Foundationalist epistemology and the concern for systematic order

(A title just guaranteed to bring the readers flocking…) I have had cause to notice before, certainly in print and I think on this blog, that the older dogmaticians were not particularly interested in the order in which they treated topics. The great medieval systems tended to follow the pattern of Lombard’s Sentences, which in turn owed at least something to the shape of the creed; that this order was fairly uncontroversial and unquestioned is already indicative that they generally did not think the arrangement mattered very much. The theologians of the nascent school traditions that arose after the Reformation were faced with the same question, and with at least two reasons to take it seriously: a humanist concern for good order in writing; and the...

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