In connection with the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth a number of Geneva Institutions are planning a major international conference on the theme "John Calvin and His Influence, 1509-2009". We hope to involve historians of religion and society in early modern and modern Europe but also North America, Asia and Africa. The goal is to take the full measure of Calvin's influence across the centuries and around the world, as well as to assess the current status of theories that accord Calvin and Calvinism a distinctive place in the making of the modern world. The conference will take place immediately prior to annual conference of the Sixteenth Century Studies Association, which will be held in Geneva in 2009, enabling those who wish to attend both events to do so with a single voyage.
Papers are invited on any aspect of Calvin's historical action and influence, either in his own lifetime or over the subsequent centuries. Possible themes might include (but are not limited to): Calvin's action as a preacher, author, letter-writer, and pastoral counselor to men and women; distinctive themes in the theology of Calvin; Calvin the urban reformer: Calvin's efforts to shape and guide the course of the Reformation beyond Geneva; Calvin's influence (or lack thereof) over subsequent generations of Reformed theologians; Calvin in Lutheran, Catholic, Remonstrant, etc. eyes and the construction of confessional identities; Calvin in the age of the Enlightenment; the historical development and current plausibility of theories linking Calvinism to the growth of capitalism, democracy, and the modern state; Calvin and evangelicalism/"les reveils"; Calvin and modern theology; Calvin and modern political or social movements self-identified as Calvinist; Calvin and national identities in the modern world; The use of Calvin in missionary contexts; The image of Calvin in modern literature, history textbooks and museums.
For all details concerning the conference, and to propose either individual papers or panels of 2-3 papers with a commentator and chair if desired, visit the conference website www.unige.ch/ihr/calvin2009-e.html.
Cristina Dalla Valle
Organisational assistant of the "Congrès Calvin 2009"
Université de Genève
Institut d'Histoire de la Réformation
Rue de Candolle 5
CH - 1211 Genève 4
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