William of Ockham, Nominalism, Luther, & Early Protestant Thought


(10-3-02; abridged on 10-10-17)


[ (P) = Protestant / (C) = Catholic / (O) = Orthodox / (U) = unknown religious persuasion / secular ]
This paper consists entirely of citations.


I. Introduction to Medieval Philosophical Nominalism and William of Ockham

From: Frederick Copleston, S. J. (C), A History of Philosophy: Vol. 3: Late Mediaeval and Renaissance Philosophy, Part I: Ockham to the Speculative Mystics, Garden City, New York: Doubleday Image, 1953, 21, 26, 30, 59-60.

. . . there arose and spread in the fourteenth century a new movement, associated for ever with the name of William of Ockham. The thinkers of this new movement, the via moderna, which naturally possessed all the charm of ‘modernity’, opposed the realism of the earlier schools and became known as the ‘nominalists’. This appellation is in some respects not very apposite, since William of Ockham, for example, did not deny that there are universal concepts in some sense . . . a better name is ‘terminists’ . . . It is true that they strongly opposed and criticized the realism of earlier philosophers, particularly that of Duns Scotus; but it would be an over-simplification of their anti-realism to say that it consisted in attributing universality to ‘names’ or words alone.

It would, however, be a grossly inadequate description if one contented oneself with saying that the fourteenth-century nominalists attacked the realism of the thirteenth-century philosophers. The nominalist movement possessed a significance and an importance which cannot be adequately expressed by reference to one particular controversy.

. . . one is not justified in asserting without qualification that a rudimentary appreciation of physical science was peculiar to the fourteenth century, as contrasted with the thirteenth, or that the scientific studies associated withy the Ockhamist movement were the direct progenitors of Renaissance science. Already in the thirteenth century interest had been taken in the Latin translations of Greek and Arabic scientific works, and original observations and experiments had been made. We have only to think of men like Albert the Great, Peter of Maricourt and Roger Bacon . . .

Christian philosophy . . . was not radically hostile to the study of the world; and in the case of thirteenth-century philosophers like St. Albert the Great and Roger Bacon we find a combination of the spiritual; outlook with an interest in the empirical study of nature.

There is no adequate reason for challenging his reputation as the fountainhead of the terminalist or nominalist movement . . . Ockham was an independent, bold and vigorous thinker, who showed a marked ability for criticism; he held certain clear convictions and principles which he was ready to apply courageously, systematically and logically . . .

. . . . one of Ockham’s main preoccupations as a philosopher was to purge Christian theology and philosophy of all traces of Greek necessitarianism, particularly of the theory of essences, which in his opinion endangered the Christian doctrines of the divine liberty and omnipotence. His activity as a logician and his attack on all forms of realism in regard to universals can thus be looked on as subordinate in a sense to his preoccupations as a Christian theologian. This is a point to bear in mind. Ockham was a Franciscan and a theologian: he should not be interpreted as though he were a modern radical empiricist.

II. Ockham and Nominalism Compared to the Scholastic Systems of St. Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus

From: David Knowles (U), The Evolution of Medieval Thought, New York: Vintage Books, 1962, 308-309, 327-328, 340.

Duns [Scotus] is in no direct sense the ancestor of Ockhamism, and his followers have in the sequel arrested any tendency towards Nominalism in their school by combining the theological systems of Bonaventure and Scotus.

. . . Ockham . . . explicitly propounded a new epistemology, and it was this aspect of his work that exploded, as it were, and changed the whole landscape of contemporary thought by denying to the philosopher all right to any knowledge of the extra-mental universe save the intuitive knowledge of individual things, each of which was so irreducibly individual as to be unsusceptible of any intelligible relationship or connection with any other individual. This principle . . . led forthwith to the demolition of Thomism and Scotism alike. With the dictum entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem — the so-called “razor of Ockham” — the most venerable philosophical entities could be shorn away. Once Ockham’s epistemology had been admitted realism was doomed, causality was reduced to the observation of happenings and the central concepts of nature and substance disappeared.

. . . with the death of William of Ockham and his peers a great fabric of thought, and an ancient outlook on philosophy of a single, common way of viewing the universe gradually disappeared, and gave place, after two centuries in which pure philosophy was in eclipse, to the new outlook and varied ways of the modern world.

From: Heiko A. Oberman (P), The Harvest of Medieval Theology: Gabriel Biel and Late Medieval Nominalism, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Pub. Co., revised edition, 1967, 1-2, 423-424.

Reformation scholars have been inclined to view the later middle ages merely as the “background of the Reformation” and have too often been guided in their evaluation by statements of the Reformers — especially Martin Luther — which by their very nature tend to be informed by a conscious departure from particular developments in the medieval tradition. There is a tendency in this school to stress contrasts between Luther and late medieval theologians and in general to assign Luther more to the tradition of St. Paul and St. Augustine than to that of William of Occam and Gabriel Biel.

There is, secondly, what one may loosely call the Thomistic school of interpretation which holds that in the thought of Thomas Aquinas, the middle ages reached its apex. It states that the thought of the succeeding period, beginning with Duns Scotus and culminating in nominalism — the work of Occam, Biel, and their disciples — is characterized by the disintegration and rapid collapse of the Thomistic synthesis. The idea that nominalism is an essentially anti- or at least a non-catholic movement leading up to the Reformation, and that, for example, Luther, however catholic in intention, became a heretic unwittingly because of his distorted, nominalistic training, is very often connected with this hypothesis. In this school late medieval thought is merely seen as the “aftermath of high scholasticism.”

Finally, there is a third school which can be called the Franciscan school of interpretation. This school is apt to stress the orthodoxy and theological contribution of “new” Franciscans such as Scotus and Occam . . . it explains the theology of Luther as an erroneous interpretation of the theology of such a nominalist as Gabriel Biel, due to other elements in Luther’s thought unrelated to the nominalistic tradition. While the Thomistic school locates the break in the medieval catholic tradition somewhere between Aquinas and Scotus, the third school searches for the decisive rupture somewhere between Biel and Luther.

. . . Throughout this study we have had the opportunity to show that the often-asserted thesis of the “disintegration of late medieval thought” proves to be untenable . . . it pervades not only the specialized monographs, but also the general textbooks and outlines of the history of Christian thought . . . Biel and the Inceptor Venerabilis [Occam] stand together on all basic philosophical and theological issues . . . Biel proves to be a true disciple of Occam, and a faithful preserver of the impressively coherent structure of the Occamist system.

III. Ockham and Nominalism on Faith and Reason

From: Gordon Leff (U), Medieval Thought: St Augustine to Ockham, Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1958, 291.

. . . the dominant tone which Ockhamism set . . . was not one of unbelief, so much as doubt over its rational foundations. The constant cry is not that we do not believe, but that belief is a matter of faith. Thus Ockham helped to transform faith as much as reason: while the latter came increasingly to rest upon empirical observation and natural causation, the former was directed increasingly towards a positive theology, with its own independent truths: “all truths necessary to man in his journey to eternal beatitude are theological truths.” Certainly lay in faith alone without the need of intermediaries. At one and the same time, a growing empiricism was giving rise to a growing fideism. Ockham perhaps did more than anyone else to effect this change.

From: Heiko A. Oberman (P), The Harvest of Medieval Theology: Gabriel Biel and Late Medieval Nominalism, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Pub. Co., revised edition, 1967, 35-36, 81, 88.

. . . let us beware of taking it for granted that a particular philosophy forced Biel or any other nominalist to particular theological conclusions, a view which is implied, for example, in the widespread thesis that the philosophy of nominalism corrupted its theology. If any corruption took place, theology itself or some exterior force may be primarily responsible. As a matter of fact, wherever we move within nominalistic thought, we find, as a result of its unusual stress on the dialectics of the the two orders, a constant oscillation between philosophy and theology . . .

Biel is interested in safeguarding the peculiar character of faith and is keen not to have it subsumed under some form of higher reason. He thus makes every effort to distinguish between philosophy and theology by marking as clearly as possible where the one ends and the other begins. But there is no indication that this distinction is carried so far as to become a divorce between faith and reason.

. . . the traditional assertion that the thirteenth-century synthesis of faith and reason disintegrated in the later middle ages and was replaced by a radical emphasis on the divorce of faith and reason does not apply to the nominalism of Gabriel Biel.

From: Frederick Copleston, S. J. (C), A History of Philosophy: Vol. 3: Late Mediaeval and Renaissance Philosophy, Part I: Ockham to the Speculative Mystics, Garden City, New York: Doubleday Image, 1953, 138-139.

In the case . . . of statements about God’s existence, for example, the nominalists maintained that they owed their certainty not to any philosophical arguments which could be adduced in their favor but to the fact that they were truths of faith, taught by Christian theology. This position naturally tended to introduce a sharp distinction between philosophy and theology. In one sense, of course, a sharp distinction between philosophy and theology had always been recognized, namely in the sense that a distinction had always been recognized between accepting a statement as the result simply of one’s own process of reasoning and accepting a statement on divine authority. But a thinker like Aquinas had been convinced that it is possible to prove the ‘preambles of faith’, such as the statement that a God exists who can make a revelation. Aquinas was also convinced, of course, that the act of faith involves supernatural grace; but the point is that he recognizes as strictly provable certain truths which are logically presupposed by the act of faith; even if in most cases supernatural faith is operative long before a human being comes to understand, if he ever does advert to or understand, the proofs in question. In the nominalist philosophy, however, the ‘preambles of faith’ were not regarded as strictly provable, and the bridge between philosophy and theology (so far, that is, as one is entitled to speak of a ‘bridge’ when faith demands supernatural grace) was thus broken. But the nominalists were not concerned with ‘apologetic’ considerations. In the Christian Europe of the Middle Ages apologetics were not a matter of such concern as they became for theologians and Catholic philosophers of a later date.

IV. Ockham and Nominalism, Protestantism, and Martin Luther’s Theology

From: Philip Schaff (P), History of the Christian Church, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910, Vol. 6, Chapter Three: “Leaders of Catholic Thought.”

. . . Ockam’s views combined elements which were strictly mediaeval, and elements which were adopted by the Reformers and modern philosophy . . .

Ockam’s views on the authority of the civil power, papal errancy, the infallibility of the Scriptures and the eucharist are often compared with the views of Luther. The German reformer spoke of the English Schoolman as “without doubt the leader and most ingenious of the Schoolmen” — scholasticorum doctorum sine dubio princeps et ingeniosissimus. He called him his “dear teacher,” and declared himself to be of Ockam’s party — sum Occamicae factionis. The two men were, however, utterly unlike. Ockam was a theorist, not a reformer, and in spite of his bold sayings, remained a child of the mediaeval age. He started no party or school in theological matters. Luther exalted personal faith in the living Christ. He discovered new principles in the Scriptures, and made them the active forces of individual and national belief and practice. We might think of Luther as an Ockam if he had lived in the fourteenth century. We cannot think of Ockam as a reformer in the sixteenth century. He would scarcely have renounced monkery. Ockam’s merit consists in this that, in common with Marsiglius and other leaders of thought, he imbibed the new spirit of free discussion, and was bold enough to assail the traditional dogmas of his time. In this way he contributed to the unsettlement of the pernicious mediaeval theory of the seat of authority.

From: Roland H. Bainton (P), Studies on the Reformation, Boston: Beacon Press, 1963, 131.

In the late Middle Ages the so-called “Augustinians” took a position close to Calvin, for they believed that faith and knowledge are not mutually exclusive. The Occamists were at the other extreme, for they not only separated faith and knowledge but also faith and reason. Aquinas was in between. Faith and knowledge are to be distinguished, but reason leads up to and illustrates faith. In the Protestant camp Luther’s view was Occamism grown religiously vital. Faith was pitted even more violently against “the harlot reason,” but faith was mightily sure of itself. Melanchthon and Zwingli, while toning down Luther, still held to the essential irrationality of faith. Calvin with this background arrived at an accentuated “Augustinianism.”

From: Alister E. McGrath (P), Luther’s Theology of the Cross, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1985, 25, 72-73, 103-104.

. . . Luther’s own theological development . . . can only be properly evaluated in light of the theological currents prevalent in the later Middle Ages. The tendency to regard the study of the theology of the later medieval period as serving as little more than a prologue to that of the Reformation has recently been reversed, with increasing emphasis being placed upon the importance of the later medieval period as a field of study in its own right. As a consequence, we . . . are thus in a favourable position to attempt an informed evaluation of Luther’s initial relationship to this theology, and also the nature of his subsequent break with it.

Luther was not a man without beginnings, a mysterious and lonely figure of destiny who arrived at Wittenberg already in possession of the vera theologia which would take the church by storm, and usher in a new era in its history. Although it is tempting to believe that Luther suffered a devastating moment of illumination, in which he suddenly became conscious of the vera theologia and of his own divine mission to reform the church on its basis, all the evidence which we possess points to Luther’s theological insights arising over a prolonged period at Wittenberg, under the influence of three main currents of thought: humanism, the ‘nominalism’ of the via moderna, and the theology of his own Augustinian Order . . .

. . . between 1509 and early 1514, Luther’s theology in general, and his theology of justification in particular, was typical of the later medieval period. This suggestion is not, of course, new. In his celebrated critique of the reformer, Heinrich Denifle argued that Luther’s rejection of catholic theology was ultimately a reflection upon the particular type of ‘catholic’ theology with which Luther was familiar. For Denifle, Luther was only familiar with the ‘unsound’ theology of the later medieval period, such as that of Gabriel Biel, and not with the catholic theology of St Thomas Aquinas or Bonaventure. Perhaps surprisingly, modern Luther scholarship has tended to endorse Denifle’s judgment: whereas Luther frequently demonstrates first-hand knowledge of the writings of the leading theologians of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, such as Pierre d’Ailly and Gabriel Biel, such knowledge is conspicuously absent in the case of earlier medieval theologians, such as St Thomas Aquinas. It must, of course, be pointed out that this is precisely what is to be expected, if Luther was educated within the via moderna, characterised by its logico-critical attitudes and an epistemological nominalism: the great theologians of the thirteenth century belonged to the via antiqua, characterised by an epistemological realism, from which Luther would have been taught to distance himself by his mentors at Erfurt . . .

Luther began his theological career at Wittenberg in 1512 steeped in both the methods and the presuppositions of late medieval theology . . . It must therefore be regarded as methodologically unacceptable to attempt to study Luther’s theological development in isolation from, or with purely incidental reference to, this context . . .

. . . if Luther’s difficulty [over justification] represented a problem which had been adequately discussed within the earlier western theological tradition, it remains to be explained why Luther appears to have been quite unaware if the established solutions to this problem. The answer given to this objection is substantially the same as that given to the charge of Heinrich Denifle — that Luther had misrepresented the western theological tradition as a whole. According to Denifle, not a single writer in the western church, from Ambrosiaster to the time of Luther himself, understood iustitia Dei in the sense which Luther noted. Both objections are based upon the assumption that Luther was familiar with the earlier western theological tradition — which, as we have emphasised earlier, appears not to have been the case. Luther is only familiar with the theology of the moderni, such as William of Ockham, Pierre d’Ailly and Gabriel Biel at first hand, and shows little familiarity with other theologians. Indeed, where such familiarity can be demonstrated, there are usually grounds for suspecting that he has encountered them indirectly, at second hand.

From: Frederick Copleston, S. J. (C), A History of Philosophy: Vol. 3: Late Mediaeval and Renaissance Philosophy, Part I: Ockham to the Speculative Mystics, Garden City, New York: Doubleday Image, 1953, 32.

Martin Luther was very strongly anti-Aristotelian and anti-Scholastic; but Melanchthon, his most eminent disciple and associate, was a humanist who introduced into Lutheran Protestantism a humanistic Aristotelianism set to the service of religion.

From: Louis Bouyer (C), The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism, translated by A. V. Littledale, Cleveland: Meridian Books, 1955, 43-44, 164, 166.

. . . the Lutheran sola gratia . . . this assertion , , , is a genuinely Christian one, and fully in accord, of course, with Catholic tradition properly understood . . . Luther’s basic intuition, on which Protestantism continuously draws for its abiding vitality, so far from being hard to reconcile with Catholic tradition, or inconsistent with the teaching of the Apostles, was a return to the clearest elements of their teaching, and is in the most direct line of that tradition . . .

. . . . by the very logic of its nature, it should have initiated in the Church itself a powerful movement of regeneration . . . Unfortunately, that is not what happened, though the blame, in any case, does not lie exclusively with the basic principle of the Reformation. Considered in itself, and in the natural course of its development, it does not lead to division and error. These are only the accidental results of the Reformation . . . the schisms and heresies of the sixteenth century resulted, not from its initial impulse, but from external and adventitious factors which disturbed its development.

. . . the negative, ‘heretical’ aspect of the Reformation neither follows from its positive principles, nor is it a necessary consequence of their development or vindication, but appears simply as a survival, within Protestantism, of what was most vitiated and corrupt in the Catholic thought of the close of the Middle Ages . . . What the Reformation took over from the Middle Ages was just what it should have criticised and rejected; in fact it led the positive principles the Reformers had brought to light to assume a negative and polemical aspect . . .

From: Hartmann Grisar, S. J. (C), Luther, 6 volumes, translated by E. M. Lamond, edited by Luigi Cappadelta, London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Vol. 1, 2nd edition, 1914, 137-139, 216-217, 238-240, and Vol. 4, 1st edition, 1915, 435-436.

Luther came ruthlessly to condemn all the Schoolmen and the whole Middle Ages ostensibly on the ground of the pretended poisoning of the faith by Aristotle, but really because he himself had set up a contradiction between faith and reason. He says in 1521 that the Scholastics, headed by Aquinas . . . had smuggled philosophy into the world, though the Apostle had condemned it . . .

. . . he committed . . . the indefensible injustice of blindly charging Scholasticism and theology generally with what he found faulty in his own narrow circle, though these errors had been avoided by St. Thomas and the best of the Schoolmen. It has been pointed out that he was not acquainted with this real Scholasticism, nevertheless, in 1519, he had the assurance to say: “No one shall teach me scholastic theology, I know it.” “I was brought up amongst them (Thomas, Bonaventure, etc.); I am also acquainted with the minds of the most learned contemporaries and have saturated myself in the best writings of this sort . . .

. . . I had formerly learned among the monstrous things which are almost accounted axioms of scholastic theology . . . that man can do his part in the acquiring of grace; that he can remove obstacles to grace; . . . that his will is able to love God above all things through its purely natural powers and that there is such a thing as an act of charity, of friendship, by merely natural powers.

We are to believe that these were the “axioms of scholastic theology”! Such was not the case. For all acts necessary for salvation true Scholasticism demanded the supernatural “preventing” grace of God. Yet as early as 1516 Luther had elegantly described all the scholastic theologians as “Sow theologians,” on account of their pretended “Deliria” against grace.

. . . he was to say to Melanchthon in 1536: “Born of God and at the same time a sinner; this is a contradiction; but in the things of God we must not hearken to reason.” His Commentary on Romans prepares us for later assertions: “The gospel is a teaching having no connection whatever with reason . . . reason cannot grasp an extraneous righteousness” . . . “The enduring sin is admitted by God as non-existent; one and the same act may be accepted before God and not accepted, be good and not good.” “Whoever terms this mere cavilling is desirous of measuring the Divine by purblind human reason and understands nothing of Holy Scripture.”

. . . Several times in his Commentary on Romans he represents resignation to, indeed even an actual desire for, damnation — should that be the will of God — as something grand and sublime . . . “If men willed what God wills,” he writes, “even though He should will to damn and reject them, they would see no evil in that . . . for, as they will what God wills, they have, owing to their resignation, the will of God in them.” Does he mean by this that they should resign themselves to hating God for all eternity? Luther does not seem to notice that hatred of God is an essential part of the condition of those who are damned . . . He even dares to say to those who are affrighted by predestination to hell, that resignation to eternal punishment is, for the truly wise, a source of “ineffable joy” . . .

Acording to Luther, even Christ offered Himself for hell whole and entire . . . “He found Himself in a state of condemnation and abandonment which was greater than that of all the saints . . . He actually and in truth offered Himself to the eternal Father to be consigned to eternal damnation for us . . . His human nature did not behave differently from that of a man who is to be condemned eternally to hell. On account of this love of God, God at once raised Him from death and hell, and so He overcame hell.”

. . . [Luther] was delighted to find his rigid views expressed in the Notes of the lectures on Romans and 1 Corinthians, which Melanchthon delivered in 1521 and 1522. These Notes he caused to be printed, and sent them to the author with a preface cast in the form of a letter. In this letter he assumes the whole responsibility for the publication, and assures Melanchthon that “no one has written better than you on Paul.”

I hold that the Commentaries of Jerome and Origen are the merest nonsense and rubbish compared with your exposition . . . They, and Thomas too, wrote commentaries that are filled with their own conceits rather than with that which is Paul’s or Christ’s, whereas on the contrary yours teaches us how to read Scripture and to know Christ, and thus excels any mere commentary, which is more than one can say of the others hitherto in vogue.

. . . It contains, for instance, the following propositions: “Everything in every creature occurs of necessity . . . It must be firmly held that everything, both good and bad, is done by God.” “God does not merely allow His creatures to act, but it is He Himself Who acts.” As He does what is good, so also He does what is indifferent in man, such as eating and drinking and the other animal functions, and also what is evil, “such as David’s adultery and Manlius’s execution of his son.”

. . . Ten years later Melanchthon had grown shy of views so monstrous; he thought it advisable to repudiate this book . . . Luther, on the other hand, as we know, never relinquished his standpoint on the doctrine of free-will.

Additional Related Books

William of Ockham. Opera Philosophica. Volumes I-VII. St. Bonaventure, New York: Franciscan Institute Press, 1974-1988. Critical edition of Ockham’s philosophical works.

William of Ockham. Opera Theologica (OT). Volumes I-X. St. Bonaventure, New York: Franciscan Institute Press, 1967-1986. Critical edition of Ockham’s theological works.

Marilyn McCord Adams. William Ockham. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2 volumes, 1402 pages, 1987.

Gordon Leff. William of Ockham: The Metamorphosis of Scholastic Discourse. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1975.

Philotheus Boehner, Collected Articles on Ockham, ed. E. M. Buytaert, New York: St. Bonaventure, 1958.

Philotheus Boehner, Medieval Logic, Manchester: 1952.

Philotheus Boehner, Ockham’s Theory of Truth, New York: St. Bonaventure, 1944.

Ernest A. Moody, The Logic of William of Ockham, London: 1935.

John Marenbon. Later Medieval Philosophy (1150-1350). London: Routledge, 1987.

Heiko A. Oberman. Luther: Man Between God and the Devil. Trans. by Eileen Walliser-Schwarzbart. New York: Image Books, 1992.

Heiko A. Oberman, The Dawn of the Reformation: Essays in Late Medieval and Early Reformation Thought. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1986.

Heiko A. Oberman and C. Trinkaus, editors, The Pursuit of Holiness in Late Medieval and Renaissance Religion, Leiden: 1974.

Steven Ozment. The Age of Reform 1250-1550: An Intellectual and Religious History of Late Medieval and Reformation Europe. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980.

Steven Ozment, ed., The Reformation in Medieval Perspective, Chicago: 1971.

M. H. Carre, Realists and Nominalists, Oxford, 1946.

Richard Rorty, et al. Philosophy in History: Essays on the Historiography of Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

Alister E. McGrath, The Intellectual Origins of the European Reformation. Oxford: Blackwell Press, 1987.

Alister E. McGrath, Iustitia Dei: A History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification, Cambridge: 2 volumes, 1986.

Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine. Volume 4: Reformation of Church and Dogma (1300-1700). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.

John Jenkins, Knowledge and Faith in Thomas Aquinas, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997.

D. R. Janz, Luther and Late Medieval Thomism, Waterloo, Ontario: 1983.

W. Thomas Williams, The Moral Philosophy of John Duns Scotus, University of Notre Dame Ph.D. Dissertation, 1994.

Norman Kretzmann, Anthony Kenny and Jan Pinborg, editors, The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982.

Lucan Freppert, The Basis of Morality According to William Ockham. Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1988.

Alvin Plantinga, Does God Have a Nature?, Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1980.

Nicholas Wolterstorff, On Universals, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972.

Etienne Gilson, History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages, London: Sheed & Ward, 1955.

Etienne Gilson, The Spirit of Medieval Philosophy, London: 1936.

Beryl Smalley, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages, Oxford: 3rd edition, 1983.

David C. Steinmetz, Luther and Staupitz: An Essay in the Intellectual Origins of the Protestant Reformation, Durham, North Carolina: 1980.

David C. Steinmetz, Luther in Context, Bloomington, Indiana: 1986.

Josef Pieper, Scholasticism: Personalities and Problems of Medieval Philosophy, London: 1960.

Francois Wendel, Calvin: The Origins and Development of his Religious Thought, London: 1963.


Photo credit: University lecture in the 14th century: painting of c. 1350, by Laurentius de Voltolina [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]


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