Skip to main content


Aquinas Among the Protestants

Manfred Svensson (Editor), David VanDrunen (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-119-26598-6 July 2017 Wiley-Blackwell 328 Pages


The Protestant philosophical and theological heritage of Thomas Aquinas

This major new book provides an introduction to Thomas Aquinas’s influence on Protestantism. The editors, both noted commentators on Aquinas, bring together a group of influential scholars to demonstrate the ways that Anglican, Lutheran, and Reformed thinkers have analyzed and used Thomas through the centuries. Later chapters also explore how today’s Protestants might appropriate the work of Aquinas to address a number of contemporary theological and philosophical issues.

The authors set the record straight and disavow the widespread impression that Aquinas is an irrelevant figure for the history of Protestant thought. This assumption has dominated not only Protestant historiography but also Roman Catholic accounts of the Reformation and Protestant intellectual life. The book opens the possibility for contemporary reception, engagement, and critique and even intra-Protestant relations and includes:

  • Information on the fruitful appropriation of Aquinas in Anglican, Lutheran, and Reformed theologians over the centuries
  • Important essays from leading scholars on the teachings of Aquinas
  • New perspectives on Thomas Aquinas’s position as a towering figure in the history of Christian thought
Aquinas Among the Protestant is a ground-breaking and interdenominational work for students and scholars of Thomas Aquinas and theology more generally. 
Notes on Contributors vii

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: The Reception, Critique, and Use of Aquinas in Protestant Thought 1
Manfred Svensson and David VanDrunen

Part I The Protestant Reception of Aquinas 25

1 Deformation and Reformation: Thomas Aquinas and the Rise of Protestant Scholasticism 27
Jordan J. Ballor

2 Thomas Aquinas and Reformed Biblical Interpretation: The Contribution of William Whitaker 49
David S. Sytsma

3 Jerome Zanchi’s Use of Thomas Aquinas 75
Stefan Lindholm

4 Richard Hooker and Thomas Aquinas on Defining Law 91
Torrance Kirby

5 Johann Gerhard’s Reception of Thomas Aquinas’s Analogia Entis 109
Jack Kilcrease

6 Doubting Reformational Anti]Thomism 129
John Bolt

7 The Understanding and Critique of Thomas Aquinas in Contemporary German Protestant Theology 149
Sven Grosse

Part II Constructive Engagement 167

8 Philosophy Explored 169
Sebastian Rehnman

9 The Active and Contemplative Life: The Practice of Theology 189
Michael Allen

10 On Divine Naming 207
Scott R. Swain

11 Nature and Grace 229
Paul Helm

12 Aquinas’s Doctrine of Justification and Infused Habits in Reformed Soteriology 249
J. V. Fesko

13 The Influence of Aquinas on Protestant Ethics 267
Daniel Westberg

14 “Justice,” the “Common Good,” and the Scope of State Authority: Pointers to Protestant]Thomist Convergence 287
Jonathan Chaplin

Index 307