Friedrich Schleiermacher on the Reformed Orthodox Doctrine of Predestination

Hendrik van den Belt

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    This chapter analyses Schleiermacher's essay Über die Lehre von der Erwählung (1819), translated into English as On the Doctrine of Election, and compares his position both to that of John Calvin and to a Reformed Orthodox source: the Leiden Synopsis Purioris Theologiae (1625). It concludes that Schleiermacher does not do justice to the nuanced way in which the Reformed heritage was elaborated on by the later generations of theologians who made use of the scholastic method. Schleiermacher systematizes Calvin's position from his own perspective approaching the theme of election from the perspective of history instead of from eternity and equating history with the unfolding of the divine decree. Compared with the nuanced assessment of the Augustinian and Reformational heritage in Reformed Orthodoxy Schleiermacher seems to over-systematize the heritage - a fault of which he blames the Reformed Orthodox - leading to a position that can easily be interpreted as deterministic or even as pantheistic.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Doctrine of Election in Reformed Perspective
    Subtitle of host publicationHistorical and Theological Investigations of the Synod of Dordt 1618-1619
    EditorsFrank van der Pol
    Place of PublicationGöttingen
    PublisherVandenhoeck & Ruprecht
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Print)978-3-525-57070-8
    Publication statusPublished - 1-Jan-2019

    Publication series

    NameAcademic Studies


    • Friedrich Schleiermacher
    • Antonius Walaeus (1573-1639)
    • John Calvin
    • Election
    • Predestination
    • Synopsis of a Purer Theology (1625),

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