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The Logic of the Heart: Analyzing the Affections in Early Reformed Orthodoxy

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Chapter Summary

While the study of early modern Reformed anthropology, particularly with respect to Calvin and the imago Dei, has lately become a subject of greater focus, the study of the emotions-or "affections" and "passions" as they were known-has been largely neglected by scholars of early modern Reformed theology. This chapter examines the development of Reformed treatments of the affections in the period of early orthodoxy, during which time extensive treatments of the affections flourished. It argues that discussion of the affections during this period grew within the broad framework of the Aristotelian psychology and certain polemical concerns initially established by early Reformed theologians. There are two recurring polemical themes in early orthodoxy that relate directly to the nature of the affections. First, the Reformed deny the Stoic notion of ἀπάθεια. Second, they affirm, against many contemporary Jesuits, the sinfulness of involuntary appetitive motions that precede the affections (primo primi motus).

Keywords: affections; Aristotelian psychology; early modern reformed anthropology; early reformed orthodoxy; polemical themes



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