Teaching the Reformations

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 February 2017) | Viewed by 70741

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Guest Editor
Office of Academic Affairs, Samford University, Birmingham, AL 35229, USA
Interests: American literature (particularly literary works from the American South); African American studies; film noir; detective fiction; the Christian intellectual tradition; interdisciplinary pedagogy; religion and civil
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will publish articles based on papers presented at the Teaching the Christian Intellectual Tradition Conference held at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, on October 6-8, 2016. The conference theme, “Teaching the Reformations,” explored pedagogical methods for integrating the study of the Reformations into undergraduate curricula, particularly but not exclusively into core curriculum and general education courses. The pedagogical focus of “Teaching the Reformations” will extend to the Special Issue and will differentiate this issue in the vast field of Reformation studies.

Please note that all conference participants are invited to publish their extended conference papers after peer review, without Article Processing Charges.

Dr. Christopher Metress
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

 

Keywords

  • The Reformation
  • pedagogy
  • interdisciplinarity
  • core and general education curricula
  • Great books programs

Published Papers (11 papers)

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172 KiB  
Editorial
Teaching the Reformations—Introduction
by Christopher Metress
Religions 2017, 8(7), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8070120 - 29 Jun 2017
Viewed by 2847
Abstract
This introduction to the Special Issue “Teaching the Reformations” summarizes the volume’s essays and discusses the conference at which they were presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching the Reformations)
183 KiB  
Article
The Reformers and Tradition: Seeing the Roots of the Problem
by R. Ward Holder
Religions 2017, 8(6), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8060105 - 31 May 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 6303
Abstract
Challenges the ideal of scripture vs. tradition as a manner of separating Protestants from Catholics in the early modern period, to argue instead that historians should be setting out a continuum of continuity with the medieval inheritance, and considering our typologies of the [...] Read more.
Challenges the ideal of scripture vs. tradition as a manner of separating Protestants from Catholics in the early modern period, to argue instead that historians should be setting out a continuum of continuity with the medieval inheritance, and considering our typologies of the Reform movements against that. Then, as we teach the Christian Intellectual Tradition, we can see both genealogical and influential links across the eras, and present a better picture of what was going on in the Era of the Reformations, and through that, come to a greater understanding of the human condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching the Reformations)
227 KiB  
Article
The Protestant Reformers and the Jews: Excavating Contexts, Unearthing Logic
by G. Sujin Pak
Religions 2017, 8(4), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8040072 - 20 Apr 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 10958
Abstract
This article highlights the important initial tasks of excavating the pertinent contexts of the sixteenth-century Protestant reformers and discerning what is at stake for them (i.e., “unearthing logic”) in order to analyze their views of and teachings about Jews and Judaism. Pertinent contexts [...] Read more.
This article highlights the important initial tasks of excavating the pertinent contexts of the sixteenth-century Protestant reformers and discerning what is at stake for them (i.e., “unearthing logic”) in order to analyze their views of and teachings about Jews and Judaism. Pertinent contexts include the immediate contexts to which Luther and Calvin responded (e.g., Jewish “blasphemy” and/or Christian Hebraism), as well as attending to the significant theological frameworks in which they each operated. Equally important is activity of sifting through the discrepancies in the secondary literature’s depictions of Luther and Calvin’s place in the history of Christian-Jewish relations. The article highlights biblical interpretation—particularly the defense of Scripture’s perspicuity—as the distinctive locus of the reformers’ angst concerning Jews and Judaism. In conclusion, the author offers some lessons from church history for discerning what Christian faithfulness might look like in response to this troubling history. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching the Reformations)
2634 KiB  
Article
Martin Luther and Lucas Cranach Teaching the Lord’s Prayer
by Bruce McNair
Religions 2017, 8(4), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8040063 - 11 Apr 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 8640
Abstract
Martin Luther wrote and preached on the Lord’s Prayer many times over a 20-year period. When we consider his work on the Prayer we see significant developments as the historical context changes, so that he finds new ways to express his most fundamental [...] Read more.
Martin Luther wrote and preached on the Lord’s Prayer many times over a 20-year period. When we consider his work on the Prayer we see significant developments as the historical context changes, so that he finds new ways to express his most fundamental theological principles, such as justification by faith alone, the alien and proper work of God, the corruption of the will and the hiddenness of God. Luther’s works on the Prayer were intended to teach complex ideas in easily accessible ways, and still do that for today’s undergraduates. In particular, Luther included in the Large Catechism of 1529 a series of Lucas Cranach woodcuts that provide unique illustrations of his developing theological principles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching the Reformations)
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Article
Luther, Bach, and the Jews: The Place of Objectionable Texts in the Classroom
by Beth McGinnis and Scott McGinnis
Religions 2017, 8(4), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8040053 - 1 Apr 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 6200
Abstract
This article examines the pedagogical challenges and value of using objectionable texts in the classroom by way of two case studies: Martin Luther’s writings on Jews and two works by J.S. Bach. The use of morally or otherwise offensive materials in the classroom [...] Read more.
This article examines the pedagogical challenges and value of using objectionable texts in the classroom by way of two case studies: Martin Luther’s writings on Jews and two works by J.S. Bach. The use of morally or otherwise offensive materials in the classroom has the potential to degrade the learning environment or even produce harm if not carefully managed. On the other hand, historically informed instructors can use difficult works to model good scholarly methodology and offer useful contexts for investigating of contemporary issues. Moral judgments about historical actors and events are inevitable, the authors argue, so the instructor’s responsibility is to seize the opportunity for constructive dialogue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching the Reformations)
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237 KiB  
Article
John Calvin and John Locke on the Sensus Divinitatis and Innatism
by J. Caleb Clanton
Religions 2017, 8(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8020027 - 20 Feb 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 9396
Abstract
Inheritors of the Calvinist Reformed tradition have long disagreed about whether knowledge of God’s nature and existence can be or need be acquired inferentially by means of the standard arguments of natural theology. Nonetheless, they have traditionally coalesced around the thought that some [...] Read more.
Inheritors of the Calvinist Reformed tradition have long disagreed about whether knowledge of God’s nature and existence can be or need be acquired inferentially by means of the standard arguments of natural theology. Nonetheless, they have traditionally coalesced around the thought that some sense or awareness of God is naturally implanted or innate in human beings. A root of this orientation can be found in John Calvin’s discussion of the sensus divinitatis in the first book of The Institutes of the Christian Religion. This paper outlines a pedagogical strategy for organizing and evaluating Calvin’s treatment of the sensus divinitatis, chiefly by putting it in tension with John Locke’s polemic against innatism in Book I of An Essay concerning Human Understanding. I begin by reconstructing Calvin’s depiction of the sensus divinitatis, as well as his case for thinking that it is innate. I then explain how Locke’s critique of innatism offers a fairly direct response to Calvin and, hence, a useful framework for exploring the limits of Calvin’s treatment of the sensus divinitatis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching the Reformations)
196 KiB  
Article
Teaching Music in the Reformed/Calvinist Tradition: Sphere Sovereignty and the Arts
by John MacInnis
Religions 2017, 8(4), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8040051 - 31 Mar 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3776
Abstract
This article shares objectives, teaching methods, and sources of inspiration as I lead 21st-century students in engaging a Reformed/Calvinistic vision for the arts generally, and music specifically. Special explanation is made of Calvinistic concepts such as sphere sovereignty and sensus divinitatis. To [...] Read more.
This article shares objectives, teaching methods, and sources of inspiration as I lead 21st-century students in engaging a Reformed/Calvinistic vision for the arts generally, and music specifically. Special explanation is made of Calvinistic concepts such as sphere sovereignty and sensus divinitatis. To conclude, I discuss aspects of a recent composition titled The God of Material Things by Jonathan Posthuma, a graduate of our college music program, whose work exemplifies many of the elements that my colleagues and I hope distinguish the accomplishments of music students beyond their education at Dordt College. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching the Reformations)
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Article
Dirk Philips’ Letter and Spirit: An Anabaptist Contribution to Reformation Hermeneutics
by Aaron Schubert
Religions 2017, 8(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8030041 - 15 Mar 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4942
Abstract
Dirk Philips provides an explanation of how a Christian should interpret Scripture in his Enchiridion. Such chapters as “The Sending of Preachers and Teachers,” “The Tabernacle of Moses,” and “Of Spiritual Restitution” provide the clearest picture for students of this Anabaptist hermeneutic, [...] Read more.
Dirk Philips provides an explanation of how a Christian should interpret Scripture in his Enchiridion. Such chapters as “The Sending of Preachers and Teachers,” “The Tabernacle of Moses,” and “Of Spiritual Restitution” provide the clearest picture for students of this Anabaptist hermeneutic, a hermeneutic which interprets all of Scripture through the dichotomy of the letter and the Spirit, united in their central theme, Christ and the Church, a reading that can only be found through a hermeneutic of obedience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching the Reformations)
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Article
Spenser’s Blatant Beast: The Thousand Tongues of Elizabethan Religious Polemic
by Christopher A. Hill
Religions 2017, 8(4), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8040055 - 4 Apr 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 5404
Abstract
This article addresses the final two books of the 1596 edition of Spenser’s Faerie Queene, in which there arises a formidable adversary: the Blatant Beast. This monster, whose presence dominates the end of Book Five and a substantial portion of Book Six, [...] Read more.
This article addresses the final two books of the 1596 edition of Spenser’s Faerie Queene, in which there arises a formidable adversary: the Blatant Beast. This monster, whose presence dominates the end of Book Five and a substantial portion of Book Six, represents the worst excesses of caustic and satirical rhetoric as manifest in the theological and ecclesiastical pamphlet disputes that erupted after Fields and Wilcox’s 1572 Admonition to Parliament. That these disputes were about serious and far-reaching matters is undeniable; it is also undeniable that the means by which these disputes were waged, especially in notorious cases like those of Martin Marprelate, caused significant intellectual, rhetorical, and religious anxiety among combatants and observers alike. Spenser’s heavily allegorized presentation of polemic and pamphleteering in the figure of the Blatant Beast—and the travails of the Knights of Justice and of Courtesy in bringing the beast to heel—can illustrate for students the full extent of that anxiety in Reformation England, as well as articulate Spenser’s call for the timely application of “well guided speech” as the solution to these reckless disputes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching the Reformations)
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203 KiB  
Article
Reformation Leads to Self-Reliance: The Protestantism of Transcendentalism
by Rachel B. Griffis
Religions 2017, 8(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8020030 - 21 Feb 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 7527
Abstract
This article examines connections between the Protestant Reformation and American literature and argues that Protestantism’s best expression exists in contemporary iterations of self-reliance. The first part focuses on William Ellery Channing’s and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s literary criticism of John Milton, a poet who [...] Read more.
This article examines connections between the Protestant Reformation and American literature and argues that Protestantism’s best expression exists in contemporary iterations of self-reliance. The first part focuses on William Ellery Channing’s and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s literary criticism of John Milton, a poet who represents the Protestant ideals these writers combine with American principles to develop the literary tradition. The second part discusses the trajectory of American literature in the nineteenth century and extends this discussion to current assumptions regarding teaching and learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching the Reformations)
175 KiB  
Article
How Not to Link the Reformation and Science: Reflections on Brad Gregory’s The Unintended Reformation
by Josh A. Reeves
Religions 2017, 8(5), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8050083 - 4 May 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3800
Abstract
This article evaluates Brad Gregory’s argument in The Unintended Reformation that links the Reformation with the rise of secular science. I provide an overview of Gregory’s claims and make two criticisms, arguing that Gregory’s thesis lacks historical evidence to support it and mistakenly [...] Read more.
This article evaluates Brad Gregory’s argument in The Unintended Reformation that links the Reformation with the rise of secular science. I provide an overview of Gregory’s claims and make two criticisms, arguing that Gregory’s thesis lacks historical evidence to support it and mistakenly implies that retaining the framework of premodern metaphysics would have prevented the rise of scientific naturalism. The paper concludes by pointing to more positive accounts on the connection between the Reformation and science by recent historians. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching the Reformations)
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