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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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Living Sincerely

Living Sincerely

Chapter:
(p.123) 3 Living Sincerely
Source:
Morality After Calvin
Author(s):

Kirk M. Summers

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190280079.003.0004

This chapter examines the importance of sincerity in Beza’s ethical thought. For Beza, sincerity is the principle promoted in Scriptures by such phrases as “to live according to the truth” and “to walk in the truth,” which command Christians to align their lives to God’s standard of righteousness. Unlike philosophical notions of morality, God’s Law promotes a love and fairness free from an inner “conspiracy” marked by selfish motivation. In the Cato, poems against liars and flatterers call the faithful out of a world permeated with falsehood back to a life in God’s truth. The chapter reviews Lambert Daneau’s scholastic exposition of the commandment against “bearing false witness” and describes efforts by the Genevan Consistory to police instances of deception among the population. It also looks at the censuring of blasphemers and perjurers and reviews the challenges presented by the cases of Sebastian Castellio, Michael Servetus, and Valentino Gentile.

Keywords:   sincerity, lying, Lambert Daneau, Sebastian Castellio, Michael Servetus, Valentino Gentile, blasphemy, perjury

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