2005 Conference - The Continental ReformationDeep in History

The Forerunners of the Reformation – Dr. Scott Hahn

March 1, 2016 3 Comments

Dr. Scott Hahn, former Presbyterian pastor, journeys through the intellectual and cultural ideologies, as well as the historical figures, that led up to the Protestant Reformation. Dr. Hahn give special focus to the necessity of the papacy.

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Study Questions:

-Why must we ask ourselves if the language of Jesus is figurative or real? What are Dr. Hahn’s reflections on this idea?

-What is the importance of the “marriage metaphor” in understanding Christian theology?

-How does St. Thomas Aquinas’ musings on “freedom” help you better understand the “rules” of Christianity? How did the Via moderna affect the understanding of “freedom”?

-What difference do “intellectuals” actually make? Do you think ideas have consequences, in light of Dr. Hahn’s talk?

-In what intellectual environment did Martin Luther grow up? How do you think this affected his reformation?

-Dr. Hahn discusses the theological theory that God’s Law and Power are arbitrary, stemming from Machiavelli’s idea that “the ends justify the means.” How does this theory then portray God (“Despotic deity” vs. “Loving Father”)? What consequences could this theory have?

-Dr. Hahn described the importance of recognizing “how we think about things without thinking about them.” Did this talk open up your eyes to anything that you might have “thought of without thinking about”?

-Why is God’s “Fatherhood” important, according to Dr. Hahn? Consider one of the Protestant views on the importance of the papacy to Christianity, which Dr. Hahn lists. Did any of his reasons surprise you?


Via Antiqua: “Old Way”

Via Moderna: “Modern” or “New Way”

Marsilius of Padua: The Italian political philosopher (c. 1275-1342) who wrote Defensor pacis, which attacked many of
the arguments used to support the political and temporal authority of the papacy.

Manichaeism: A heresy that developed in the third century that was fundamentally gnostic and dualistic, positing an opposition between the realm of good (spirit) and evil (matter).

Donatism: A heresy that developed in the fourth century, which purported that only those living a blameless life belonged in the church, and, further, that the validity of any sacrament depended upon the personal worthiness of the priest administering it.

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