Calvinism and the Making of the European Mind


Volume Editors: Gijsbert van den Brink and Harro Höpfl
Calvinism must be assigned a significant place among the forces that have shaped modern European culture. Even now, despite its history of religious fragmentation and secularization, Europe continues to bear the marks of a pervasive Calvinist ethos. The character of that ethos is, however, difficult to pin down. In this volume, many of the traditional scholarly conundrums about the relationship between Calvinism and the cultural history of Europe are revisited and re-investigated, to see what new light can be shed on them. For example, how has the ethos of Calvinism, or more broadly the Reformed tradition, affected economic thinking and practice, the development of the sciences, views on religious toleration, or the constitution of European polities? In general, what kind of transformations did Calvinism’s distinct spirituality bring about? Such questions demand painstaking and detailed scholarly work, a fine sample of which is published in this volume.

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Gijsbert van den Brink, Ph.D. (1993), Utrecht University, holds the Chair for the Theology of Reformed Protestantism at the Protestant Theological University in Amsterdam and is Associate Professor of Christian Doctrine at the VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He has published on historical and doctrinal issues within the Reformed tradition and beyond.

Harro M. Höpfl, Ph.D. (1989), Lancaster University, was Research Professor (and is now Visiting Fellow) at the Essex Business School, Essex University, and is Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra. He has published many monographs and articles on the political theory of Calvin, the Calvinists, and the early Jesuits, and has also co-edited Managing Modernity (Oxford UP, 2011).
Die Veröffentlichung leistet einen bedeutenden Beitrag zur Erforschung der reformierten Konfessionskultur, die freilich erst wirklich in ihrer Eigenart erfasst sein wird, wenn sie vergleichend mit den anderen die europaïsche Identität prägenden Konfessionskulturen verglichen und profiliert wird, wie es van den Brink auch fordert. Es ist hier also nur ein freilich wichtiges und spannendes Etappenziel erreicht, das auf weitere Arbeiten wartet und sie verlangt. Johannes Hund in Theologische Literaturzeitung 141.3 (2016).
Contributors are Philip Benedict, Gijsbert van den Brink, Julie Canlis, Martin van Gelderen, Johan J. Graafland, Harro M. Höpfl, Fred A. van Lieburg, Jitse M. van der Meer, Georg Plasger, Jesse Spohnholz and Mirjam G.K. van Veen.
All interested in the history of Calvinism and Reformed spirituality, as well as those concerned with the formation of modern European culture – both scholars, students and educated laypeople alike.