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David S. Sytsma
Tokyo Christian University
  1. John Calvin and Virtue Ethics: Augustinian and Aristotelian Themes.David S. Sytsma - 2020 - Journal of Religious Ethics 48 (3):519-556.
    Many scholars have argued that the Protestant Reformation generally departed from virtue ethics, and this claim is often accepted by Protestant ethicists. This essay argues against such discontinuity by demonstrating John Calvin’s reception of ethical concepts from Augustine and Aristotle. Calvin drew on Augustine’s concept of eudaimonia and many aspects of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics , including concepts of choice, habit, virtue as a mean, and the specific virtues of justice and prudence. Calvin also evaluated the problem of pagan virtue in (...)
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  2.  86
    Richard Baxter and the Mechanical Philosophers.David S. Sytsma - 2017 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Richard Baxter, one of the most famous Puritans of the seventeenth century, is generally known as a writer of practical and devotional literature. But he also excelled in knowledge of medieval and early modern scholastic theology, and was conversant with a wide variety of seventeenth-century philosophies. Baxter was among the early English polemicists to write against the mechanical philosophy of René Descartes and Pierre Gassendi in the years immediately following the establishment of the Royal Society. At the same time, he (...)
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  3. Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Protestantism.David S. Sytsma - 2021 - Academia Letters 1650:1-8.
    This is a brief introduction to the origin and development of Protestant ethical works in the tradition of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.
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  4. Beyond Dordt and De Auxiliis The Dynamics of Protestant and Catholic Soteriology in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries.Jordan J. Ballor, Matthew T. Gaetano & David S. Sytsma (eds.) - 2019 - Leiden, Netherlands: Brill.
    Beyond Dordt and ‘De Auxiliis’ explores post-Reformation inter-confessional theological exchange on soteriological topics including predestination, grace, and free choice. These doctrines remained controversial within confessional traditions after the Reformation, as Dominicans and Jesuits and later Calvinists and Arminians argued about these critical issues in the Augustinian theological heritage. Some of those involved in condemning Arminianism at the Synod of Dordt (1618-1619) were inspired by Dominican followers of Thomas Aquinas in Spain who had recently opposed the vigorous defense of free choice (...)
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  5.  51
    The Logic of the Heart: Analyzing the Affections in Early Reformed Orthodoxy.David S. Sytsma - 2013 - In Jordan Ballor, David S. Sytsma & Jason Zuidema (eds.), Church and School in Early Modern Protestantism. Leiden, Netherlands: pp. 471-488.
    This essay examines the development of Reformed treatments of the affections in the period of early orthodoxy (ca. 1565-1640). I argue that discussion of the affections during this period grew within the broad framework of the Aristotelian psychology and certain polemical concerns initially established by early Reformed theologians. With the advent of Protestant universities and academies, Reformed ethicists and theologians treated the affections in greater detail, with a majority drawing on a generally Thomistic approach to the nature and division of (...)
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  6.  42
    Matthew Hale, Of the Law of Nature.David S. Sytsma (ed.) - 2015 - Grand Rapids, MI, USA: CLP Academic.
    This critical edition is the first ever publication of Hale's Of the Law of Nature, which previously existed only in manuscript form. After discussing and defining the law in general, Hale examines the natural law in particular, its discovery and divine origin, and how it relates to both biblical and human laws. Hale's treatise, which was likely written as part of his personal meditations, and was circulated among English lawyers after his death, reveals not only the close relationship between law (...)
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