Journal of Social and Political


ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)

ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)

Published: 02 March 2020

The Arminian Controversy: History, Theology, and Art

James W. Ellis

Case Western Reserve University, USA

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Pages: 196-213

Keywords: Arminianism, Calvinism, Dutch Golden Age, predestination, Protestant theology, Wesleyan theology


Arminianism is a Biblical interpretive construct and a theological response to Calvinism. Calvinism is the theology advanced by John Calvin, the leading French theologian of the Protestant Reformation. Arminians and Calvinists disagreed on fundamental Christian doctrine, including the doctrine of predestination and the role human free will plays in the process of Christian redemption and salvation. In the Dutch Republic of the seventeenth century and in English theological disputes of the eighteenth century, the Arminian-Calvinist conflict divided societies and Christian fellowships. This essay analyzes these historical Protestant conflicts by analyzing relevant historical, theological, and artistic contexts.


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