Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. vii-x

Acknowledgements

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pp. xi-xii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-4

In the "Preface" to the 1559 edition of the Institutes of the Christian Religion John Calvin writes:
For I believe that I have so embraced the sum of religion in all its parts, and have arranged it in such an order that if anyone rightly grasps it, it will not be difficult for him to determine what he ought especially to seek in Scripture...

PART ONE

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Chapter 1

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pp. 7-16

A proper understanding of Calvin's concept of equity begins with the background knowledge of his formal education in his early years, as well as of a lifetime of intellectual progress. The young Calvin had a broad range of learning, which grew even broader in his career as a Reformer. A survey of...

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Chapter 2

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pp. 17-32

As a concept used in the interpretation and application of law, equity has a history that begins with the philosopher, Aristotle. This chapter gives a survey of the major thinkers and movements that make use of this concept prior to the sixteenth century. Since the concern of this study is the concept of equity...

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Chapter 3

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pp. 33-46

The new approach to learning that arose in Renaissance humanism, but was also adopted by the Reformers, led to the use of the concept of equity by many of Calvin's contemporaries. Kisch states: "For the theological, philosophical, and juridical discussions of the initial second and third decades of...

PART TWO

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Chapter 4

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pp. 49-64

Calvin bases his view of the Christian life upon our participation in Christ. Every action of the Christian is to be an expression of this participation. The law functions as a rule whereby believers are guided by the Holy Spirit to express the righteousness of Christ in their own lives. Central to an understanding...

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Chapter 5

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pp. 65-78

Because of the importance of the law in Calvin's ethics, a examination of equity necessarily leads us to examine its role in interpreting and applying the law of God. Before embarking on this study, it is important to have before us Calvin's general understanding of the law of God in the Christian life...

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Chapter 6

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pp. 79-92

Calvin acknowledges that there are differences in the teachings of the Old and New Testaments, but he believes that these differences do not detract from Scripture's basic unity. "All these [differences] pertain to the matter of dispensation rather than to the substance."1 The unity between these two dispensations...

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Chapter 7

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pp. 93-106

We have noted the key role of equity for Calvin in implementing the biblical call to love one's neighbour as oneself. Calvin uses equity, as summarized in the Golden Rule of Matt. 7:12, to harmonize the moral teaching of the Old Testament concerning human social life with the teachings of Christ in the...

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Chapter 8

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pp. 107-116

Calvin's exposition of the two tables of the law in his commentaries and sermons relates the full meaning of the ten commandments to all spheres and institutions of life. In this chapter we look in more detail at Calvin's understanding of two major social institutions: the state and the church. Again, our focus is the place of love and equity in them...

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Chapter 9

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pp. 117-122

It is generally acknowledged by those who have studied Calvin's economic and political views that he was the first of the Reformers to give a theological defence of the practice of lending money at interest.1 Canon law had defined usury as "whatever is added to the principal" in the repayment of a...

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Conclusion

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pp. 123-126

This study has presented a wealth of evidence to demonstrate that equity is the theme of central importance in Calvin's social ethic. Equity directs the implementation of love in the Christian life so that one renders to others what is their due, which is Calvin's definition of justice. Equity calls believers...

Notes

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pp. 127-180

Select Bibliography

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pp. 181-198

Index of Persons

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pp. 199-202

Index of Words and Phrases

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pp. 203-206

Series Information

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