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Calvin and His Influence, 1509–2009$
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Irena Backus and Philip Benedict

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199751846

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751846.001.0001

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Calvin in the Plural

Calvin in the Plural

The Diversity of Modern Interpretations of Calvinism, Especially in Germany and the English-Speaking World

Chapter:
(p.255) 12 Calvin in the Plural
Source:
Calvin and His Influence, 1509–2009
Author(s):

Friedrich Wilhelm Graf

Irena Backus

Susanna Gebhardt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751846.003.0013

While confessional hostility between Lutherans and Calvinists marked German history from the sixteenth century to the eighteenth century, reflection about the distinguishing characteristics of these two Protestant confessions took on a new historical depth in the years between 1820 and 1848, against the backdrop of disputes within German Protestantism over whether or not to merge the two confessions into a single church. Particularly influential was the analysis of Matthias Schneckenburger (1804‐1848). His depiction of the confessions as different forms of subjectivity was in turn elaborated by a series of thinkers who suggested that each in turn promoted different constitutional regimes. Their ideas form the intellectual matrix out of which emerged the classic sociological interpretations of Ernst Troeltsch and Max Weber on the relationship between Calvinism, democracy, and capitalism. The essay also examines the modern Calvinist Pentecostal movement and shows it to be very far removed from Calvin's theology despite its claims to the contrary.

Keywords:   Calvinism, Calvinism and democracy, Calvinism and capitalism, Matthias Schneckenburger, Ernst Troeltsch, Max Weber, Pentecostalism, Germany

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