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History And The Vertical Canon: Calvin's Institutes And Beckett

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Chapter Summary

Before drawing a vertical line between the prose of John Calvin and that of Samuel Beckett, the chapter discusses some key moments in the history of Calvin scholarship. It also discusses some reflections on the impact that an emphasis on the serpentine elements of textuality could have for the canon. The Calvinist conflation of time and eternity is presented by Barth as a necessary and progressive departure from the exclusive religious space of the medieval monastery. The psychologizing tendency in Bouwsmas work is a little over the top, and Bouwsmas fancy for excavating Calvins personality frequently leads him to make historically disputable claims. The sensus divinitatis then, is both the security of Gods existence, as well as the insecurity of mans tendency to capricious idolatry.

Keywords: John Calvin; Samuel Beckett; sensus divinitatis; vertical canon



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