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Calvin, Daneau, and Physica Mosaica

Neglected Continuities at the Origins of an Early Modern Tradition

In: Church History and Religious Culture
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  • 1 Tokyo Christian University, Chiba, Japan, and Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Researchdavid.sytsma@ptsem.edu
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This essay argues that there are overlooked lines of continuity between Jean Calvin (1509–1564) and the Mosaic physics of Lambert Daneau (ca. 1530–1595). Specifically, the essay demonstrates lines of continuity between Calvin and Daneau on the value and errors of natural philosophy, their relation to the patristic hexaemeral literature, and their understanding of Mosaic accommodation. The evidence produced challenges prevailing scholarship which views Daneau’s Physica Christiana as a radical departure from Calvin’s thought or associates Calvin’s accommodation doctrine with Copernicanism alone. Sources used include multiple editions of Calvin’s Institutio, Calvin’s commentaries, Daneau’s Physica Christiana (1576) and Physices christianae pars altera (1580), Johann Heinrich Alsted’s Physica Harmonica, Jacob van Lansbergen’s Apologia (1633), and post-Reformation commentaries on Genesis by Franciscus Junius, David Pareus, and Johann Piscator.

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