The Protestant Reformation of the early sixteenth century produced a religious movement in conscious opposition to formal philosophy. In spite of this, elements of Reformation thought produced a spiritualising form of Platonism in its drive to establish correct devotion. From an understandable fear of idolatry or displacement of the uniquely redemptive place of Christ, Protestant piety began to retreat from the senses and the material world.
In this volume Larry D. Harwood eloquently argues that, in the quest to restore ‘true religion’, Protestantism impugned too severely the material components of prior Christian devotion. Moreover, in that conceptual quest the Christian God increasingly resembled the conceptual god of the philosophers, and devotees themselves could be likened to rationalist philosophers.
Part of the paradoxical result of the quest was to propel the Protestant devotee toward a ‘denuded worship’ of a God who did, in fact, become flesh and exist on the material plane.