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Re-Envisioning Christian HumanismEducation and the Restoration of Humanity$
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Jens Zimmermann

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198778783

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198778783.001.0001

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The Christian Humanism of John Calvin

The Christian Humanism of John Calvin

Chapter:
(p.77) 4 The Christian Humanism of John Calvin
Source:
Re-Envisioning Christian Humanism
Author(s):

Nicholas Wolterstorff

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198778783.003.0005

This chapter delineates Calvin’s Christian humanism for those who are perplexed by this label for Calvin, because they either equate humanism with secular humanism, or they cannot fathom how this austere, moralistic authoritarian who consented to the execution of Servetus could be a humanist. It outlines three categories under which Calvin’s thought proves humanistic, namely Renaissance humanism, social humanism, and anthropological humanism. The chapter concludes by pointing out implications from Calvin’s humanism for scholarship and for education. Calvin’s humanism seeks to cultivate in scholars and students Christian devotion, in Calvin’s extraordinarily expansive understanding of Christian devotion. It will cultivate in students awe, gratitude, delight, grief, the recognition of solidarity, and commitment to social justice. Christian humanism, in short, pursues education for the sake of shalom, and what Calvin calls devotion—in Latin, pietas—is the same thing, seen from a slightly different angle.

Keywords:   Christian humanism, John Calvin, scholasticism, biblical interpretation, Renaissance humanism, social humanism, anthropological humanism, social justice, education, Christian piety

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