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Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism - Reformed Historical Theological Studies (Van Asselt)

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This work supplies a long-standing need in the field of early modern studies by providing a basic introduction to Reformed Scholasticism. Although technical studies abound and interest in the subject continues to rise, until the appearance of this work by Willem van Asselt and his colleagues, students of history have lacked a concise guide to help them navigate the difficult waters of Reformed Scholasticism. This book carefully defines the phenomena of scholasticism and orthodoxy, concisely surveys the era, notes the most significant thinkers together with the various trajectories of thought, and references the relevant secondary scholarship. In short, this Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism surveys the topic and provides a guide for further study in early modern Reformed thought.

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Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction: What Is Reformed Scholasticism? – Willem J. van Asselt and Pieter L. Rouwendal
  2. The State of Scholarship: From Discontinuity to Continuity – Willem J. van Asselt and Pieter L. Rouwendal
  3. ‘As the Philosopher Says’: Aristotle – T. Theo J. Pleizier and Maarten Wisse
  4. The Teacher of the Ancient Church: Augustine – Maarten Wisse
  5. The Method of the Schools: Medieval Scholasticism – Pieter L. Rouwendal
  6. ‘Open Hand and Fist’: Humanism and Scholasticisim in the Reformation – Willem J. Van Asselt
  7. Distinguishing and Teaching: Constructing a Theological Argument in Reformed Scholasticism – Willem J. van Asselt and Pieter L. Rouwendal
  8. Scholasticism in the Time of Early Orthodoxy (ca. 1560-1620) – Willem J. van Asselt
  9. Scholasticism in the Time of High Orthodoxy (ca. 1620-1700) – Willem J. van Asselt
  10. Scholasticism in the Time of Late Orthodoxy (ca. 1700-1790)
  11. ‘The Abutment against Which the Bridge of All later Protestant Theology Leans’: Scholasticism and Today – Willem J. van Asselt 



Willem J. van Asselt taught church history and the history of Reformed theology at Utrecht University for years, and has recently become professor in historical theology at The Evangelical Theological Faculty in Leuven, Belgium. He has written numerous books and articles on Reformed theology, including The Federal Theology of Johannes Cocceius (1603–1669).

Maarten Wisse teaches systematic theology and ecumenism at VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and KU Leuven, Belgium. He studied theology and philosophy of religion at Utrecht, Heidelberg and Tübingen. His  Trinitarian Theology beyond Participation: Augustine’s De Trinitate and Contemporary Theology will appear with T&T Clark International in 2011.

T. Theo J. Pleizier is a minister in the Protestant Church in the Netherlands and researcher in practical theology at the Protestant Theological University. He studied theology in Oxford and Utrecht, and has done research on the concept of freedom in Francesco Turrettini’s theological anthropology.

Pieter L. Rouwendal studied theology at Utrecht University. He worked as a teacher of religion and is currently acquisitions editor for Kok ten Have Publishers in Kampen, The Netherlands. Among his publications are “Calvin’s Forgotten Classical Position on the Extent of the Atonement: About Sufficiency, Efficiency, and Anachronism.” He is currently preparing a dissertation on “Preaching and Predestination in Genevan Theology from John Calvin to Francis Turrettin.”



“Willem van Asselt is one of the foremost scholars in the recent studies of the nature of Reformed Orthodoxy and Scholasticism, and its relationship, theologically, philosophically, and pedagogically, with late medieval thought. The field is highly technical and somewhat daunting to students; but here Dr. van Asselt and his colleagues have distilled their vast learning into a book which will be a sure guide to the field. I cannot think of a better introduction to the study of this significant, though often neglected and misunderstood, chapter in the development of Christian thought.” Carl R. Trueman, Professor of Historical Theology and Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

“An invaluable introduction to Post-Reformation Reformed thought, van Asselt and is colleagues have done a masterful job in surveying the field and providing the basic starting point for further research. This work is especially recommended for seminary students and for all who have interest in the development of Reformed theology.” — Martin I. Klauber, Affiliate Professor of Church History,Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois

“This translation and updating of Inleiding in de Gereformeerde scholastiek makes available for the first time to English readers a splendid and much-needed introduction and guide to the world of Reformed Scholasticism. It is exemplary in the clarity of its exposition and the conciseness of its analysis, and refreshing in its sympathetic assessment of the intellectual and theological integrity and catholicity of scholastic theology. Its blend of lucid overview and more detailed case studies of ‘representative examples’ works especially well in conveying the nature of the texts under discussion, while the step-by-step ‘reading guide’ that instructs students how to set about analyzing a piece of scholastic theology should be required reading not just for students of historical theology but (dare one suggest?) for a good many professional practitioners as well. This introduction should swiftly become indispensable not just for budding historians of theology, but for all students of intellectual history whose research involves the study of works written in the tradition of Reformed Scholasticism.” Anthony Milton, Professor of History,University of Sheffield

“This Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism provides a valuable resource for the study of the various trajectories of early modern Reformed thought. It is not merely an introductory survey. It is a significant guide for the further study of the era.” Richard A. Muller, P. J. Zondervan Professor of Historical Theology, Calvin Theological Seminary