Book

John Calvin's Ideas

Paul Helm

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780199255696
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602429 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199255695.001.0001

Series: Changing Paradigms in Historical and Systematic Theology

John Calvin's Ideas

Show Summary Details

Preview

John Calvin is universally acknowledged as one of the formative Christian theologians and one of the great doctors of the Church. His work continues to be the subject of almost continuous exposition and scholarly appraisal. This book is the first at length treatment of some of his key ideas and his theological positions that have a philosophical aspect to them. Work has been done on the philosophical sources of some of Calvin's work, but little or nothing on how Calvin actually made use of philosophical ideas in his work. Calvin has frequently been thought of as anti philosophical in his bent, with particular focus being placed on his intense dislike of speculation. Emphasis has been placed on his role as a theologian of 'the Word' and on his Renaissance background. It is not denied that Calvin was first and foremost a theologian, and not a philosopher, and the influence of the Renaissance upon him, particularly on his style, must be recognized. However, careful analysis of his theology reveals both Calvin's thorough familiarity with a range of philosophical ideas, and a willingness to use these, putting them to work in elucidation of his own theological positions, and even on occasion indulging in a little speculation on his own account.

In order to emphasis Calvin's often positive relationship to philosophical ideas, the chapters of the book are arranged in philosophical rather than theological order. So there are chapters on metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. As well as examining Calvin's theology in its late mediaeval context, attention is given to the way in which Calvin has been appealed to in contemporary philosophy by 'reformed' epistemology.

It is believed that this book should lead to a reappraisal not of Calvin's theology as such, but of his theological method, and of the way in which his work relates not only to late mediaeval theology but also to later developments in Reformed theology, in Puritanism, and Reformed Scholasticism.

Keywords: Calvin; Calvinism; Christian theology; mediaeval theology; philosophy and theology; 'reformed' epistemology; reformed theology

Book.  448 pages. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »


Table of Contents

The Extra in John Calvin's Ideas

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

The Soul in John Calvin's Ideas

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Free Will in John Calvin's Ideas

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

See all items in Oxford Index »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.