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The Theological Journal of Emanuel University

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A Calvinist and Anabaptist Understanding of the Ban

Matthew Scott Harding
Published Online: 2012-09-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10297-012-0008-2

A Calvinist and Anabaptist Understanding of the Ban

Amidst a growing renewal of interest in Calvinism and Calvin scholarship throughout the globe in the wake of John Calvin’s 500th anniversary of his birth (1509-2009), this article focuses on John Calvin’s early ecclesiological development. In contrast to advancing theories that Calvin developed his ecclesiological understanding of church discipline from earlier Anabaptist doctrines and leaders which he would have been exposed to intimately during his exile in Strasbourg (1538-1541), this article argues that Calvin had already determined and articulated a well-balanced and detailed understanding of the ban (church discipline) before his arrival in the protestant refuge city of Strasbourg. Further, this article argues that Calvin’s sojourn and interaction with Anabaptists in Strasbourg cannot adequately explain Calvin’s ecclesiological understanding or increasing practice of Church discipline in Strasbourg or Geneva, but rather displays a vivid disparity between Calvin and the Anabaptist position on the ban which Calvin denounces as false perfectionism.

Keywords: John Calvin; Anabaptists; Church Discipline; the Ban; Perfectionism

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About the article

Published Online: 2012-09-20

Published in Print: 2012-06-01

Citation Information: Perichoresis, Volume 10, Issue 2, Pages 165–193, ISSN (Print) 2284-7308, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10297-012-0008-2.

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