Replicating (and reconsidering) Aquinas

Benozzo Gozzoli 004aThere remains lots to catch up on related to work of Junius Institute members, but a few recent items related to Thomas Aquinas are worthy of particular note:

1) JI research curator David Sytsma has an article in Reformation & Renaissance Review, “Vermigli Replicating Aquinas: An Overlooked Continuity in the Doctrine of Predestination.” From the abstract: “Vermigli not only drew upon Aquinas’s doctrine in general, as he does elsewhere, but reproduced the details of Aquinas’s article in the Summa on whether foreknowledge of merits is the cause of predestination.”

2) JI senior fellow Richard A. Muller has a three-part review essay of a recent study of Aquinas at Reformation21 (part 1, part 2, part 3). A comprehensive version will be forthcoming in Calvin Theological Journal.

3) The edited volume Aquinas among the Protestants, edited by Manfred Svensson and David VanDrunen is out, and includes contributions from me, “Deformation and Reformation: Thomas Aquinas and the Rise of Protestant Scholasticism,” as well as David Sytsma, “Thomas Aquinas and Reformed Biblical Interpretation: The Contribution of William Whitaker.”

CFP: Sources in Early Modern Economics, Ethics, and Law (Second Series)

OEJ logoAndrew M. McGinnis, a JI research fellow, serves as a general editor for the Sources in Early Modern Economics, Ethics, and Law (Second Series), the successor to a series I worked on. He has issued a call for proposals, and more information is available here.

The first volume of the second series, On the Law of Nature: A Demonstrative Method, is by Niels Hemmingsen and is due out later this month. E. J. Hutchinson of Hillsdale College is the translator and editor, and wrote an introduction with fellow Hillsdale professor Korey D. Maas.

Now in Print: Junius’ The Mosaic Polity

Over at Christian’s Library Press, Franciscus Junius’ De Politiae Mosis Observatione is now available for purchase in English translation as The Mosaic Polity. 

If you are familiar with the archetypal and ectypal distinction found in Junius’ prolegomena of theology, De Theologia Vera (in translation as A Treatise on True Theology | RHB: 2014), you may be surprised to learn that this piece on law, jurisprudence, and the Mosaic polity deploys the distinction and predates that work. One of the happy results of having these two translations in print is that a broader audience can begin to see a conception of the relation between theology and law in the early modern period and how for Junius the character of God informs both.

This project is the fruit of the vision of Dr. Jordan Ballor and Dr. Stephen Grabill for early modern treatises on law, economics, and social thought from an array of Christian traditions. These scholars invited me to participate in this project as the translator several years ago, for which I am humbled, honored, and grateful. The first several chapters appeared in the Journal of Markets & Morality and led to conversations in various conference venues in the United States and abroad. The support and encouragement of the Acton Institute by way of Dr. Ballor and Dr. Grabill has been tremendous. After the draft was completed, Dr. Drew McGinnis, my friend and fellow colleague in the doctoral program at Calvin Theological Seminary, enriched the translation with his keen editorial insights over the past year or so as the editor of the work. We co-authored the introductory essay. Both Drew and I appreciated the opportunity to present on various aspects of this translation and Junius’ thought in colloquia sponsored by the Junius Institute and Calvin Theological Seminary in the Fall of 2014 and the Spring of this year. These conversations with other scholars and colleagues have assisted in some measure in spurring our thoughts to consider various lines of approach to this work. The collaboration and camaraderie on this piece has truly been a joy.

It is our hope that this piece penned for the Dutch Republic at the close of the sixteenth century will not only be of use to scholars of the period but also as a point of contact for further reflection on the Christian theological contributions to the natural law tradition that has shaped modern legal and political thought on the nature of justice, law, and human rights.

New Digital Companion: A Treatise on True Theology

The Junius Institute is pleased to announce the launch of a new project called “Digital Companions.” The idea for this project is to produce open-access digital editions of translations, enhanced with specialized and integrated hyperlinks, paired with the original language text.

A key work by the institute’s namesake, Franciscus Junius, has the honor of being the first such Digital Companion. Partnering with Reformation Heritage Books, who recently published Junius’ A Treatise on True Theology, our JI Companion links the English text on the left hand side with the printed edition of the Latin (1613 edition) on the right. Of course there are some places where the English version has no analog in the original, such as the front matter and other introductory material. But as you scroll through the contents of the source document itself on the left, the Latin page will sync on the right, making reference to the original Latin much easier as you read along.

JI research curator David Sytsma developed the companion, which includes embedded hyperlinks to other sources that are referenced as available, as well as links to author pages on the Post-Reformation Digital Library. So, for instance, when Richard Muller refers to the “friendly correspondence” between Junius and Jacob Arminius in his foreword, there are live links to both the English translation (via the Internet Archive) and the Latin text (via Google Books) embedded in the companion. Dr. Sytsma has also developed pop-ups so that when you hover over certain links you can get an overview of the person and his or her work.

There are a number of other features that you will encounter as you explore the companion, including references to the pagination of the printed text as it appears in both the English and original language publication. And speaking of the published text, be sure to check out the printed version from Reformation Heritage Books for your bookshelf. This is technology that can be used anytime regardless of access to the Internet!

We have plans to develop other digital companions in the future, so stay tuned. And in the meantime, please be sure to explore the JI Digital Companion to Junius’ A Treatise on True Theology and let us know what you think.

Stephen Hampton on Richard Muller

Church and School in Early Modern ProtestantismTwo years ago, on the occasion of his 65th birthday, Brill published a Festschrift for Dr. Richard A. Muller, senior fellow of the Junius Institute, co-edited by myself, David Sytsma, and Jason Zuidema.

In the latest issue of the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Stephen Hampton of Peterhouse, Cambridge, had this to say:

The contribution that Richard Muller has made to the study of early modern Protestant theology is little short of astonishing. A brief look at the full bibliography of Muller’s works, which appears towards the end of this excellent Festschrift, helpfully reminds the reader of the sheer breadth, subtlety and significance of his work. It is no exaggeration to say that he has transformed and enriched our understanding of the Reformed tradition to such a degree that much older scholarship seems to be addressing a quite different phenomenon. In Muller’s hands, early modern Reformed theology has become more diverse, more subtly textured, more intellectually flexible and ambitious, and much more closely related to the other intellectual trends of the period.

Hampton proceeds to survey the various components of the volume, and concludes that “this volume is both a worthy tribute to the scholar whom it celebrates, and an excellent introduction to the kind of work which he has inspired in others.”

You can read the entire review in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History.