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Morality After CalvinTheodore Beza's Christian Censor and Reformed Ethics$
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Kirk M. Summers

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190280079

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190280079.001.0001

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An Ethos of Listening

An Ethos of Listening

(p.80) 2 An Ethos of Listening
Morality After Calvin

Kirk M. Summers

Oxford University Press

Beza begins his Cato with a poem censuring the proud, reflecting his belief that the primary impulse for sin comes from an unwillingness to listen and submit to God’s Word. When people refuse to submit to what God tells them and believe that they control their own fate, they become full of pride. Often their error manifests itself in a lack of respect for civil and ecclesiastical hierarchies. Ambition relates to pride as the desire to assert authority over others, and contradicts the servant’s attitude demanded by Scriptures. Several important Consistory cases, including those of Philibert Berthelier, Jean-Philibert Bonna, and Jean Morély, can be read as clashes exacerbated by the perceived presence of these two sins. This chapter also addresses the problem of private theological contemplation. Beza’s Cato warns that philosophers should refrain from making pronouncements about God that derive from logic, reason, and fantasy, but not the revealed Word.

Keywords:   pride, ambition, humility, Philibert Berthelier, Jean-Philibert Bonna, Jean Morély, theological speculation

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