Monday, July 31, 2017


"I am not aware of any evidence that a reformanda saying served as a motto or slogan for a person, movement, or institution before 1983, when one appeared on the interim seal of the newly created Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)."
Michael Busch, "Calvin and the Reformanda sayings," in Calvinus sacrarum literarum interpres: papers of the International Calvin Congress on Calvin Research, ed. Herman J. Selderhuis (Göttingen, 2008), 289 (285-299). That by itself simplifies the argument of the article considerably, but it's sure striking!
HOWEVER: Theodor Mahlmann, writing in 2010, destroys Busch overall, tracing the roots of the saying back not to van Lodensteyn (1678) and late 17th-century Dutch proto-Pietism, but to a Lutheran 1610 and even possibly the sphere of the so-called "Second [Calvinistic] Reformation" of Bremen (1595), Anhalt (1596), Marburg (1605), Brandenburg (1613), and Bohemia (1618-1620). Holy cow!
  • Mahlmann, Theodor. “‘Ecclesia semper reformanda’: eine historische Aufklärung: neue Bearbeitung.” In Hermeneutica sacra: Studien zur Auslegung der Heiligen Schrift im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert, ed. Torbjörn Johansson, Robert Kolb, Johann Anselm Steiger, pp. 381-442. Berlin & New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2010.
For much more, go here.

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