Symposium May 20, 2022 in Leuven, Belgium

One of the challenges for the Reformed Church in the early modern period was to establish new forms of Christian life. These new forms developed in relation to a fresh Reformed understanding of Christian doctrine, and also in reaction to the alternative practices and theories of Roman-Catholics and Lutherans, among others. We find an effort to meet this challenge in the final ten disputations of the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae (1625).

In 1625, a few years after the Synod of Dort, four theology professors of Leiden University published the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae. The book presents a series of fifty-two disputations that together provide a complete survey of Christian doctrine from a Reformed perspective. As a theological handbook, it exerted an appreciable influence upon the Reformed traditions. The last ten disputations outline the path of Christian life and deal with topics ranging from baptism, the Lord’s Supper, church discipline, the role of civil authorities, to the end of the world and heaven.

In 2010, the Classic Reformed Theology Research Group (OGTh), an international group of scholars, began work on a new, three-volume edition of the Synopsis, with the Latin text, an English translation, and annotations. The third and final volume, containing disputation 43-52, was published by Brill in 2020. Due to the Covid-crisis, the launch of this volume was postponed till Friday May 20, 2022, when it will be presented at a symposium, hosted by the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit Leuven. During the symposium, a number of experts will reflect on aspects of both the third Volume and the complete Synopsis.


  • 2.00 PM: Opening, by Prof. Dr. Andreas Beck (ETF Leuven, Belgium)
  • 2.10 PM: Introduction to the Complete Synopsis, by Prof. Dr. Andreas Beck (ETF Leuven, Belgium)
  • 2.30 PM: Introduction to the Third Volume of the Synopsis, by Dr. Harm Goris (TST Utrecht, The Netherlands)
  • 2.50 PM: Presentation of the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae Volume 3 to Mgr. Dr. Hans van den Hende (bishop of Rotterdam and referent for ecumenism in the Dutch bishops’ conference)
  • 3.05 PM: Historical Reflections, by Prof. Dr. Polly Ha (Duke University, USA)
  • 3.35 PM: Break & Book Sale
  • 4.00 PM: Ecclesiological Reflections, by Prof. Dr. Marcel Gielis (KU Leuven, Belgium)
  • 4.30 PM: Theological Reflections, by Prof. Dr. Arie Baars (TUA Apeldoorn, The Netherlands)
  • 5.00 PM: Presentation Online Lecture Series on the Synopsis
  • 5.15 PM: Closure and Reception

Practical information

Attendance fee: free
Registration: send an email by May 16, 2022, to
Location: Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, Leuven, Sint-Jansbergsesteenweg 95-97, 3001 Leuven, Belgium