Wednesday, March 27, 2013

An historical turn

April will usher in an historical emphasis at Helm's Deep. First will be a couple of posts on Thomas Ridgley, an 18th century Independent,  and his attitude to the Nicene view of the eternal generation of the Son and the procession of the Spirit. Ridgley was cautious, sceptical and gracious in expressing difficulties with this Nicene dogma. But at the same time he was thoroughly Trinitarian and scriptural. He was not a follower of the latitudinising tendency of his times, but nor did he (by implication) take the view that the Nicene doctrine 'strengthens' the Trinity and especially the deity of the Son, a view which, rather surprisingly, is to be found among some conservative Reformed types at the present time.

Then a brace of posts on the Italian Reformer Peter Martyr Vermigli. It would be unthinkable (would it not?) to suppose that in his role as a Reformer John Calvin would have lectured on Aristotle. (The two men were on very friendly terms, incidentally.) But Vermigli did, preparing a course of lectures on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, which he delivered in Strasbourg and perhaps in other places. These have recently been translated into English. The lectures are both interesting and puzzling. The posts will be a first reaction to a first read through of the lectures and will partly be a comparison of Vermigli's  and Calvin's attitude to Aristotle's ethics that the lectures disclose.