Robert Bellarmine

Movement Catholic Reformation
Born Montepulciano, 1542
Died Sant' Andrea, 1621
Significance Bellarmine was a Jesuit theologian who became a cardinal in 1599 and was one of the most influential Catholic leaders of his time. He served as chair of controversial theology from 1576 to 1588. His greatest theological work was Controversies which was published in three volumes from 1586 to 1593. This work was a compilation and systemization of arguments against Protestant theology and was one of the most valuable tools for Catholics against the Reformation. His claim that the pope did not have direct power over the entire world, only the church, almost led to his writings being placed on the Index of forbidden books by pope Sixtus V.
Works Controversies
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Controversies (Disputationes de controversiis christianae fidei adversus hujus temporis heareticos) by Robert Bellarmine

This work was published in three volumes beginning in 1586 and ending in 1593. Bellarmine organized the previous arguments made against Protestants and systematized them in order to refute the main areas of dispute between Protestants and Catholics. He dealt with such critical issues as the authority of scripture and the pope, the sacraments, purgatory, and indulgences.

His arguments are systematized and historical rather than philosophical in that they appeal to Scripture first (as was the custom of the Protestant theologians), then they also cite the early church fathers and the councils. This approach made for a convincing attack against Protestants who believed that Scripture should be the ultimate source of authority for matters of faith and...

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