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Are You Alone Wise?The Search for Certainty in the Early Modern Era$
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Susan Schreiner

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195313420

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195313420.001.0001

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Are You Alone Wise?

Are You Alone Wise?

The Catholic Response

(p.131) 4 Are You Alone Wise?
Are You Alone Wise?

Susan E. Schreiner

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the Catholic response to Protestant claims of certainty. Catholic polemicists did not simply deny or dismiss Protestant arguments. They offered an alternative route to certitude. The centrality of certainty in this age is evident in the fact that Catholics, too, made the Spirit the source of certainty. However, Catholicism insisted that the Spirit belonged only to the true church. The chapter shows how the Catholic response to Protestantism argued the issue of ecclesiastical authority in terms of certainty. The writings by such polemicists as John Eck, Cajetan, and Thomas More demonstrate that the claim to certitude has now moved into debates about ecclesiology, providence, history, visibility, and invisibility.

Keywords:   certitude, Catholics, salvation, Trent, Luther, faith

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