Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Research Graduate School of Philosophy PhD ceremonies

Philip Melanchthon's moral philosophy between Scholasticism and Lutheranism

PhD ceremony:Mr M.J. (Michiel) Hoeckx
When:October 24, 2022
Supervisor:prof. dr. L.W. (Lodi) Nauta
Where:Academy building RUG
Philip Melanchthon's moral philosophy between Scholasticism and

This book studies the moral philosophy of the Renaissance humanist and Lutheran reformer Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560). It also attempts to situate this philosophy within his wider theological project. It will argue that Melanchthon’s overall outlook is best understood in terms of the threefold distinction between philosophy, law, and gospel. This does not mean that the external discipline which Melanchthon considers to be the domain of philosophy makes people righteous before God. Nor, for that matter, does the internal obedience demanded by the law. Salvation remains dependent on the forgiveness and reconciliation announced by the gospel. But for Melanchthon this does not remove the need for inner renewal, nor does it take away the freedom of human beings to respond to this transformation by maintaining discipline. This basic view accounts for his main critique of medieval scholasticism, as well as for his problematic relationship with Luther and the Lutheran tradition. His determination in defending it also has repercussions for the popular image of Melanchthon. However sympathetic to a modern audience, the view of Melanchthon as personifying moderation cannot be sustained.