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Making Sense Of Schism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides a general overview of church historical studies devoted specifically to the Synod of Dordt and published since 1619. It investigates the meta-narratives in which the various historical accounts were embedded. The chapter shows how that epoch-making Synod derived value and meaning from three related meta-narratives, concerning respectively the integrity of truth-finding procedures, the freedom of religious expression, and nationhood. The Synod of Dordt caused a schism in the Dutch church, in spite of the fact that the God of Peace and Order places Schisms among the damnable works of the flesh. The Synod of Dordt had not been concerned to find truth, but to distort it. For Counter-Reformation Catholics, truth had already been formally ratified, which made an evaluation of the procedures of a heretical synod somewhat superfluous. The Synods real significance can be gauged only from the point of view of grace.

Keywords: Catholic treatises; meta-narratives; schism; Synod of Dordt



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