Singing Pictures: Georgette de Montenay’s Emblems


Thanks to the work of E. J. Hutchinson, many of us are aware of Theodore Beza’s emblems. The enigmatic woodcuts and poetry of emblem books were also employed by less well-known Protestant writers, but no less vividly and even hauntingly, to picture life in light of God. Among these was Georgette de Montenay, a lady-in-waiting to the Queen of Navarre.

James Ussher and the Reduction of Episcopacy


One of Ussher’s major contributions to seventeenth-century debates about church government was The Reduction of Episcopacy which was probably composed in early 1641, but not appearing in print until after his death in 1656. This was an attempt to implement his vision of primitive episcopacy in the Church of England and was proposed as a mediating position between presbyterian and more conservative episcopalian polities.

“Plainly Diabolical”: Bishop Davenant Weighs in on Clerical Celibacy


John Davenant, as Lady Margaret Professor of Theology at Cambridge, gave a lecture in the 1610’s defending the thesis that: “Thus, marrying in the Sacerdotal Order is lawful, and the decree for its prohibition in the Church of Rome is unlawful, anti-Christian, and plainly diabolical.” In this post, I want to highlight some of the more pertinent parts of Davenant’s lecture as they relate to the present problems facing the Roman Catholic Church.

Chronological Snobbery and the Christian Faith


In a recent post at Reformation21, Guy Waters argues that a “Presbytery does possess the power to instruct one of its members or licentiates not to teach a difference that the court has determined an exception.” I agree. Interestingly, I can’t imagine this being an issue in the early modern period.

Weird Reformation: Christ the Mediator of Angels?


We’re starting a new series on the blog here where we will look at old, mostly unknown quotes or debates in reformed theologians of the past. The hope is to both entertain and show that the reformed tradition has traditionally been far broader than many of its contemporary proponents realize. We hope you enjoy it.

Calvin’s Luther: Unity and Continuity in Protestantism


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John Calvin: More Lutheran or Zwinglian?

Everybody knows that Calvin was closer to Zurich than to Wittenberg. What this essay presupposes is: Maybe he wasn’t? In fact, Calvin was neither Zwinglian nor Lutheran in the developed sense of those terms, but rather saw himself as one who might mediate between the two sides in their intractable debates, particularly over the nature of the Lord’s Supper.

But what is perhaps most interesting, given contemporary ecclesiastical circumstances, is that Calvin saw himself as unabashedly part of one church—not just invisibly, but visiblywith all magisterial Protestants in Europe, and sought to make that visible unity more concrete through his literary and theological efforts, even if those hopes were in large measure frustrated.

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