Synopses & Reviews
In this illuminating study, David C. Steinmetz places Calvin's thought in the context of the theological and exegetical traditions - ancient, medieval, and early modern - that shaped it.
Steinmetz does not limit discussion of Calvin's thought to his undeniably important handbook to theology, the much revised Institutes of the Christian Religion. Instead, he opens up a broader context by examining works less frequently cited, particularly Calvin's commentaries, classical studies, and polemical treatises. Steinmetz grapples with Calvin's views on a wide range of contested issues, including the natural knowledge of God, the problem of iconoclasm, the doctrines of justification and predestination, and the role of the state. Steinmetz also clarifies Calvin's quarrels with Lutherans, Catholics, and Radicals. Yet this book does not reduce Calvin's contribution to his usefulness as a resource for contemporary theological debates. The Calvin who emerges in these pages is a sixteenth-century figure, both strangely foreign and uncannily familiar, a man who frequently engages his enemies and sometimes even corrects his friends, but is never mute, never dull, and always stylistically elegant.
An accessible yet authoritative introduction to the mind of the historical Calvin, Calvin in Context provides a framework for understanding Calvin from his own writings and the writings of his contemporaries. This edition features a revised preface and six new chapters.
"Three decades of detailed pilot studies have prepared David Steinmetz for this exquisite contribution to Calvin scholarship. With his singular grasp of biblical exegesis in the Middle Ages and the Reformation era, Steinmetz succeeds in tracing the precise profile of Calvin as biblical interpreter."--Heiko Oberman, University of Arizona.
"The beauty of this work is that it interprets Calvin in the context of his own literary tradition and draws from the vast field of primary sources...Steinmetz has performed a remarkable serivce to the field through this methodology"--Sixteenth Century Studies.
"...close, sensitive reading of less familiar texts in Calvin's oeuvre, which opens up new insights into or refines contemporary understandings of broader themes in Calvin's thoughts ....humane insistence on the conversational nature of Calvin's work, both those intellectual engagements he explicitly recognized and those he did not ...nuanced attention to differences of tone, specific formulation, and choice of terms, and the broad familiarity with other works to suggest allusions, intentional and perhaps unintentional associations of broader constructions of ideas."--Renaissance Quarterly
"The beauty of this work is that it interprets Calvin in the context of his own literary tradition and draws from the vast field of primary sources. Steinmetz has performed a remarkable service to the field through this methodology, which many of his students and followers have adopted."--Sixteenth Century Journal
"This is a work of great value for students of sixteenth-century biblical scholarship, as well as for those interested in the thought of John Calvin."--The Historian
This accessible general introduction to Calvin's thought uses a wide range of primary sources to place Calvin in the context of the theological and exegetical traditions that influenced him.
This book, a sequel to the author's well-received Luther in Context (1986, Indiana), illuminates Calvin's thought by placing it in the context of the theological and exegetical traditions--ancient, medieval, and contemporary-- that formed it and contributed to its particular texture. Steinmetz addresses a range of issues almost as wide as the Reformation itself, including the knowledge of God, the problem of iconoclasm, the doctrines of justification and predestination, and the role of the state and the civil magistrate. Along the way, Steinmetz also clarifies the substance of Calvin's quarrels with Lutherans, Catholics, Anabaptists, and assorted radicals from Ochino to Sozzini.
An accessible yet authoritative general introduction to Calvin's thought, Calvin in Context engages a much wider range of primary sources than the standard introductions. It provides a context for understanding Calvin not from secondary literature about the later middle ages and Renaissance, but from the writings of Calvin's own contemporaries and the rich sources from which they drew.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 213-221) and inde xes.
About the Author
"Three decades of detailed pilot studies have prepared David Steinmetz for this exquisite contribution to Calvin scholarship. With his singular grasp of biblical exegesis in the Middle Ages and the Reformation era, Steinmetz succeeds in tracing the precise profile of Calvin as biblical interpreter."
--The late Heiko Oberman, Regents' Professor of History, University of Arizona (for the first edition)
"This expanded collection of path-breaking studies reveals how David Steinmetz set investigation into Calvin's biblical interpretation on a new footing and the ways in which he has continued to build upon that solid foundation in the decade and half since Calvin in Context first appeared. No one has done more to shape for the 21st century a more nuanced and precise image of Calvin as an expositor of scripture."
--Barbara Pitkin, author of What Pure Eyes Could See: Calvin's Doctrine of Faith in its Exegetical Context