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Synderesis in Late Medieval Philosophy and the Wittenberg Reformers

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The present article discusses the concept of synderesis in the late medieval universities of Erfurt and Leipzig and the later developments in Wittenberg. The comparison between Bartholomaeus Arnoldi of Usingen in Erfurt and Johannes Peyligk in Leipzig shows that school traditions played an important role in the exposition of synderesis by the late medieval scholastic natural philosophers. However, Jodocus Trutfetter's example warns against overemphasizing the importance of the school traditions and reminds us of the manifold history of medieval discussions on synderesis, which were more or less familiar to many authors of this period. Finally, the diverse references to synderesis in the texts of Martin Luther, Johannes Bernhardi of Feldkirch and Philip Melanchthon reveal no uniform relationship with late medieval discussions but rather indicate various ways of adopting scholastic ideas and transforming them in the context of humanist and reformation thinking.
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Keywords: Luther; Melanchthon; Trutfetter; Velcurio; conscience; synderesis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Helsinki,

Publication date: 2012-09-01

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