This book examines John Calvin’s sense of vocation.

1) It begins with an analysis of thinking on prophecy in early, medieval, and Reformation theology.

2) It finds Calvin within a non-mystical, non-apocalyptic prophetic tradition that focused on scriptural interpretation.

3) It argues Calvin believed his prophetic authority was the same as Isaiah and Jeremiah, and suggests that he may have held himself to be infallible in matters related to Christian doctrine.

4) It argues that starting from about 1555, Calvin began to conceive the idea of encouraging one of the French 'lesser magistrates' (the princes of the blood royal) to rise up in armed conflict against the sitting French king with the aim of taking the throne.

5) Thus, it argues that when that did happen in 1562 when Louis of Condé gathered troops in Orléans and declared their intentions to liberate King Charles IX from the evil councillors surrounding him, this had Calvin's fingerprints on it -- Calvin was to a significant degree responsible for this turn of events.

6) Calvin pursued this plan, I argue, as one of a number of approaches to winning France for the gospel. In this way, the volume explores Calvin's sense of vocation and the impact this had on his political thought.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages224
ISBN (Print)9780198703259
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2014

Structured keywords

  • Institute of Greece, Rome, and the Classical Tradition


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