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date: 21 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses of 1517, often taken as the iconic moment inaugurating the Protestant Reformation, were initially an academic affair. Luther himself, like many other Reformers, was a university professor. The Reformation was not restricted to universities, yet during the Reformation era university scholars played a pivotal role in forging, teaching, and debating knowledge about the divine—whether interpreting Scripture, elaborating Protestant theology, or explaining the Book of Nature. The history of the Reformation is thus closely linked to that of early modern universities and the intellectual frameworks within which Scripture, theology, and Protestant approaches to life and nature were debated and taught to future clergymen. This article traces the major intellectual currents and frameworks within which this took place, from the reassessment of Renaissance Humanism and scholasticism in the early years of the Reformation to the challenges facing Protestant Orthodoxy in the wake of the New Science.

Keywords: Professor, theology, religion, scholars, university, Protestantism, Humanism, Ramism, Calvinism, Lutheranism

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