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8. John Calvin’s Understanding of Christ’s Descent into Hell

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Chapter Summary

This chapter highlights two matters pertinently, matters which Calvin already handled embryonically almost 500 years ago and which seem to hold enormous meaning for theology today. On one hand, it concerns the role that time and space play in the argument about the descensus and, on the other, the cosmic victory of Christ which is expressed through this. The chapter first examines the background and intention of this addition to the Apostolicum. It then briefly indicates the Wirkungsgeschichte-in particular Calvin's interpretation thereof-and places it within a Systematic Theological cadre and framework which takes into account insights gained from the views of contemporary physics concerning time and space. The chapter concludes that the Apostolicum can, indeed, catalogue special contours in theology and therefore ought justifiably to be part of the summary of doctrine and about which note ought to be taken increasingly.

Keywords:Apostolicum; Christ; descensus; John Calvin; Wirkungsgeschichte



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