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Other titles in the Oxford Studies in Historical Theology series:

Reading Augustine in the Reformation: The Flexibility of Intellectual Authority in Europe, 1500-1625 (Oxford Studies in Historical Theology)


Reading Augustine in the Reformation: The Flexibility of Intellectual Authority in Europe, 1500-1625 (Oxford Studies in Historical Theology) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In sixteenth-century Europe, Augustine was received as one of the most prominent religious and philosophical authorities, yet the various parties appropriated his thought in different, often contrasting ways. Augustine was claimed as a thoroughly Lutheran, Catholic, or Calvinist thinker, and even hailed as the ideal Erasmian pastor. These wildly contrasting receptions raise crucial questions about the significance of Augustine's thought in the Reformation period. They also show the complex relationship between religious change and the new intellectual culture of Renaissance humanism.

Drawing on a variety of printed and manuscript sources, Arnoud Visser breaks new ground in three ways. He systematically grounds Augustine's theological reception in the history of reading and the material culture of books and manuscripts. He does not confine his examination to particular confessional parties or specific geographic boundaries, but offers a cross-confessional account of Augustine's appropriation in early modern Europe. Finally, he provides crucial insight into the nature of intellectual authority in the early modern period.

Central in this study are the production, circulation and consumption of Augustine's works. Visser examines the impact of the new art of print, the rise of humanist scholarship, and the emerging confessional divisions on Augustine's reception. He shows how editors navigated a wealth of patristic information by using search tools and anthologies, and explains how individual readers used their copies and how they applied their knowledge in public debates. Reading Augustine in the Reformation argues that emerging confessional pressures did not restrict intellectual life, as has often been claimed, but promoted exciting new areas and modes of scholarship.

About the Author

Arnoud Visser received his doctorate at Leiden University, was a Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews, and is presently a lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Amsterdam.

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations

List of Figures


Part 1: Production

Chapter 1. The Arrival of the Printing Press

Chapter 2. Humanist Scholarship and Editorial Guidance

Chapter 3. Augustine after Trent

Part 2: Circulation

Chapter 4. How to Find the Right Argument: Bibliographies and Indexes

Chapter 5. Customizing Authority: Anthologies and Epitomes

Part 3: Consumption

Chapter 6. How Readers Read Their Augustines

Chapter 7. Patristics and Public Debate


Appendix: Opera omnia editions of Augustine 1500-1620




Product Details

Visser, Arnoud S. Q.
Oxford University Press, USA
Visser, A. S. Q.
Arnoud S. Q. Visser
null, Arnoud S. Q.
Church History
Theology | History of Christianity | Reformation
Religion & Theology | History of Christianity | Reformation & Counter-Reformation
Christianity-Church History General
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
6.5 x 9.4 x 1 in 1.1 lb

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Reading Augustine in the Reformation: The Flexibility of Intellectual Authority in Europe, 1500-1625 (Oxford Studies in Historical Theology) New Hardcover
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