Sunday 3 May 2015

Four talks on Calvin as a social reformer

Starting this Wednesday I’ll be giving a series of talks on “John Calvin, Social Reformer.” Here’s a quick sketch of what I hope to do in each of the talks:

1. Education
– the challenge of educational reform – the Institutes and Commentaries as educational books – catechesis as the foundation of protestant culture

2. Piety
– the challenge of reforming popular piety – reorienting piety around the Word – Calvin’s recovery of monastic psalmody as a practice for all believers – psalm-singing unites Word and Spirit – singing as the energy of protestant culture

3. Society
– the challenge of reforming politics and civil society – the Institutes as a manual for Christian freedom – freedom of conscience in relation to God – freedom in relation to the political order – freedom in relation to the church – tensions between individual freedom and God-given structures – freedom as the basic mode of relating in protestant culture

4. Theology
– Calvin’s social reform derived from his theology of grace – paradoxically, grace provides the impetus to strive for social change – the loss of a theology of grace in later protestant culture, and the subsequent spiritual exhaustion of protestant culture – recap: the symptoms in Western culture of education without grace, piety without grace, and social freedom without grace – recovering a theology of grace today.

The talks are at 10 a.m. each Wednesday over the next four weeks at United Theological College, 16 Masons Drive, North Parramatta. They’re open to anyone who would like to come along, so please come and join us if you’re in the neighbourhood.


Fat said...

This is exciting and at the same time disappointing - would there be a chance of these being videoed for the distance-disadvantaged?

Ben Myers said...

Whoops, last-minute scheduling change: this series of talks has now been postponed till later in the year. (And yes, I'm pretty sure they'll be recorded in some form.)

Jean said...

Please let us know when they will be held and available for watching for your N. American reads. Thanks.

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