Josias Simler and the Fathers: The "Scripta veterum latina" (1571)

Mark Taplin

Abstract


During the 1560s and early 1570s, Josias Simler established himself as one of Zurich’s foremost theologians and intellectuals. Simler was known to contemporaries not just as an erudite defender of orthodox Reformed teaching, especially against antitrinitarianism and other forms of religious radicalism, but as an accomplished humanist scholar. Both aspects of his activity are on display in the Scripta veterum latina, a volume of patristic texts published in August 1571. In this work, which includes a detailed account of Christological disputes during the fifth, sixth and seventh centuries, Simler follows the practice of Heinrich Bullinger and other Zurich writers in using church history to demonstrate the orthodoxy and catholicity of Reformed doctrine and to discredit the teachings of its Lutheran, Catholic and radical opponents. While acknowledging differences in emphasis in the works of the church Fathers, he argues for an overall consensus patrum on Christological matters that is in harmony with the position of the Zurich church.

Keywords


Josias Simler; Heinrich Bullinger; patristics; church history; Christology; Johannes Brenz; Francesco Stancaro; Nestorianism; Cyril of Alexandria; Theodoret; monophysitism; Kaspar Schwenckfeld

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