Defending Dissertations at CTS

I had the privilege yesterday of attending the successful defenses of two Ph.D. candidates at Calvin Theological Seminary under the supervision of Dr. Richard Muller, senior fellow of the Junius Institute and PJ Zondervan professor of historical theology at CTS. These two projects are fine examples of the importance of dissertation research for a variety of reasons, including those highlighted previously by David Sytsma. A number of dissertations from the CTS program are available here.

The first dissertation defense yesterday was by Ted Van Raalte, a contributing editor at the Post-Reformation Digital Library and newly-appointed professor of ecclesiology at the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary.

In a dissertation titled, “Antoine De Chandieu (1534-1591): L’un des pères de la scholastique réformée?” Van Raalte explored a number of sources, including Chandieu’s Locus de Verbo Dei Scripto, adversus humanas traditiones, theologice et scholastice tractatus (Bern: Le Preux, 1580). Visit Chandieu’s page on PRDL for other easily accessible digital sources by this significant French reformed figure.


Ted Van Raalte defends his dissertation (Calvin Theological Seminary)

Of interest as well is an article, “‘Noster Theophilus’: The fictitious ‘printer’ whose anti-Jesuit volumes issued from various presses in Geneva between 1580 and 1589,” by Van Raalte in Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance 74, no. 3 (2012): 569-591. In this piece, Van Raalte “utilized the Post-Reformation Digital Library extensively for the comparison of printer’s marks in numerous works of the 1570s and 1580s in order to establish that volumes purported to be published between 1580 and 1589 by one Théophile le Roi of La Rochelle ought rather to be attributed to four different presses in Geneva.”

Byung Soo Han also defended his dissertation yesterday, “Symphonia Catholica: The Relation of Reformed Orthodox Theology and the Church Fathers in Amandus Polanus (1561-1610).” Han made the case for the significance of new research into the field of Reformed patristics, and his work makes a significant contribution in this regard.

Byung Soo Han defends his dissertation (Calvin Theological Seminary)

Byung Soo Han defends his dissertation (Calvin Theological Seminary)

Han examined Polanus’ Symphonia catholica, seu censensus catholicus et orthodoxus dogmatum hodiernae ecclesiae ex praescripto Verbi Dei reformatae et veteris apostolicae catholicae (Basel: Waldkirch, 1607), a work which includes a significant index of the sources Polanus consulted for his engagement with the church fathers. This index is a significant resource for exploring the textual mediation of ancient authorities into the era of the Reformation, and is worthy of greater attention. Polanus’ Symphonia is available on Google Books, and is linked along with a host of other sources at Polanus’ PRDL page.

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