The Development of Reformed Homiletics

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

  The Development of Reformed Homiletics

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The humanist disciplines of dialectic and rhetoric were the foundation of Protestant homiletics. Early Lutheran homileticists adapted the principles of classical rhetoric to develop a new, topical method of preaching. Reformed homileticists at the end of the century emphasized exegetical, rather than topical, sermons. Their homiletics texts were strongly influenced by Ramism, both in the organization of their works and in their recommendations for beginning preachers. Attendance at preaching services was fundamental to homiletic instruction in Basel; future pastors were expected to use their knowledge of classical rhetoric to analyze preached and written sermons. The theology professor Amandus Polanus wrote a strongly Ramist homiletics text that was later abridged by his student and successor, Johann Georg Gross.

Keywords: Dialectic; rhetoric; Protestant homiletics; Lutheran; Reformed; preaching; sermons; Ramism

Chapter.  6822 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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