Institute of Post-Reformation Studies

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.

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 generally been 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, which was international and interconfessional, followed the lines of the Augustinian-Franciscan tradition and the Reformation in its discussion with the Enlightenment. Post-Reformation studies are indispensable for understanding the particular historical roots of the international Evangelical movement.

The Institute emphasizes research (Master projects, PhD projects, publications) without neglecting 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


  • Protestant Orthodoxy (seen against its historical background in the Patristic Period, Middle Ages, and Reformation)
  • English and American Puritanism, Dutch Further Reformation, 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

Senior Researchers

Prof. Dr. Andreas J. Beck (Director) Late Medieval and Early Modern Theology and Philosophy; Jonathan Edwards
Dr. Philip Fisk Jonathan Edwards, Reformed Scholasticism, Early Modern Thought
Prof. Dr. Aza Goudriaan Patristics; Medieval and Early Modern Theology and Philosophy
Dr. Dolf te Velde Early Modern Period
Prof. Dr. Antonie Vos Medieval and Early Modern Theology and Philosophy

Junior Researchers (PhD Students)

Andrew Hollingsworth, M.Th. The Presence of Christ and the Location of Heaven in the Eucharistic Debate between Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562) and Johannes Brenz (1499-1570), an Inquiry into Lutheran and Reformed Sacramental Theology in the Confessional Era.
Song Kim, M.Th. Jonathan Edwards’s Spirituality in his Perspective on Communion with Christ
Matthias Mangold, M.Th. The Cocceian-Cartesian Theology of Salomon van Til (1643-1713)
Robert Sturdy, M.Th. Freedom from Fatalism in Samuel Rutherford’s Scholastic Disputation on Divine Providence.
Hendra Thamrindinata, MA
Stephen Tipton, M.Th. The Doctrine of God in Amandus Polanus (1561-1610).
Rostislav Tkachenko, M.Th. God’s Interior Mystery: God’s Knowledge and God’s Will according to Bonaventure and Thomas Aquinas, especially as Presented in Their Scripta.
Jonathan Young, M.Th. The Federal Theology of Johannes Cloppenburg (1592-1652) (tentative).


In memoriam – Prof. Dr. Willem van Asselt (1946-2014)

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