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13. Calvin and Human Dignity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter investigates Calvin's contribution to the current Reformed perspective on human dignity and the way his ideas determined modern-day Reformed ethics in this regard. The central theoretical argument of the chapter is that Calvin laid the foundation of the modern-day Reformed reflection on human dignity as the concept can apply to human rights and bio-ethics. When his ideas of the image of God and common grace, natural law and civil authority are outlined his vision becomes especially clear. The chapter describes the heritage of Calvin's views on these particular issues in the Reformed ethical reflection in the post-World War II. The biblical idea of imago dei, as it is argued by Calvin and is currently applied in the Reformed tradition, has concrete implications for Christian anthropology and social ethics.

Keywords:Calvin; Christian anthropology; human dignity; imago dei; post-World War II; reformed ethical reflection



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