1887

n In die Skriflig - Philosophical and theological influences in John Calvin's thought : reviewing some research results

Volume 44, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1018-6441
  • E-ISSN: 2305-0853

Abstract

A profound thinker like Calvin basically has to answer the following two questions: What "is" and what "ought" to be? The first question deals with what reality looks like, its ontological structure or one's type of thought. The second question concerns one's view of the norms valid for created reality, the direction which one's life takes or the spiritual trend of one's thinking.


In a previous article in the same issue of this journal, Calvin's answer to the second question was already investigated. Among all the spiritual trends of his time, his main motive was to be obedient to God, his Word and his will. We now turn to the answer to the first question: What types of philosophies and theologies emerged within these various spiritual trends which could have influenced Calvin's thinking?
The investigation develops through the following steps. Firstly, the question is posed whether Calvin really succeeded in the direction of his thinking, viz. to be a radical-biblical reformational thinker. This question is divided into three sub-questions: was Calvin influenced by extra-biblical ideas? If so, to what extent? How did he employ pre-Christian insights? The second and main section tries to answer these difficult questions by reviewing seven most prominent philosophical and theological types of thinking. The third section indicates the contribution of a Christian philosophical analysis of his worldview. The concluding section draws the last lines of Calvin's "intellectual portrait".


'n Diepsinnige denker soos Calvyn behoort die volgende twee basiese vrae te beantwoord: Wat "is" en wat "behoort"? Die eerste vraag handel oor hoe die werklikheid lyk, die ontologiese strukture, of 'n mens se tipe denke. Die tweede vraag het betrekking op 'n mens se visie op die norme wat vir die geskape werklikheid geld, oor die rigting van 'n mens se lewe, of die geestestroming waarbinne iemand dink.
In die vorige artikel in dieselfde nommer van hierdie tydskrif is Calvyn se antwoord op die tweede vraag reeds ondersoek. Onder al die geestestromings van sy tyd was sy hoofmotief om aan God alleen, sy Woord en sy wil gehoorsaam te wees. Hierdie artikel ondersoek sy antwoord op die eerste vraag: Watter soort filosofieë en teologieë, wat in die verskillende geestestromings gestalte gekry het, het moontlik Calvyn se denke beïnvloed?
Die ondersoek word in die volgende stappe ontwikkel. Ten eerste word die vraag gestel of Calvyn werklik volledig geslaag het in die rigting van sy denke, naamlik om 'n radikaal-bybelse reformatoriese denker te wees. Hierdie vraag word in drie subvrae onderverdeel: Was Calvyn beïnvloed deur buite-bybelse insigte? Indien wel, tot watter mate? Hoe het hy hierdie idees gebruik? Die tweede afdeling probeer om hierdie moeilike vrae te beantwoord deur 'n oorsigtelike bespreking van sewe van die mees prominente filosofiese en teologiese tipes denke. Die derde afdeling bespreek die bydrae van 'n Christelik-filosofiese analise van sy lewensvisie. In die afsluitende gedeelte word die laaste buitelyne van Calvyn se "intellektuele portret" getrek.

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/content/skrif/44/1/EJC108529
2010-01-01
2020-02-24

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