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Introduction

Calvin and Tradition – A Window on the Western Mind

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 May 2022

R. Ward Holder
Affiliation:
Saint Anselm College, New Hampshire
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Summary

Tradition stands as an unexplored and misunderstood segment of humanity’s memory, a moment of déjà vu for the collective unconscious that the twenty-first century strains to escape or resolve. The modern world knows neither whether tradition is necessary for thought to exist, nor whether it is a barrier to true rationalism. Further, struggling over tradition and whether it has a place in our collective consciousness has frequently divided modern Western culture into warring camps. In an attempt to make a contribution to the present situation, the present study examines John Calvin’s engagement with tradition. His day, not unlike ours, was turbulently violent, and the epistemic foundations of truth claims were one of the regularly visited battlegrounds. Calvin lived in a time when the medieval foundations of claims to religious truth were being questioned openly. I argue that this makes him the perfect study to provide a mirror to the present age. For Calvin struggled with tradition – arguing that he did not use it, while turning to it frequently. In so doing, he created a religious tradition in which many modern Christians still stand, that does not know what to do with the orthodox tradition.

Type
Chapter
Information
Calvin and the Christian Tradition
Scripture, Memory, and the Western Mind
, pp. 1 - 19
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Introduction
  • R. Ward Holder
  • Book: Calvin and the Christian Tradition
  • Online publication: 26 May 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009071413.001
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  • Introduction
  • R. Ward Holder
  • Book: Calvin and the Christian Tradition
  • Online publication: 26 May 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009071413.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • R. Ward Holder
  • Book: Calvin and the Christian Tradition
  • Online publication: 26 May 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009071413.001
Available formats
×