English 233: Introduction to Western Humanities - Baroque & Enlightenment
(1) Begin by reviewing the material on Calvin in Matthew and Platt, The Western Humanities, 3rd Ed. (p. 333).
(2) Then study carefully the excerpts from Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion (first published in1536) on human sin and the power of God.
(3) Finally, examine the dispute between Calvin and Bishop Sadoleto of Geneva.
(4) Don't neglect the Study Guide that accompanies this second reading.
Other resources on Calvin and Calvinism
Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion are available in full, in plaintext, divided by book. There are two additional sites under construction which are making this work available in HTML format.
Calvin wrote detailed commentaries on the books of the Bible. Of particular relevance to issues central to our course is his Commentary on Genesis, and in particular his exegesis of the creation and fall narratives. The plaintext version here (of Volume 1 only of what Calvin had to say just about Genesis) is unfortunately not divided into sections, and so is a huge file. It includes an introduction by the editor and translator, and runs up into the narratives concerning Abraham (Chapter XXIII). Volume 2 of Calvin's Commentary on Genesis is also on-line. Other commentaries currently available that Calvin wrote on various books of the Bible are to be had in similar format at the same site (Wheaton College's Christian Classics Ethereal Library), and more are being added continually.
A classic Calvinist sermon - arguably the most famous sermon ever delivered in America - is Jonathan Edward's "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God". Edwards (1703-1758) was the foremost Puritan theologian in New England and the leading force in the religious revival in America known as "The Great Awakening."
You might find it interesting to review what the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia has to say on the subjects of John Calvin and Calvinism.
There are as well a goodly number of contemporary Calvinist statements on the Web. You might begin with A Defense of Calvinism and Mike Bremer's page on Calvinism. There's also an account of a persistent conflict within American Protestantism, between Calvinism and Arminianism.
Feeling ambitious? You might check out the monumental tome by Ellen G. Wright, The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan: The Conflict of the Ages in the Christian Dispensation. You'll see how universal history -- the cosmic struggle -- looks from the standpoint of Reformed Theology.
A comprehensive collection of web resources on the Reformation in general is to be found at Reformation Link. The link just given takes you to the home page. Most relevant to the concerns of our course is the link you'll find there to Reformation Classics.
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Contents copyright © 1997 by Lyman A. Baker.
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This page last updated 17 January 1997.