Disputing providence in seventeenth-century Scottish universities: The conflict between Samuel Rutherford and the Aberdeen Doctors and its repercussions

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Abstract

This chapter considers debates over middle knowledge that took place, in the context of the Arminian disputes, in Scottish universities in the mid-seventeenth century. It focuses on the important role of middle knowledge in the thought of Robert Baron and the other Aberdeen doctors and the connection of middle knowledge to their wider uptake of Second Scholastic metaphysics and ontology. As suggested by their works, as well as by the variety of theses disputed by their students, Second Scholastic metaphysics and ontology had close links with their ambitious plans to develop a new, eclectic approach to philosophy. Unsurprisingly the project, with its irenic and seemingly Arminian overtones, was viewed with great suspicion by the Scottish Reformed orthodox. One of its principal opponents was Samuel Rutherford, and the ongoing dispute between Rutherford and the Aberdeen doctors and its multiple aftershocks offer an intriguing window on seventeenth-century Scottish scholastic culture and its distinctive, often divisive, confessional overtones.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-142
JournalHistory of Universities
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2017

Keywords

  • Samuel Rutherford
  • Aberdeen Doctors
  • Arminian disputes
  • middle knowledge
  • Scottish Reformed orthodox
  • Scottish scholastic culture

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