Abstract/Details

The judaizing Calvin: Sixteenth-century debates over the messianic Psalms


2006 2006

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Abstract (summary)

This dissertation explores the interpretations of Luther, Bucer, and Calvin on a set of eight messianic psalms to demonstrate key debates concerning exegetical strategies, correct doctrinal content, and the proper role of Jewish exegesis in Christian Psalms reading. Moreover, this study examines the exegeses of Luther, Bucer, and Calvin in order to (a) reveal their particular theological emphases and reading strategies, (b) identify their debates over the use of Jewish exegesis and the factors leading to charges of “judaizing” against Calvin, and (c) demonstrate how Psalms reading and the accusation of judaizing serve distinctive purposes of confessional formation.

Luther, Bucer, and Calvin employ their readings of these eight psalms to promote particular confessional agendas. The reading of these psalms as containing prophecies of Christ and teachings of Trinity, the two natures of Christ, the doctrine of justification by faith alone and the distinction of Law and Gospel characterizes Luther's confessional program. Central to his Psalms reading is the depiction of Jews as Christ's enemies, which he redeploys against Catholics to align them with the negative attributes of the Jews found in these psalms.

While Bucer maintains several aspects of Luther's interpretation, he uses them to teach a specifically Reformed theology through his emphases upon election and God's beneficence. Bucer also displays a distinctive methodology in his use of typology and Jewish exegesis. Calvin, however, eclipses the readings of these psalms as pure prophecies of Christ in favor of a historical reading through the example of David. Thus, Calvin gives limited christological readings and elevates biblical Jews, such as David, as supreme examples for Christian imitation, rather than depicting Jews as Christ's enemies. Calvin does not use these psalms to teach Trinity and Christ's dual nature, but to teach Calvinist doctrines of God's providence, beneficence and election. Consequently, the Lutheran Aegidius Hunnius accuses Calvin postmortem of judaizing, and David Pareus defends him. Through the debate of Hunnius and Pareus, the author shows that the accusation of judaizing is a weapon Protestant reformers deployed against one another to discredit a rival Protestant group and to serve purposes of confessional identity formation.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Religious history;
Bible;
Theology
Classification
0320: Religious history
0321: Bible
0469: Theology
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology; Bucer, Martin; Calvin, John; Confessional formation; Judaizing; Luther, Martin; Messianic Psalms; Sixteenth century
Title
The judaizing Calvin: Sixteenth-century debates over the messianic Psalms
Author
Pak, G. Sujin
Number of pages
356
Publication year
2006
Degree date
2006
School code
0066
Source
DAI-A 68/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780549163176
Advisor
Steinmetz, David C.
University/institution
Duke University
University location
United States -- North Carolina
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3276010
ProQuest document ID
305325944
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305325944
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