A Complex Legacy: Louis Bouyer and the Metaphysics of the Reformation

17 Aug 2017

Based on a discussion of Louis Bouyer’s thesis about the metaphysics of the Reformation in The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism, this essay considers the methodological and hermeneutical issues involved in enquiring into the metaphysical commitments of Reformation theology. A case study of the theology of the Reformer Peter Maryr Vermigli is employed for the argument that Reformation metaphysics was a hybrid of elements pertaining both to a nominalist and a participatory ontology. This argument is then taken further by a reflection on the history of reception of the metaphysical complexity which is at the heart of the Reformation legacy.