About this book
This study examines Jean Calvin’s attempt to nurture a godly society and further his vision of ecclesiastical and societal reform by means of sound pedagogy and persuasive rhetoric. The focus of this work is Calvin’s interpretation of the latter Pentateuch, and particularly the book of Deuteronomy. The author examines Calvin’s exegesis and rhetoric in his commentary on the latter Pentateuch, as well as the sermons that Calvin preached on Deuteronomy—material that has received little scholarly attention. Calvin’s interpretations are compared with the preceding exegetical tradition and with his contemporaries, and always considered in the contexts of the early modern interest in classical rhetoric and that of the reform of church, theology, and society in Switzerland and beyond. Commonly held assumptions about Calvin’s methodology, such as his alleged aversion to rhetoric and the scholarly fixation on his laconic style, are challenged, nuanced, and corrected.
Because of its fresh, contextual approach to Calvin’s thought, this study will be an important resource for students of the history of exegesis as well as for Calvin scholars, and it will appeal to seminary as well as university students.