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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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Sanctifying Physical Relationships

Sanctifying Physical Relationships

(p.258) 6 Sanctifying Physical Relationships
Morality After Calvin

Kirk M. Summers

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Beza’s defense of the execution of Susanne Fontaine, an adulterer at Geneva, and his disgust at the handling of the punishment of one of her partners, Jean Sarasin. At issue is the legitimacy of a 1566 edict dealing with adulterers and prostitutes. Beza and the Company of Pastors call the edict a grand treasure that protects Geneva from confusion and disorder, since both adultery and fornication weaken the pillars of a godly society. Two poems of the Cato illustrate Beza’s view of the destructive potential for sexual sins. The chapter includes a discussion on the introduction of divorce at Geneva under Calvin’s leadership and examines Beza’s views on the matter as presented in his treatise On separation and divorce. It reviews Lambert Daneau’s detailed exposition of sexual sins in his Ethices Christianae and summarizes the position set forth by Peter Martyr Vermigli in his commentary on Samuel.

Keywords:   adultery, fornication, prostitution, divorce, sexual sins, Lambert Daneau, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Susanne Fontaine, Jean Sarasin

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