One of the Finest Collections of Essays I’ve Seen in a Very Long Time

A while back I remarked upon the fact that Herman Selderhuis had sent a volume titled  Calvinus clarissimus theologus: Papers of the Tenth International Congress on Calvin Research.

The publisher’s blurb suggests

This volume contains the papers of the 10th International Congress on Calvin research (Bloemfontein 2010) and represents the latest in Calvin research. The first part of the book consists of the plenary papers presented by leading scholars in Reformation history and theology and focused on the topic of reconciliation. In the second part a select number of short papers is presented in which a wide variety of topics is dealt with. Just as with the preceding published papers of Calvin congresses, this volume also will become a source as well as a guideline for future studies.

But that hardly communicates the sheer brilliance of the volume or the essays which it contains.  Contributors are In-Sub Ahn, Luca Baschera, Michael Beintker, Derik A. de Boer, Emidio Campi, Irene Dingel, Matthias Freudenberg, Frank van der Pol, and many, many others.  There are in total 22 essays and the Editor’s Preface (Selderhuis himself), who explains that the title of the volume is taken from a letter sent to Calvin- that of 29 May, 1561 by Johannes Sturm.

Some of the essay titles will surely give folk a sense of the whole:

Calvin’s Theology of Reconciliation in his Sermons

Total Depravity? The Consequences of Original Sin in John Calvin and Later Reformed Theology

Probing similarities and differences between John Calvin and Heinrich Bullinger

Gläubige Vernunft – vernünftiger Glaube: Luther, Melanchthon und Calvin und die Frage nach einem vernünftigen Glauben

“The Institutes of Life” A Pietistic Portrait of Calvin

Essays are in French, German, or English. And they are uniformly brilliant.

Normally, as all will know, collections of essays (or conference papers) frequently – like music cd’s – have a few good contributions and a lot of Dreck. Not so here. The essays are all extremely intelligent and meticulously crafted. It is no exaggeration to say that this really is one of the finest collections of essays I’ve seen in a very long time. Contributors and Editor alike are deserving of appreciation and this work is deserving of an expansive readership.