The History and Legacy of the 16th Century European Religious Reformations: Theological Investigations across Humanistic and Social Sciences

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Theologies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 October 2023) | Viewed by 6122

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Modern Languages and Social-Humanistic Sciences, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Aurel Vlaicu University, 310330 Arad, Romania
Interests: systematic theology; dogmatic theology; Christian ethics; church history; education; history; philosophy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The 16th century witnessed a large array of changes across the entire European continent, of which those pertaining to the ecclesiastical realm emerge as salient in traditional historiography. This Special Issue of Religions deals with the history and the legacy of the European Reformations, both Protestant and Catholic, especially with a view to how the then Christian theology not only underwent significant dogmatic developments but also resulted in ecclesiastical changes. Nevertheless, since the 16th century European world was a conglomerate of societies that were dominated by religious concerns, the events leading to and resulting from what is currently known as the European religious Reformations affected more than the merely theological and church-related aspects of life. As such, we are inviting scholars interested in trans- and inter-disciplinary research to provide contributions that aim at delving not only into the history and legacy of the European religious Reformations but also at exploring various ways that the history and legacy of these ecclesiastical/theological movements influenced ‘society’ as a whole. Concretely, articles focusing on theological, religious, philosophical, philological, and historical aspects of the Reformation are going to be considered for inclusion in this Special Issue, alongside investigations into how these humanistic facets of religious thought impacted the social, political, educational, economic, and scientific realities of the 16th century, as well as of those that followed.

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 400–600 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send it to the Guest Editor (corneliu.simut@gmail.com) or to the Religions Editorial Office (religions@mdpi.com). Abstracts will be reviewed by the Guest Editor for the purposes of ensuring a proper fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer review.

Prof. Dr. Corneliu C. Simuț
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • reformation
  • religion
  • Protestant
  • Catholic
  • church

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 412 KiB  
Article
A Legacy Lost to the Reformed Imagination: Luther and Confessional Lutheranism on the Extent of the Atonement
by Paul Anthony Hartog
Religions 2024, 15(2), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15020228 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 866
Abstract
The “Young, Restless, Reformed” movement has sought to establish itself upon reformational foundations rooted within the sixteenth century. The new movement’s undertaking, however, has virtually ignored the differences between its own adherence to “limited atonement” and the developed theology of Martin Luther. Even [...] Read more.
The “Young, Restless, Reformed” movement has sought to establish itself upon reformational foundations rooted within the sixteenth century. The new movement’s undertaking, however, has virtually ignored the differences between its own adherence to “limited atonement” and the developed theology of Martin Luther. Even on an academic level, the legacy of gratia universalis ensconced within confessional Lutheranism has been largely lost to the Reformed imagination. This article focuses upon relevant materials in Luther’s Lectures on Galatians (1531/1535) and his Sermon on John 1:29 (1537), as well as the pertinent statements found within early Lutheran confessions. What emerges is a Lutheran tradition that espoused both “unconditional election” and a robust form of “unlimited atonement,” a divine provision of redemption and satisfaction for all. In Lutheran theology, this provision in Christ extra nos serves as an objective foundation for confident faith. As contemporary Reformed scholars increasingly delve into the diversity of the Reformed tradition within early modernity, the distinctive Lutheran voice is another legacy worth remembering. Full article
12 pages, 259 KiB  
Article
J. I. Packer’s Theology of Justification—His Reception and Appropriation of a Classic Protestant Doctrine
by Corneliu C. Simuț
Religions 2023, 14(12), 1442; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14121442 - 21 Nov 2023
Viewed by 910
Abstract
This article is a systematic overview of Packer’s theology of justification from the perspective of descriptive, analytical, and critical methodologies. A series of books written by Packer were investigated in order to identify various references to justification, which led to a categorization consisting [...] Read more.
This article is a systematic overview of Packer’s theology of justification from the perspective of descriptive, analytical, and critical methodologies. A series of books written by Packer were investigated in order to identify various references to justification, which led to a categorization consisting of six features (justification as the legacy of the Reformation, eternal status, a precursor of sanctification, trust in Christ, covenant reality, and a divine promise). Two of Packer’s most important books used for this research, Keep in Step with the Spirit: Finding Fullness in Our Walk with God (2005) and Concise Theology: a Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs (2011), also revealed the theological foundation of justification, which I present as the two pillars on which Packer’s theology of justification stands: God’s being and Christ’s incarnation. These two pillars reveal not only God’s invisible being as Trinity but also his self-disclosure in Christ as an exclusive focus of the sinners’ belief of justification. The six features and the two pillars of Packer’s theology of justification demonstrate not only how he received and appropriated the classical Protestant teaching about God’s decision to consider sinners righteous despite their sins but also how it generates, through faith in Christ, a consistently new life. Full article
15 pages, 300 KiB  
Article
The Discovery of the Soul as a Place of Pilgrimage within: German Protestantism, Psychology, and Salvation through Education
by Sophie Pia Stieger and Daniel Tröhler
Religions 2023, 14(7), 921; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14070921 - 17 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1048
Abstract
This article casts a spotlight on various stages of the entangled history of German Protestantism and psychology from the 16th to the 19th centuries to make visible the hitherto neglected religious past of this discipline and the educational aspirations tied to it. In [...] Read more.
This article casts a spotlight on various stages of the entangled history of German Protestantism and psychology from the 16th to the 19th centuries to make visible the hitherto neglected religious past of this discipline and the educational aspirations tied to it. In broad strokes, it retraces how the idea of psychology emerged in the wake of the Reformation and continued to be shaped by German Protestant thinkers for centuries to come. First, the article reconstructs how, after Luther, the term “psychology” came to denote Protestant attempts to construct a non-Catholic scientia de anima. The dissemination and popularization of this endeavor in the writings of German Protestants is discussed in the second section. The third and fourth sections are devoted to shifts in reasoning about the soul during the early German Enlightenment and the subsequent flourishing of attempts at establishing psychology as a scientific discipline in its later stages. Finally, the last section looks at the further “scientification of the soul” during the 19th century, which, as will be argued, was crucial to the constitution of the modern educational field in Germany. Full article
16 pages, 828 KiB  
Article
‘I Said: Hymn 38!’ The Reception of the Protestant Reformation in The Netherlands at the Turn of the Millennium—The Case of ‘The White Cowboy’
by F. G. (Frank) Bosman
Religions 2023, 14(4), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14040438 - 24 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1144
Abstract
From 1998 to 2005, the once left-wing Protestant Dutch broadcasting company VPRO aired 26 episodes of The White Cowboy, including the episode ‘De Kerkgangers’ (‘The Churchgoers’). In this article, the author argues that this episode is an excellent example of the contemporary [...] Read more.
From 1998 to 2005, the once left-wing Protestant Dutch broadcasting company VPRO aired 26 episodes of The White Cowboy, including the episode ‘De Kerkgangers’ (‘The Churchgoers’). In this article, the author argues that this episode is an excellent example of the contemporary reception of the 16th century Protestant reformation within the Netherlands at the turn of the millennium. Within the secular context of contemporary Dutch society, the stereotypical world-avoidance and lack of any joie de vivre associated with the strict observants of the Dutch reformation are used to mock Protestantism specifically and Christianity (or even religion altogether) in general. Nevertheless, a more positive interpretation also remains possible if one is able to understand secularism itself as a product of the Christian tradition to begin with. Full article
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13 pages, 273 KiB  
Article
From Heretical Beggars to Protestant Organizers: The Reception of the Reformation by the Waldensians
by Ottavio Palombaro
Religions 2023, 14(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14010004 - 21 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1267
Abstract
This article takes up the question of how the Poor Waldensians of Lyon, a predecessor of the medieval Franciscan movement, managed to become one of the main Reformed ecclesiastical bodies starting from the sixteenth century. The Italian Waldensians are an interesting ecclesiological case [...] Read more.
This article takes up the question of how the Poor Waldensians of Lyon, a predecessor of the medieval Franciscan movement, managed to become one of the main Reformed ecclesiastical bodies starting from the sixteenth century. The Italian Waldensians are an interesting ecclesiological case since during the time of the Protestant Reformation they underwent a significant transformation, from a nomadic and sectarian heterodox group to an ordered Reformed church body inserted within the broader international network of Reformed churches. This meant their survival through the support of Protestant diplomacy and public opinion, opening a door for Protestantism in the stronghold of Roman Catholicism. Their ideological move was not without changes on many ecclesiological points (Scriptures, sacraments, justification, etc.), in addition to the abandonment of their former pauperistic roots. The study shows how struggling religious minorities can at times undergo essential changes in order to guarantee their survival. Full article
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