Adaptations of Calvinism in Reformation Europe : Essays in Honour of Brian G. Armstrong book cover
1st Edition

Adaptations of Calvinism in Reformation Europe
Essays in Honour of Brian G. Armstrong

Edited By

Mack P. Holt

ISBN 9780754651499
Published December 28, 2007 by Routledge
266 Pages

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Book Description

Traditional historiography has always viewed Calvin's Geneva as the benchmark against which all other Reformed communities must inevitably be measured, judging those communities who did not follow Geneva's institutional and doctrinal example as somehow inferior and incomplete versions of the original. Adaptations of Calvinism in Reformation Europe builds upon recent scholarship that challenges this concept of the 'fragmentation' of Calvinism, and instead offers a more positive view of Reformed communities beyond Geneva. The essays in this volume highlight the different paths that Calvinism followed as it took root in Western Europe and which allowed it to develop within fifty years into the dominant Protestant confession. Each chapter reinforces the notion that whilst many reformers did try to duplicate the kind of community that Calvin had established, most had to compromise by adapting to the particular political and cultural landscapes in which they lived. The result was a situation in which Reformed churches across Europe differed markedly from Calvin's Geneva in explicit ways. Summarizing recent research in the field through selected French, German, English and Scottish case studies, this collection adds to the emerging picture of a flexible Calvinism that could adapt to meet specific local conditions and needs in order to allow the Reformed tradition to thrive and prosper. The volume is dedicated to Brian G. Armstrong, whose own scholarship demonstrated how far Calvinism in seventeenth-century France had become divided by significant disagreements over how Calvin's original ideas and doctrines were to be understood.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Mack P. Holt; Part I Calvin, Beza, and Geneva: John Calvin's interpretation of Psalm 22, Bernard Roussel; Was Calvin a crypto-Zwinglian?, Anthony N.S. Lane; Development and coherence in Calvin's Institutes: the case of baptism (Institutes 4:15-4:16), David F. Wright; God's eternal decree and its temporal execution: the role of this distinction in Theodore Beza's theology, Donald Sinnema. Part II: Reformed Ideas Outside Geneva: A lay voice in 16th-century 'ecumenics': Katharina Schütz Zell in dialogue with Johannes Brenz, Conrad Pellican and Caspar Schwenckfeld, Elsie Anne McKee; Vera Ecclesiae Concordia: Martin Bucer's blueprint for the Reformation in France, Willem van't Spijker; Politique and spiritualist tolerance: Bodin's Heptaplomeres and Coornhert's Synodus, Gerrit. Voogt. Part III The Reformation in France: The Genevan model and Gallican originality in the French reformed tradition, Raymond A. Mentzer; Divisions within French Calvinism: Philippe Duplessis-Mornay and the Eucharist, Mack P. Holt; The Jacques Royer affair, 1604-1624: an argument over liturgy in Geneva and France, Robert M. Kingdon. Part IV The Reformations in England and Scotland: A Calvinist bishop at the court of King Charles I, Daniel J. Steere; Popular polity?: the imposition of Elizabethan church discipline in the Deanery of Stottesden, Brett G. Armstrong; Marginal at best: John Knox's contribution to the Geneva Bible, 1560, Dale Walden Johnson; Index.

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Mack P. Holt is Professor in the Department of History, George Mason University, USA.


’As a tribute to the American scholar Brian G. Armstrong, this collection succeeds in illuminating the richness of Calvinist belief and practice in a Europe which scholars increasingly recognise as confessionalised.’ Parergon ’The volume presents some very fine studies, and in its compilation proves the impact of Armstrong’s approach. As such, it presents articles that merit the attention of even novice students of the period, but only more experienced scholars will probably see the historiographical impact of the collection.’ Religious Studies Review ’Books such as this one are important for the specialized studies they present and their illumination of specific issues.’ Sixteenth Century Journal ’The volume is a well-deserved tribute to Professor Armstrong. The chapters are generally solid and stimulating. They are rich with references to recent literature, demonstrating how comprehensive the interest in early reformation history has become.’ Calvin Theological Journal