By Serene Jones
Throughout the years, biographers have depicted John Calvin in manifold methods. Serene Jones takes a clean examine Calvin as she attracts a compelling portrait of Calvin as artist, engaged within the classical artwork of rhetoric. in line with Jones, this artwork was once used knowingly and elegantly via Calvin to cajole and problem his diversified audiences. Jones bargains a rhetorical analyzing of the 1st 3 chapters of Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion. What emerges is a really unique interpretation of Calvin and his work.
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Additional resources for Calvin and the Rhetoric of Piety (Columbia Series in Reformed Theology)
Inst. 1, p. . vix centesimus quisque reperitur qui conceptum in suo corde foveat" (OS 3:41. 45 and 40. 1). 66. Inst. 15, p. 69; "Quare omni prorsus excusatione merito excludimur, quod vagi et palantes aberramus: quum omnia rectam viam demonstrent" (OS 3:59. 3436). 67. Inst. 4, p. 164; "non curiositati aut rerum inutilium studio indulge[nt]" (OS 3:156. 2324). 68. Inst. 6, pp. . Itaque quo istud protectionis nostrae munus impleant, contra Diabolum omnesque hostes nostros depugnant, et vindictam Dei adversus eos qui nobis infesti sunt exequuntur" (OS 3:158.
Nancy Struever has pursued a similar line of criticism in her interpretation of Lorenzo Valla. With regard to Valla's famous attack on Scholasticism, Struever argues that one of his primary concerns is to nurture a kind of Stoic skepticism in his readers in order to train them to be suspicious of any form of absolute truth claim. He accomplishes this training in skepticism through a series of very clever rhetorical strategies. In his study of the rhetorical structures of Tudor dramas, Joel Altman also takes a similar tack.
As the above discussion of Calvin's letters suggests, he worked on the Institutes for many years, during which time he moved geographically, the conflicts he engaged in shifted, and his audiences changed and grew accordingly. And these changes affected the shape of the main text. For example, the three opening chapters of the Institutes, which I examine in chapters 3, 4, and 5 of this study, were drafted for the 1539 edition while Calvin was teaching in Strasbourg. In 1543, shortly after Calvin's return to Geneva, the text of these chapters was only slightly revised for a new Latin edition of the book as a whole.
Calvin and the Rhetoric of Piety (Columbia Series in Reformed Theology) by Serene Jones