Models for Study in the Era of the Reformation:
Andreas Hyperius’ massive De theologo, seu de ratione studii theologiae carries on this model for theological study in vast detail. Hyperius understood theological study as a carefully constructed discipline but also as a spiritual or pious exercise, not merely a form of knowing or scientia, but also a wisdom, sapientia.
Study ought to be grounded in the recognition that “the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge (scientia)” (Prov. 1:7) and the student should “prepare [his] soul for the diligent reading of sacred letters” through prayer for personal humility and spiritual illumination. This piety is to be the foundation for a rigorous course of study.
Hyperius’ catalogue of the kinds of study “necessary” to theological training is daunting: grammar, logic, and rhetoric (the trivium), arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy (the quadrivium), philosophy, physics, ethics, politics, oeconomics, metaphysics, history, architecture, and agriculture, and above all Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.
In theology itself, he distinguishes a series of subdisciplines: Scripture and its interpretation, doctrine as gathered in the loci communes, and practice as identified in the history and governance of the church, its polity, worship, and preaching.
Comment: Finally. Someone who understands things. Now study your Arabic, people…