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Dynamics of Dutch Calvinism: Early Modern Programs for Further Reformation

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Chapter Summary

The author discusses the outer dynamics of Calvinism, and focuses on Dutch reform programs in the early modern era. In church history the phenomenon of a 'reform program' in the specific sense meant here is usually associated with the Pia Desideria (1675) of Philipp Jakob Spener, the founder of Lutheran Pietism. Aiming at improvements in all parts of society, the programs reflect the continuous concern for change in interaction with developments in politics, economy and culture characteristic of a certain brand of Christianity. The author highlights some recurring motifs-like semper reformanda and further reformation- and correlations between texts and times, in order to suggest that we need a long-term and broad view of so-called Calvinism as a maker of the European modern mind. This essay helps in rethinking the significance of Calvinism at the macro-level of the history of Christianity or the history of religion.

Keywords: Calvinism; Christianity; dutch reform program; European modern mind; outer dynamics; semper reformanda



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