For good reason the name of J0hannes Cocceius (1603–69) appears regularly in surveys of the history of Reformed theology. His covenant theology, The Doctrine of the Covenant and Testaments of God is one of the most important texts in the history of Reformed theology. His covenant theology and its application to the Christian Sabbath was part of a long-running controversy in the Netherlands that stretched well into the 18th century and which, in certain circles, continues to reverberate even today. Casey Carmichael (PhD, Geneva) is a leading scholar of Cocceius insofar as he has written two academic projects (an MA thesis and PhD diss.) on Cocceius and has published the first-ever English translation of Cocceius’ covenant theology. He has just published his dissertation, A Continental View: Johannes Cocceius’s Federal Theology of the Sabbath. This is, to my knowledge, the first English-language monograph on this important topic. As Casey notes in his introduction, discussion of Cocceius’ views on the Sabbath occurs frequently but often in passing and often relies upon 19th-century surveys and summaries. As important as this topic is and as often as people refer to the controversy around it and as much as Cocceius is thought to inform post-seventeenth century theology and practice, relatively few have sat down to study Cocceius on this (or any other issue) for themselves in light of the modern scholarship on Reformed orthodoxy (e.g., Muller, Van Asselt et al.). This volume, then, is a most welcome addition to the growing body of literature studying Reformed theology in its original context, on its own terms, out of original sources. Anyone who has a serious interest in the history of Reformed theology will want to get and read this volume.
Here’s an interview with Casey about Cocceius’ covenant theology.