy was fundamentally altered by currents of the developing “Age of Reason” … Continue reading

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Calvinists and Cartesians (Part II)

In the first part of this series, we looked at Ernestine van der Wall’s short article on the alliance between Cartesian philosophy and the 17th century school of Reformed theology known as Cocceianism. In this part, we will look at … Continue reading

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Calvinists and Cartesians (Part I)

I’ve been saying for several years now that among popular Calvinist writers and apologists the philosophy of Rene Descartes to no small extent determines how they present Reformed Theology, its relationship to what they call “the plain meaning of Scripture,” … Continue reading

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James Ussher and Protestant Historical Consciousness

Hugh Trevor-Roper’s essay on Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656):”(See “James Ussher, Archbishop of Armaugh,” in Catholics, Anglicans and Puritans: Seventeenth Century Essays [The University of Chicago Press, 1988], pp. 120-165)”: sheds some light on a question I’ve been concerned with for … Continue reading

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“An Age of Crisis: The Seventeenth Century”

Here are some brief notes on a chapter of this title from the book The Reformation In Historical Thought [A.G. Dickens and John Tonkin, with Kenneth Powell (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985), pp. 93-118)]. Resolving the Reformation’s legacy of … Continue reading

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Rabies Theologorum

Last night I was reading a survey of the Wars of Religion [in Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, Vol. 7], I came across the following brief quotes. Notice that while Christendom was falling apart at the seams and Europe … Continue reading

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Concilii Tridentini eviscerator

Medieval guys often had cool Latin descriptions appended to their names, and the trend continued at least as far as the late 16th century-early 17th century historian Paolo Sarpi, whose work I recently discovered mentioned in a journal article, and … Continue reading

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Some Questions Inspired by Richard Muller on Protestant Scholasticism

I’m reading an essay by Richard Muller on Protestant scholasticism. Here are some quotes, and some of my questions / comments that they have inspired. …The entire notion of “central dogmas” belongs to the nineteenth century. Not only did various … Continue reading

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