Rights, Resistance, and the Common Good: Calvin's Political Theology

Benjamin Myers

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Abstract

What place did Calvin occupy in the history of politics? This seemingly innocent question throws us immediately into some of the most intractable problems in contemporary Calvin studies, and, indeed, in the history of western political thought. To say that Calvin's political significance is contested would be an understatement. Few thinkers have been so intemperately praised for their political contribution on the one hand and so roundly condemned for it on the other. To some, Calvin represents the enemy of modern liberal democratic principles; to others, he is the genius who almost single-handedly invented our modern ideals of liberty, equality and tolerance. To some, he is remembered as Geneva's grand inquisitor, the one who sent the heretic Michael Servetus to the flames; to others, a visionary reformer of law, education, welfare and private industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-44
Number of pages12
JournalUniting Church Studies
Volume17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

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