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Scholastic Continuities in the Reproduction of Classical Sources in the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae

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This article seeks to contribute to the current re-evaluation of the relationship between the Protestant Reformation and the first period of Reformed orthodoxy by examining the ways in which the authors of the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae appropriated the literatures of classical antiquity and employed them in the context of their scholastic discourses. The derivative manner in which the many references to ancient Greek and Latin writings are employed is evidenced by the demonstrable influence of three major intermediaries: medieval lexicons and anthologies, the tradition of biblical exegesis, and the writings of John Calvin. With special attention to the classical texts that are quoted in the fundamental introductory theses of several disputations, as well as in the “polemical” ones refuting non-Reformed teaching, it is argued that the Synopsis is constructed on a complexity of intertexts that extends beyond the traditionally identified patristic and medieval sources. Thus a better understanding is gained into the nature of the (dis)continuities from medieval Scholasticism to the Reformation and early Reformed orthodoxy.


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