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Calvin Studies in Context

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A Modest Proposal

image of Church History and Religious Culture

Over the past fifty years Calvin research has seen significant turns toward interest in Calvin’s biblical exegesis, the social setting in which he was embedded, and the Frenchman’s self-understanding vis-à-vis such lived realities. These developments have resulted in a more deeply historicized Calvin, highlighting the benefits of contextual approaches for illuminating his life, work, and influence. At the same time, such research has relativized ideas about the reformer’s significance and originality. The future for Calvin research in an academy focused increasingly on contexts far removed from Reformation Europe should follow a similar course, relating the questions and insights of Calvin studies to an expanding group of conversation partners across diverse fields. Such projects include interdisciplinary historical work on Calvin’s context, more nuanced examination of Calvin’s reception in different settings up to the present day, and historically informed theological work related to the practices of faith communities.

Affiliations: 1: Pittsburgh Theological Seminary


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