Institute of Post-Reformation Studies (IPRS)

[Without Dutch translation]    

Goal and Motivation of IPRS

Voetius SD V

The Institute of Post-Reformation Studies (IPRS) seeks to stimulate academic studies of the Early Modern Period following the Reformation (±1550 up to ±1800), thereby helping ETF to fulfill its mission “to deepen and strengthen the international Evangelical movement” (Mission Statement).

Post-Reformation studies are especially relevant for this mission since in the designated period classical theological lines of thought encountered the Enlightenment. Whereas the Enlightenment has been the subject of much research, the study of Protestant Orthodoxy has been generally neglected. This is partly due to the fact that in its academic discourse the early modern university still followed the scholastic method as developed since the foundation of the university in the Middle Ages (±1200). This discourse was international and interconfessional, following in its discussion with the Enlightenment the lines of the Augustinian-Franciscan tradition and the Reformation. Post-Reformation studies are indispensable for understanding the particular historical roots of the international Evangelical movement.

Functioning of IPRS

The Institute emphasizes research (Master projects, PhD projects, conferences, publications) without neglecting areas of research-based teaching on the Master’s level (the courses “History of Christian Doctrine”; “Medieval and Post-Reformation Scholasticism”) and services to a broader academic public (e.g. conferences).

Fields of Research

Movements
  • Protestant Orthodoxy (seen against its historical background in the Patristic Period, Middle Ages, and Reformation)
  • English and American Puritanism, Dutch Further Reformation (Nadere Reformatie), German Pietism
  • Revival movements such as Wesleyanism and the First Great Awakening (Jonathan Edwards)
  • (Roots of) the Evangelical Movement
Research questions (broad examples)
  • Continuity and discontinuity between Protestant Orthodoxy and its background in the theology of the Patristic Period, Middle Ages and Reformation (the “catholicity” of Protestant Orthodoxy)
  • The complex relationship between Protestant Orthodoxy and the Catholic (Counter-)Reformation (unity and diversity)
  • The complex relationship between classical theological lines of thoughts with the Enlightenment (unity of faith and thinking versus autonomy of thinking)
  • The complex relationship between tradition and renewal
  • Developments within the Evangelical Movement

Researchers

Senior researchers 
  • Prof. Dr. Willem van Asselt †
  • Prof. Dr. Andreas J. Beck (director)
  • Prof. Dr. Johannes Hofmeyr
  • Prof. Dr. Antonie Vos 
 Junior researchers
  • Yoshinori Aoki, M.Th. (Ph.D. candidate)
  • Drs. Gert van den Brink (Ph.D. candidate)
  • Philip Fisk, M.Th. (Ph.D. candidate)
  • Andrew Hollingsworth, M.Th. (Ph.D. candidate)
  • Matthias Mangold, M.Th. (Ph.D. candidate)
  • Robert Sturdy, M.Th. (Ph.D. candidate)

News

In memoriam - Prof. Dr. Willem van Asselt [05/06/2014]

Prof. Dr. Willem van Asselt

Scholastic method and spirituality, scholarship and friendship: In remembrance of Prof. Dr. Willem van Asselt

On the morning of May 29th, the well-known church history professor, Dr. Willem van Asselt, barely a month after having turned sixty-eight, died of complications following a stroke. After having served for twenty-one years as a Dutch Reformed pastor, he was professor of Reformed Protestantism at the University of Utrecht, from 1993 – 2007, and professor of historical theology at the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, in Leuven, since 2008.

Professor Van Asselt was warm and amiable and meant a lot to congregation, student, and colleague. He was an internationally renowned scholar in early modern church history, specializing in Reformed orthodoxy and Scholastic method. He wrote or co-authored fourteen books , and hundreds of articles in academic books and journals. The international recognition of his work appeared in his Festschrift, Scholasticism Reformed, published by Brill, Leiden, in 2010.

[Read the reminder of this In memoriam.]

The IPRS in 2013 – Exerpt from the Annual Report 2013 of ETF, pp. 43-44 [28/03/2014]

Prof. Dr. Andreas J. Beck

Under the leadership of Andreas Beck, the Institute of Post-Reformation Studies has expanded further, exploring the riches of the various reforming streams. Special attention is given to the origins of the Evangelical movement, Puritanism and Reformed Orthodoxy of the 17th Century. Also how these streams relate to Catholicism is of special interest in view of their common roots in the Middle Ages.

On April 18 and 19 IPRS of ETF together with KU Leuven and FPG organized an international conference on the occasion of 450 years Heidelberg Catechism “The Heidelberg Catechism in Ecumenical Perspective.” The proceedings of the conference will be published by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

On September 10, 2013 three senior members of the Institute were involved in the promotion of Peter Hoek on Melchior Leydecker (VU University Amsterdam): Willem van Asselt and Antonie Vos were co-promoters and Andreas Beck was a member of the jury. On September 18, 2013, Andreas Beck was a member of the jury involved in the promotion of Sug-Jai Cho on Guilielmus Bucanus (Theologische Universiteit Apeldoorn). On September 20, 2013, the renewed journal Trajecta. Religion, Culture and Society in the Low Countries was presented during a symposium at the museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht. Andreas Beck was involved in the preparations and is a member of the Board of Editors of Trajecta.

Andreas Beck and Antonie Vos both gave a lecture at the international conference "Die Reformation und ihr Mittelalter – Wertung, Wirkung, Perspektiven" in Bretten, October 10-12, 2013 organized by the ‘Europäische Melanchthon- Akademie Bretten’ and the ‘Institut für Spätmittelalter’ of the University of Tübingen.

Andreas Beck gave a lecture on the trilingual international congress “The Council of Trent: Reform and Controversy in Europe and Beyond (1545- 1700)” at the KU Leuven, 4-6 December 2013 (Refo500). The title of his lecture was “Zur Soteriologie im Rechtfertigungsdekret des Tridentinums und im Heidelberger Katechismus.”

Four senior researchers are connected to IPRS. In addition four doctoral students are doing research in the context of IPRS.

The IPRS in 2013 – Exerpt from the Annual Report 2012 of ETF, pp. 44-45 [29/03/2013]

On February 9, 2012 Andreas Beck was involved in the organization of an expert meeting “History of the Councils in Leuven research” at the KU Leuven. His contribution was entitled “Protestant Confessions in Ecumenical Perspective: Confessio Augustana (1530), Confessio Belgica (1561), and the Synod of Dort (1618-1619)”.

From July 11 to 12, 2012, Andreas Beck attended the opening of the Jonathan Edwards Center at the Heidelberg University, Germany. He gave a lecture on “Jonathan Edwards and Reformed Orthodoxy on Free Will and Determinism”. On October 12, Andreas Beck delivered a lecture at the Refo500 Conference “Reformation und Rationalität” at Wittenberg.

In 2012 the proceedings of the conference on the Confessio Belgica, organized from November 27 to 28, 2011 by FPG in cooperation with ETF and KU Leuven, were published as section 15 of Analecta Bruxellensia, of which Andreas Beck is co-editor.

Conference on "The Heidelberg Catechism in Ecumenical Perspective" [27/10/2012]

On April 18-19, 2013, there will take place at ETF an International Conference on "The Heidelberg Catechism in Ecumenical Perspective" on the occasion its 450th anniversary. The conference will be organized by the ETF (IPRS) in cooperation with the Centre for Ecumenical Research of the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, the Faculteit voor Protestantse Godgeleerdheid, Brussels, and Refo500. The intention of this conference is to bring together experts in all major traditions of the European Reformations, including the Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, Anabaptist and Dissident traditions, and in relevant social-political aspects of the Confessional Era. Thus new vistas for research on the historical interaction between these traditions can be opened up, leading to an advanced understanding of religion and education in the Early Modern Era.

[Please click this link for more information.]

International Symposium 450th Anniversary Confessio Belgica 1561-2011" [01/11/2011]
New book: "The Belgic Confession at 450" [01/10/2012]

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The proceeding of the International Symposium on the Occassion of the 450th Anniversary of the Confessio Belgica (Brussels, 27-28 November 2012), organized in cooperation with Refo500 by the Faculteit voor Protestantse Godgeleerdheid of Brussels, the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit Leuven, and the KU Leuven, has been published as a special volume of the yearbook Analecta Bruxellensia, edited by Peter Tomson in cooperation with Andreas J. Beck e.a. This volume includes contributions from two profesors of ETF: Andreas J. Beck (IPRS) and Patrick Nullens (ILE).

  • P.J. Tomson e.a. (eds.). The Belgic Confession at 450. Analecta Bruxellensia, 15. Maastricht: Shaker Media, 2012, 223 pp.
Expert Meeting "History of the Councils in Leuven Research" [01/02/2012]

On February 9, 2012, there will take place in Leuven an Expert Meeting 'History of the Councils in Leuven research', organized by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the Fondazione per le scienze religiose Giovanni XXIII in cooperation with the ETF Leuven (IPRS). Lecturers include the professors Johan Leemans (Fac. of Theol. and Rel. Studies, K.U.Leuven), Brigitte Meijns (Faculty of Arts, K.U.Leuven), Andreas J. Beck (ETF Leuven), Matthijs Lamberigts (Fac. of Theol. and Rel. Studies, K.U.Leuven), and Violet Soen (Faculty of Arts, K.U.Leuven). The Expert Meeting will be chaired by Wim François (Fac. of Theol. and Rel. Studies, K.U.Leuven).

[Read the programme and see also Refo500].

International Symposium 450th Anniversary Confessio Belgica 1561-2011" [01/11/2011]

On November 27-28, 2011, there will take place in Brussels an International Symposium on the Occasion of the 450th Anniversary of the Confessio Belgica, organized in cooperation with Refo500 by the Faculteit voor Protestantse Godgeleerdheid of Brussels, the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit Leuven, and the K.U.Leuven. Scholars from four countries discuss the origin, content, reception, and actual relevance of the Confessio Belgica in light of recent research. The proceedings will be published in a special issue of the yearbook Analecta Bruxellensia.

[Read the programme and see also Refo500].

New book: "The Reception of John Calvin and His Theology in Reformed Orthodoxy" [23/06/2011]

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The proceeding of the international conference on "The Reception of Calvin and his Theology in Reformed Orthodoxy" (Dordrecht, June 2009), co-organized by the IPRS of ETF, has been published as a special double issue of the journal Church History and Religious Culture (CHRC), edited by Andreas J. Beck and William den Boer. This volume includes contributions from three members of the IPRS: Prof. Dr. Willem van Asselt, Prof. Dr. Andreas J. Beck, and Prof. Dr. Antonie Vos.

Until recently, the most influential thesis regarding the relationship between Calvin and his successors has been the so-called ‘Calvin against the Calvinists’ approach. According to this thesis, Calvin’s allegedly pristine Reformed theology was fundamentally perverted by his successors.
A more recent reassessment of the development of Reformed theology, to which the papers in this volume significantly contribute, not only relativises Calvin’s status within the diverse Reformed tradition, but also demonstrates both the exegetical, methodological, and theological complexity of the Reformed tradition to which Calvin belongs, and the substantial continuities in these areas between Reformation and post-Reformation Reformed dogmatics.

  • Andreas J. Beck and W. den Boer (eds.). The Reception of John Calvin and His Theology in Reformed Orthodoxy. Church History and Religious Culture, 91.1-2 (special double issue). Leiden: Brill, 2011, 312 pp. = CHRC 91.1-2 (2011).
Conference on "Melanchthon und die Reformierte Theologie / Melanchthon and the Reformed Tradition" [02/11/2010]

On 10-12 November 2010 an international conference will be held on “Melanchthon and the Reformed Tradition” in remembrance of the 450th anniversary of the death of Philipp Melanchthon. This conference is organized by Johannes a Lasco Library Emden (Germany) in cooperation with the The Institute of Post-Reformation Studies (IPRS) of ETF Leuven and the Melanchthonakademie Bretten (Germany). Lecturers include Prof. Dr. Andreas J. Beck ("Melanchthon and Reformed Scholasticism") and Prof. Dr. Antonie Vos ("Melanchthon on Free Will"). [Read the brochure which includes the programme and see also www.500jaarcalvijn.nl].

New book: "Reformed Thought on Freedom" [29/01/2010]

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Prof. Dr. Willem J. van Asselt has co-edited the book Reformed Thought on Freedom: The Concept of Free Choice in Early Modern Reformed Theology. Texts and Studies in Reformation and Post-Reformation Thought (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009), 256 pp. Two other faculty members, Prof. Dr. Andreas J. Beck and Prof. Dr. Antonie Vos, have contributed to this volume which examines the concept of freedom in the work of six early modern Reformers.
According to the publisher Baker Academic, this volume "fills a significant gap in Reformed knowledge by presenting sources in translation and commentary on works of major importance to the Protestant tradition that have been neglected for centuries". In doing so, this book "makes a major contribution to historical scholarship on the problem of free choice and to contemporary debates over determinism and divine foreknowledge of future contingencies. [...] The contributors demonstrate that traditional Calvinism cannot be easily dismissed as a form of philosophical determinism."
Carl R. Trueman, Academic Dean of Westminster Theological Seminary, calls this book "[a]n excellent contribution to the current remapping of the relationship of early modern Protestantism to late medieval theology".

Conference on "‘Scotism’ in ‘Calvinism’" [20/10/2009]

On 6 November 2009 an international  conference in commemoration oft he 700th anniversary of the death of John Duns Scotus (†1308) and the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin (*1509) will be held. This conference on "‘Scotism’ in ‘Calvinism’" will be organized by The Institute of Post-Reformation Studies (IPRS) of ETF and the Research Group John Duns Scotus. [Check this link for the programme].

Inaugural address of Prof. Dr. Willem van Asselt [04/09/2009]

Friday, September 4, Dr. Willem van Asselt held his inaugural address on "Covenant Theology: An Invitation To Friendship" as Professor of Historical Theology. Prof. Van Asselt is teaching and doing research at ETF, in particular for the Institute of Post-Reformation Studies. [Read more on this in the Dutch newspaper "Reformatorisch Dagblad"].

Inaugural address of Prof. Dr. Antonie Vos [03/09/2009]

Thursday, September 3, Dr. Antonie Vos held his inaugural address on "Solus Christus" as Professor of Historical Theology. Prof. Vos is teaching and doing research at ETF, in particular for the Institute of Post-Reformation Studies. [Read more on this in the Dutch newspaper "Reformatorisch Dagblad"].

Conference on "The Reception of Calvin and his Theology in Reformed Orthodoxy" [01/10/2008]

On 4 and 5 June 2009 an international conference will be held on “The Reception of Calvin and his Theology in Reformed Orthodoxy” in remembrance of the 500th anniversary of John Calvin. This conference is organized by The Institute of Post-Reformation Studies (IPRS) of ETF, the Institute of Reformation Research (Apeldoorn), the Research-group Classic Reformed Theology (Utrecht), and Calvin Theological Seminary (Grand Rapids, MI, USA). [Read the brochure which includes the programme and see also www.500jaarcalvijn.nl].

Dr. Antonie Vos and Dr. Willem J. van Asselt appointed as professors of Historical Theology [18/04/2008]

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ETF recently appointed Dr. Antonie Vos (1944) and Dr. Willem J. van Asselt (1946) as professors of Historical Theology. The appointment is in the context of launching the Institute of Post-Reformation Studies (IPRS). This institute includes studies in reformed orthodoxy, an area in which both Dr. Vos and Dr. Van Asselt are renowned experts. Their appointment as professor is for a period of five years, starting in 1 September 2008.

[Read more on this in the Dutch newspaper "Reformatorisch Dagblad"].

 
 
 
 

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Inst. of Post-Reformation Studies