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16 - Theological Writings

from Part III - Grotius as a Man of Letters, Theologian and Political Writer

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 September 2021

Randall Lesaffer
Affiliation:
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
Janne E. Nijman
Affiliation:
Universiteit van Amsterdam
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Summary

Grotius’ earlier theological controversies concerned the authority of secular rulers and the normative status of the undivided church, principles given fullest exposition in De Imperio Summarum Potestatum. Meletius reveals deeper disagreements with the prevailing Calvinism, insisting on the distinction of core doctrines from theological speculations. The atoning death of Christ, expounded in De Satisfactione Christi, was of central importance to him, and his apologetic interest flowered in De Veritate Christianae Religionis, an exercise in natural theology. The later writings centre on his Bible Commentary and his writings on Christian unity. They reveal some changes upon earlier views, but no accommodation to Catholic doctrinal norms. The polemics with Rivet sharpened his opposition to Calvinism as a dogmatic system with an inadequate conception of the Christian moral life. His status as a layman of no church establishment exposed him to appropriation in support of later agenda that were not his. But his influence was widespread in later Protestantism of many strands.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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References

Further Reading

De Jonge, H.J.Grotius as an interpreter of the Bible’, in Hugo Grotius, a Great European 1583–1645 (Delft, 1983), 5965.Google Scholar
Geddert, J.S., Hugo Grotius and the Modern Theology of Freedom: Transcending Natural Rights (New York, 2017).Google Scholar
Nellen, H.J.M., and Rabbie, E. (eds.), Hugo Grotius – Theologian: Essays in Honour of G.H.M. Posthumus Meyjes (Leiden, 1994).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
O’Donovan, O., ‘Attributive Justice in Grotius’, in O’Donovan, J. Lockwood and O’Donovan, O., Bonds of Imperfection. Christian Politics, Past and Present (Grand Rapids, 2006), 167203.Google Scholar
Patterson, W.P., King James VI and I and the Reunion of Christendom (Cambridge, 1997).Google Scholar

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