John Calvin’s Ecclesiology: Ecumenical Perspectives
edited by Eduardus Van der Borght and Gerard Mannion
(T&T Clark, 2011, 254 pages)
John Calvin’s theology is profoundly church-centered. This volume of essays explores the various ways that Calvin’s theology is relevant for contemporary ecumenical conversations. Mannion’s introductory essay, which draws out principles for ecumenism from the correspondence between Calvin and Cardinal Sadolet, grounds ecumenical dialogue in critical engagement with history. Others, like John Halsey Wood, Jr.’s essay on Abraham Kuyper’s Free Church ecclesiology, show how Calvin’s thought has shaped Reformed and Catholic ideas about the Church throughout modernity.
Calvin is a controversial and divisive figure. While he is often viewed as a central figure in the disruption of the Church’s unity, these essays help to draw a nuanced picture. The catholicity of Calvin’s thought is something that all branches of the fragmented Church can benefit from. This volume helps to show how.