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The Unaccommodated Calvin: Studies in the Foundation of a Theological Tradition

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Oxford University Press
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This book attempts to understand Calvin in his 16th-century context, with attention to continuities and discontinuities between his thought and that of his predecessors, contemporaries, and successors. Muller pays particular attention to the interplay between theological and philosophical themes common to Calvin and the medieval doctors, and to developments in rhetoric and method associated with humanism.

Table of Contents:

1. An Approach to Calvin: On Overcoming Modern Accommodations

Part 1: Perspectives on Calvin’s Text

2. Of Prefaces, ‘Arguments’, and Letter to the Reader: Calvin’s Testimonies to His Intention and Method

3. Scholasticism in Calvin: A Question of Relation and Disjunction

4. In the Light of Orthodoxy: The ‘Method and Disposition’ of Calvin’s Institutio form the Perspective of Calvin’s Late-Sixteenth-Century Editors

5. Beyond the Abyss and the Labyrinth: An Ordo recte docendi

Part 2: Text, Context, and Conversation: The Institutes in Calvin’s Theological Program

6. To Elaborate on the Topics: The Context and Method of Calvin’s Institutes

7. Establishing the ordo docendi: The Organization of Calvin’s Institutes, 1536-1559

8. Fontes argumentorum and capita doctrinae: Method and Argument in Calvin’s Construction of loci and disputations

9. Fides and Cognitio in Relation to the Problem of Intellect and Will in the Theology of John Calvin

10. The Study of Calvin: Contexts and Directions 


"Muller's scholarship is so strong and his arguments so convincing that future Calvin scholars will only be able to ignore this book at their peril...essential reading for anyone wishing to study Calvin's theology and exegesis, both as a model of critical historical methodology and for it's illumination of Calvin's program and the development of his thought." Sixteenth Century Review

"Muller begins this extraordinary book by doing something modern scholars too seldom do: he puts John Calvin and his thought back into their sixteenth-century historical context...Muller shows how Calvin's view of faith was not radically different from that of medieval scholastics such as Thomas Aquinas. This buttresses Muller's assertion that many of Calvin's attacks were aimed not so much as scholastics as at theologians of Paris in his day... [a] Stimulating and impressive analysis." American History Review

"This detailed and perceptive work will be crucial for all interested in Calvin studies. . . . No Calvin scholar - or theologian - should work with Calvin without reading this learned book."--Religious Studies Review

"One of the many virtues of this book is that Muller names names, providing a useful guide to scholarly debates on Calvin's thought. Another strength of the book is its proposal of principles that can-and should-be applied in all historical theological studies. His arguments are made forcefully and are supported with rich documentation. His handling of both primary sources-Latin and French-and European and North American Calvin scholarship is adept and broad ranging. This book is an important contribution to Calvin studies specifically and historically theology generally."--Journal of the American Musicological Society 

"This is an insightful and rigorous study of John Calvin as a sixteenth century theologin, and it is without a doubt one of the best written in recent years.... the book is a must-read for anyone who cares at all about John Calvin. It contains a wealth of knowledge, research, and scholarly insight; and it is not being too 'accommodating' to Muller to say that with this book he has distinguished himself as one of John Calvin's finest and most illuminating contemporary theological interpreters."--IRT Bulletin 

"Muller's academic treatment places Calvin in his historical context and challenges various misconceptions and rabbit trails in 20th-century Calvin scholarship."--Christianity Today