Theology Instruction in Basel

Amy Nelson Burnett

in Teaching the Reformation

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780195305760
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784912 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Historical Theology

  Theology Instruction in Basel

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Theology instruction at Basel’s university reflected generational change among its faculty from 1550 to 1629, resulting in a significant evolution of pastoral education. The second generation of theologians tried to maintain Basel’s non-confessional evangelical identity into the 1570s. In the last quarter of the 16th century, the third generation, led by Johann Jacob Grynaeus, introduced Reformed Orthodoxy, developed with the tools of dialectic taught in the arts faculty. While Grynaeus relied primarily on Aristotle, his colleague, Amandus Polanus von Polansdorf, was committed to Ramism and introduced its use to theology. His successors, who taught the fourth generation of pastors, saw themselves as preservers of the Reformed tradition rather than as creative theological thinkers. An analysis of theological disputations illustrates the shift from general Protestant to more specifically Reformed theology, combined with the growth of anti-Catholic polemic at the turn of the century.

Keywords: theology instruction; university; pastoral education; generation; Johann Jacob Grynaeus; Reformed Orthodoxy; dialectic; Aristotle; Ramism; disputations

Chapter.  14072 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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