Calvin's Company of Pastors: Pastoral Care and the Emerging by Scott M. Manetsch

By Scott M. Manetsch

In Calvin's corporation of Pastors, Scott Manetsch examines the pastoral theology and sensible ministry actions of Geneva's reformed ministers from the time of Calvin's arrival in Geneva until eventually the start of the 17th century. in the course of those seven many years, greater than a hundred thirty males have been enrolled in Geneva's Venerable corporation of Pastors (as it used to be called), together with extraordinary reformed leaders resembling Pierre Viret, Theodore Beza, Simon Goulart, Lambert Daneau, and Jean Diodati. other than those better-known epigones, Geneva's pastors from this era stay hidden from view, cloaked in Calvin's lengthy shadow, even supposing they performed a strategic function in holding and reshaping Calvin's pastoral legacy.
Making huge use of archival fabrics, released sermons, catechisms, prayer books, own correspondence, and theological writings, Manetsch deals an enticing and shiny portrait of pastoral lifestyles in 16th- and early seventeenth-century Geneva, exploring the style within which Geneva's ministers conceived in their pastoral place of work and played their day-by-day obligations of preaching, public worship, ethical self-discipline, catechesis, administering the sacraments, and pastoral care. Manetsch demonstrates that Calvin and his colleagues have been even more than ivory tower theologians or "quasi-agents of the state," involved essentially with meting out theological details to their congregations or implementing magisterial authority. really, they observed themselves as non secular shepherds of Christ's Church, and this self-understanding formed to an important measure their day-by-day paintings as pastors and preachers.

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Extra resources for Calvin's Company of Pastors: Pastoral Care and the Emerging Reformed Church, 1536-1609 (Oxford Studies in Historical Theology)

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66 The importance of this pedagogical tool for Calvinist churches throughout Europe is attested by the number of editions that appeared in short order, including translations into Latin, English, Spanish, German, Italian, and even Greek and Hebrew. 67 If John Calvin was the primary architect of the new religious order in Protestant Geneva, what type of ecclesiastical structure did he wish to construct? Popular legends that depict the city as a theocracy or Calvin as 26 | Calvin’s Company of Pastors the dictator of Geneva miss the mark.

In sixteenth-century Geneva, the magistrates prosecuted heretics and serious moral offenders, maintained the city’s temples, appointed elders and deacons to their offices, dictated the schedule for public fasts and the Lord’s Supper, disbursed tithes and offerings, and paid the salaries of the city’s clergy. 72 During Calvin’s lifetime, and in the half century that followed, Geneva’s ministers regularly assumed the role of public prophets and moral watchdogs, warning the magistrates from the pulpit and in city council chambers about a variety of dangers, including religious heterodoxy, breaches of justice, and social immorality.

Neither Calvin’s timidity nor his stated intention to pursue a private life of scholarship discouraged the missionary from Bern. Instead, like an Old Testament prophet, Farel threatened God’s judgment upon the twenty-seven-year-old Calvin if he did not stay and assist Geneva’s church in its hour of great need. The outcome of this dramatic encounter is well-known: a frightened Calvin agreed to stay on in Geneva, first as a “reader” of theology and soon as a city pastor. Over the next twenty-eight years, with the exception of a three-year exile in Strasbourg from 1538 to 1541, Calvin emerged as the chief architect of the Genevan church and the most prominent minister and theologian in the French-speaking Protestant world.

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