“Was a significant aspect of the Reformation a revival of patristic theology?”

01 Oct
Martin Chemnitz, quote-miner extraordinaire?

Martin Chemnitz, quote-miner extraordinaire?

In the event that anyone reading this blog is going to this upcoming conference:

Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.

October 2-3, 2014

….consider checking out the paper to be delivered by my pastor:

Paul Strawn

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Spring Lake Park, Minn.

The Influence of Patristic Literature upon the Reformation

A common understanding of the usage of patristic sources during the Reformation period is that brief quotations were copied mechanically from the Sentences of Peter Lombard (1096-1164) or late medieval patristic anthologies. Relatively unknown is the fact that by the beginning of the 17th century, over 1600 volumes had been printed that contained the writings of the church fathers of both the west and the east. It is these works that provided the content for Jacques Paul Migne’s (1800-1875) massive 386 volume Patrologiae cursus completes. But even more startling, by delving into the question of the publication of just the collected-works editions of the church fathers that appeared between the years of 1460 and 1570, the distinct impression is made that the works of the church fathers in their entirety must have been much more influential in the Reformation period than has up until now been acknowledged. Simply an awareness of the common availability of the writings of the ancient church in the 16th century thus affords a new vista from which the theological developments of the period can be assessed.

(from here)


He doesn’t know I am posting this to advertise for him, but I highly recommend going to his presentation (he has told me he is doubtful that many persons will be interested in his topic – plus he is not a big name or a professor).  I hope he is surprised by the turnout, because knowing a bit about his work, it is pretty amazing information that he will be presenting. It is the  fruit of a ton of work he did as a doctoral student in Germany in the 1990s.

I hope in the future to at least put some clips from the [groundbreaking] paper on this blog.  Good empirical stuff that I think will be of interest to all in Christendom.  The quote in this blog post appears in his paper to be delivered.


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Posted by on October 1, 2014 in Uncategorized


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