Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0041-475120090003&lang=es vol. 49 num. 3 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Voorwoord</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512009000300001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es <![CDATA[<b>The worldview of John Calvin (1509-1564): A Christian-philosophical appraisal</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512009000300002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Om die geboorte van die Reformator van Genève, 500 jaar gelede, te herdenk word hierdie Christelik-filosofiese waardering van sy lewensvisie (volgens die finale uitgawe van sy Institusie van 1559) aangebied. Die ondersoek ontwikkel soos volg: (1) Die inleiding verduidelik die onderwerp en aard van hierdie ondersoek asook die metode waarvolgens dit gedoen word. (2) In die tweede afdeling word aangetoon dat die pogings om na 'n sentrale, leidende gedagte by Calvyn te soek nie geslaag het nie en ook te eng is. Die breëre aanpak van 'n Christelik-filosofiese analise hou meer belofte in om Calvyn se lewensvisie te verstaan. (3) Die derde afdeling ondersoek en evalueer Calvyn se ontologie (sy visie op God, sy wette en sy skepping) en gee ook sy mensbeskouing kortliks weer. (4) Vervolgens word ondersoek wat die implikasies van sy digotomistiese mensvisie en sy onderskeid tussen twee ryke ('n hemelse en aardse) is vir sy visie op die samelewing. (5) Hierna word Calvyn se kenteorie en sy visie op die verhouding tussen geloof en wete, teologie en filosofie ondersoek. (6) In 'n afsluitende gedeelte sal die resultate kortliks saamgevat word.<hr/>This Christian philosophical investigation of his worldview according to the final edition of his Institutes (1559) is presented in commemoration of the birth of the Reformer of Geneva 500 years ago. The essay develops through the following stages. The introductory part firstly settles the debate on whether Calvin was primarily a Christian theologian or a philosopher. Calvin himself called his Institutes a "Christian philosophy" (philosophia Christiana) which, in contemporary terminology could be described as a (pre-scientific) Christian worldview. Secondly, the introduction indicates the method according to which Calvin's worldview will be analysed. It is done according to the only existing Christian philosophical historiographical method, viz. the problem-historical method, developed by the Dutch philosopher, prof. D.H.Th. Vollenhoven (2005a & 2005b) and afterwards further explained by his followers (cf. Bril, 2005 and Bril & Boonstra, 2000). The first main section indicates the failures of different efforts (mainly by theologians) to find a central idea governing Calvin's "system". Calvin research provides enough evidence today that there is no single "key" to unlock the door to Calvin's thinking. Not only one central dogma or principle, but many "keys" or biblical themes can be regarded as cornerstones of his so-called theology. This fact underlines the need for a broader Christian philosophical approach. The rest of the essay first investigates Calvin's view of reality (or his ontology) and briefly summarises his view on the human being. Next, the implications of his dichotomist anthropology and his distinction between an earthly and a heavenly kingdom for his view on societal life are explained. The following section discusses his epistemology and his view on the relationship between reason and faith, philosophy and theology. The results of this article can briefly be summarised as follows: The religious direction (or trend) of Calvin's worldview was his sincere desire to obey only God, his Word and his will. He therefore rejected the synthetic mentality of the early Church Fathers and Medieval thinkers who tried to achieve a compromise between the Bible and pre-Christian Greek and Roman philosophies. However, in his analysis of the structures of creation (his type of philosophy) Calvin did not succeed in fully realising his biblical normative approach. According to the problem-historical method, his type of worldview or "Christian philosophy" can be characterised in the following way: • Calvin was not a mythologising or cosmogono-cosmological thinker. To the degree that he was still thinking synthetically, he can be called a purely cosmological thinker. However, as a biblical thinker he did not exclude God from his thinking, and also disliked any speculation about God which pretends to know more about God than Scripture reveals. • Calvin rejected individualism as well as universalism and accepted a partially universalistic viewpoint, probably combined with a modified macro-microcosmos theory. (I indicate it as "modified", because the macro-microcosmos theory usually does not appear among purely cosmological partially universalistic thinkers like Calvin, but with cosmogono-cosmological thinkers adhering to a horizontal type of partial universalism.) • Calvin rejected monism (the idea that reality was an original unity) and adhered to a dualistic ontology. According to him reality consists of a transcendent part, viz. God and a non-transcendent part, viz. creation. Neither monism nor dualism is, however, in harmony with the Scriptures. Monism can only be true if we erase the distinction between God and creation. Dualism proposes two ultimate sources of reality, whereas the Bible teaches God as the one Origin of everything that exists. • Calvin's view of the human being follows his ontological dualism: he proposed a clearly dichotomist anthropology of body and soul/spirit as two separate entities. • As a consequence of his anthropological dualism, Calvin distinguished between two worlds, governments or kingdoms in created reality (the non-transcendant world): an earthly and a heavenly. Sometimes it seems as if Calvin reverted to the Medieval scholastic dualism of nature and supernatural grace or perhaps Luther's doctrine of two kingdoms. In other instances, however, Calvin succeeded in freeing his thinking from this unbiblical idea, enabling him to proclaim the biblical view that God should be served in all domains of life and not only in the spiritual realm. • In the light of the fact that Calvin emphasised illumination together with other Platonic ideas, he probably favoured an inconsistent empiristic epistemology which does not limit the acquisition of knowledge (as was the case with consistent empirists) to the visible world. • While, according to the Thomistic tradition, reason should precede faith (intellego ut credam), Calvin clearly followed the Augustinian option according to which reason should follow faith (credo ut intellegam) and can therefore only confirm what has already been accepted in faith. • Calvin did not provide a systematic technical description of and division between theology and philosophy. He himself calls his Institutes a Christian doctrine of faith or a Christian philosophy. The requirements for his philosophia Christiana - still valid today - are the following: (1) It should reject the idea of an autonomous reason. (2) It should be obedient to the will of God, revealed in his natural laws and in the Scriptures. (3) It requires a total renewal of the mind (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23), guided by the Holy Spirit. (4) It should be practised in deep humility. This humilitas is firstly a radical humility before God, far more radical than ordinary humbleness. It is the opposite of human pride and self-conceit, relinquishing all presumption and self-importance. Secondly, such humility also includes the willingness to learn - without becoming a captive of their ideas - from pre-Christian philosophies. As a summa summarum I agree with the remark of a contemporary Reformational philosopher. He writes that, in spite of Calvin's entanglement with pre-Christian philosophies, the advances he made in comparison with both predecessors and contemporaries have to be admired. We could not expect more from a fallible human being. But at the same time it would be a serious indictment on us, his successors, if we did not learn from him to develop a radically critical attitude and method in our philosophy and scholarship in general. <![CDATA[<b>Calvin in the intellectual heritage of the West</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512009000300003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Met die oog daarop om Calvyn se posisie in die intellektuele erfenis van die Weste te bepaal word allereers aandag geskenk aan die Grieks-Middeleeuse agtergrond - met klem op die idee van 'n kosmiese (ontiese) wêreldorde (logos). Besondere aandag word gegee aan die ontwikkeling van die vroeë Griekse wysbegeerte wat via Plato en Aristoteles uitgeloop het op the Stoïsynse filosofie, Cicero en die middeleeuse erfenis wat sy hoogtepunt sou bereik in die denke van Thomas Aquinas. Aandag is ook gegee aan die denke van Augustinus. Die disintegrasie van die Middeleeue is bemiddel deur die laat-Skolastiese nominalisme (veral Ockham) wat veral op Luther 'n regstreekse invloed sou uitoefen. Calvyn het hom egter gedistansieer van die nominalistiese idee van die willekeur van God - soos wat dit vergestalt is in die siening van God se despotiese, absolute willekeur (aangedui as die potestas Dei absoluta). Daarom het Calvyn klem geplaas daarop dat God bo die wette wat vir skepsele gestel is, verhewe is. Hoewel God bo die skeppingswette verhewe is, is Hy egter nie willekeurig nie (Deus legibus solutus est, sed non exlex). 'n Vlugtige aanduiding is gegee van die relatiewe ongedifferensieerde samelewingsomstandighede waarin Calvyn homself bevind het - met verwysing na die leerstuk van verset (Beza en ander denkers). Nadat die deurwerking van die nominalisme verder toegelig is, met besondere verwysing na Kant se siening van die verstand as aprioriese formele wetgewer van die natuur en ook na die keersy-effek daarvan op die ontstaan van die historisme (19de eeu) en die postmodernisme (20ste eeu) is ten slotte gelet op die kontinuering van sommige on-Bybelse elemente in die denke van Calvyn, terwyl ook melding gemaak is van bepaalde positiewe insigte waarmee hy die Christelike lewensen wêreldbeskouing verryk het. In die besonder kan hier gedink word aan die eerste vertrekpunt van die leerstuk van soewereiniteit-in-eie-kring wat al eerder deur Van Prinsterer en Kuyper (19de eeu) onder woorde gebring is en wat in die 20ste eeu deur die reformatoriese wysbegeerte van Dooyeweerd verder uitgewerk is.<hr/>In order to assess some prominent facets of Calvin's position within the intellectual legacy of the West the Greek-Medieval background is first of all highlighted - with a focus on the idea of a cosmic (ontic) world order (logos or law). Particular attention is given to the line of development from early Greek philosophy, via Plato and Aristotle, up to Stoic philosophy, Cicero, the medieval legacy culminating in the thought of Thomas Aquinas. The fundamental dualism present in Greek thought - between form and matter (the constant and the changing) - exerted a lasting influence on medieval thinking. Cicero assumed an immutable, incorruptible and non-arbitrary universal law which is valid per se. He distinguishes between being a Roman citizen on the one hand, and participating in the Roman populus (the public) on the other. When Thomas Aquinas entered the scene in the 13th century his account of medieval society was based upon an attempted synthesis between Aristotle's philosophy and biblical Christianity respectively. He accepted the dual teleological order of Aristotle with its hierarchy of substantial forms arranged in an order of lower and higher. It was designated as the lex naturalis (natural law) which is related to the transcendent lex aeterna (eternal law) as contained within the Divine intellect. By virtue of its substantial form the human being depends upon the community for the satisfaction of its needs. However, the disintegration caused by the late Scholastic movement known as nominalism (in particular Ockham) then entered the scene. Luther was influenced by this nominalism but Calvin reacted against its idea of arbitrariness. For that reason he emphasized God's law for creation and rejected the nominalistic conception of the absolute, despotic arbitrariness of God's will (the so-called potestas Dei Absoluta of God). His alternative claim is that although God is elevated above his laws for creation, He is not arbitrary (Deus legibus solutus est, sed non exlex). A brief indication is given of the relatively undifferentiated societal condition prevailing in the world in which Calvin lived - with reference to the doctrine of resistance (Beza and others). The longstanding over-estimation of human reason caused Thomas Aquinas to relativize the radical effect of the fall into sin and for that reason he held the view that human reason was only "wounded" by the fall - a view that was continued by Calvin. However, the biblical appeal of the legacy of Calvin also contains a number of positive insights that we still have to appreciate. He emphasized the constancy and steadfastness of God's law for creatures and also explicitly rejected the idea of chance and fate - dating back to the Anankè (later on known as the Moira) of ancient Greece. This emphasis is all the more remarkable in the light of the powerful nominalistic movement which denied any universality outside the human mind, thus eliminating both the (universal) law for and the (universal) orderliness or creaturely reality. This nominalistic view reached its rationalistic conclusion in the thought of Immanuel Kant (18th century) who carried it through to its ultimate consequences - by elevating human understanding to become the apriori formal law-giver of nature. The other side of the rationalistic orientation of modern nominalism is found in the irrationalistic focus both of historicism (19th century) and postmodernism (20th century). The thought of Calvin does not fit into this humanistic tradition. In respect of human society he did show an understanding of what eventually became known as the principle of sphere-sovereignty (introduced by Groen van Prinsterer and Abraham Kuyper during the 19th century). Calvin substantially contributed to an enrichment of our Christian world and life view - carried through in more detail by the reformational philosophical tradition. <![CDATA[<b>John Calvin's view of the human being: A Christian philosophical appraisal</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512009000300004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Hierdie studie word aangebied ter herdenking van die geboorte van die hervormer, Johannes Calvyn, 500 jaar gelede (1509). Dit handel oor 'n belangrike aspek van sy denke, naamlik sy mensbeskouing volgens die finale uitgawe van sy Institusie (1559). Ter inleiding word iets vermeld van die voortgesette belangstelling in en relevansie van hierdie denker - ook in Suid-Afrika; 'n meer gebalanseerde evaluering van sy denke word voorgestel; die metode wat daarby gevolg word, word verduidelik. Daarna word die volgende fasette van Calvyn se antropologie bespreek: (1) die religieuse karakter van menswees; (2) sy onderskeid tussen siel en liggaam; (3) sy standpunt oor die onsterflikheid van die siel; (4) sy visie op die mens as beeld van God; (5) sy onderskeid tussen natuurlike en bonatuurlike gawes. Die slotgedeelte bevat 'n opsommende evaluering asook 'n les vir vandag.<hr/>This investigation is focused on an important aspect of Calvin's teachings, viz. his anthropology according to the final edition of his main systematic work, his Institutes (1559). This contribution (to commemorate his birthday 500 years ago) is developed through the following main sections: The introduction briefly indicates the contemporary interest and continued relevance of Calvin - also for South Africans - even half a millennium after his birth. It further indicates the need to reflect anew on Calvin's anthropology. Then it draws attention to the fact that Calvin's intention was to be obedient to God and his Word alone (the religious direction of his thought), but that he did not always succeed in applying this intention in his structural analysis of the human being. He often employed pre-Christian philosophical ideas to explain his view of being human. Two different "lines" can therefore be detected in his anthropology. Lastly, the introduction explains the problem-historical method according to which Calvin's view of the human being will be analysed. The rest of the essay focuses on the following aspects of Calvin's anthropology: (1) being human as being religious; (2) Calvin's structural analysis of the human being consisting of body and soul or spirit; (3) his idea of an immortal soul; (4) his view of man as the image of God; (5) his distinction in man/woman between a natural and supernatural image. These various aspects of Calvin's viewpoint should be understood in the light of the following. Calvin's anthropology is determined by his dualistic ontology or view of reality, in which he distinguishes between God (the Transcendent) and creation (the non-transcendent part). He proposes a clearly dichotomist anthropology of body and soul/spirit as separate entities. According to him the soul is of divine origin. He can therefore be called a creatianist - God creates a soul for every new human person, and after death the soul returns to its Origin. Amongst the great variety of dichotomist anthropologies, Calvin's viewpoint can be characterised as semi-mystical. Semi-mysticism teaches that human beings are not completely non-transcendent (earthly) creatures, but also have a transcendent (divine) part, viz. their souls. Thus the borderline between the transcendent God and man is not perceived to be above but inside human beings. Amongst the different types of semi-mysticism, Calvin accepted a Platonising type - certain themes from Plato's philosophy are included and combined with other pre-Christian philosophical and biblical ideas in his view of the human person. Concerning the different aspects of being human distinguished above (1 to 5), the results of this investigation can be summarised as follows: • Calvin was not primarily interested in the human being himself/herself, independent from his/her relationship with God. Right at the beginning of his Institutes he emphasised the inseparable relationship between knowledge of God and the self. Religio or cultus Dei to him was also not confined to private devotional life or church attendance, but understood as all-encompassing service of God in all domains of life. The question, however, remains whether other aspects of his anthropology did not prevent him from working out this basic biblical idea consistently. • According to Calvin it is a fact not to be debated that man/woman consists of two separate entities, viz. body and soul. The soul is an incorporeal substance which has been placed by God in the body in which it lives as if in a house which it manages. The body is also regarded as a prison of the soul resulting in contempt for earthly life and a longing for heaven. Death is regarded as a friend instead of as God's punishment. Such a viewpoint leads to many unsolvable problems, apart from the fact that it is to the author's mind in total disagreement with what the Word of God really reveals about the human being according to contemporary interpretations. • Calvin furthermore regarded the soul as immortal and he provided a whole list of arguments (derived from both reason and the Bible) to prove this belief. What exactly he had in mind is not very clear. If he was saying that the soul is immortal in and of itself, he would have contradicted the biblical message that only God is by nature immortal and that the human being (not only the soul) will only receive immortality as a gift from God after his/her resurrection. Even if he (as some interpreters of his ideas like to argue) accepted this biblical viewpoint, the question remains why he spoke about the immortality of the soul only and not that of the human being. • In line with his dualist ontology and dichotomist anthropology Calvin explained the biblical message that man is the image of God in an ontological instead of a relational way. Because of his divine part (the soul), the human being to a certain degree is similar to God. According to a (modified) macrocosmos-microcosmos theory human beings are "smaller gods". However, the Bible clearly teaches that not something in man (only the soul), but man was created in God's image. After the fall the integral human being has to be renewed according to Christ, the perfect image of God the Father. Human beings can again reflect His image when they obey his commandments. • Calvin's idea of the imago Dei is complicated by his distinction between a natural and a supernatural image. The natural image consists of the faculties of the soul, borrowed from Plato's and Aristotle's philosophy. The supernatural image is understood in biblical terms as righteousness and holiness. According to Calvin the supernatural image was lost at the fall, but the natural was merely corrupted because without reason and a will the human being would lose its human nature. This dichotomy in Calvin's doctrine of God's image cannot be accepted in the light of Scripture. It is, furthermore, closely connected with his distinction between earthly and heavenly affairs and could, therefore, cancel his basic religious motivation to live to the honour and glory of God in everything we do. However, it enabled Calvin to show his appreciation of all the natural gifts of non-Christians, including their philosophies. As a summa summarum the following can be said: Calvin's thought once again clearly illustrated that no discipline - not even a biblical theology - can be practised without starting (deliberately or unintentionally) from deep philosophical presuppositions. We therefore do not blame Calvin because he employed philosophical ideas in constructing his anthropology. Philosophy as such is not dangerous to a Christian. This article argued against Calvin's use of pre-Christian ideas and, objected to the fact that he, furthermore, often did so in a much too uncritical way. But because in his time no integral Christian philosophy was available - as is the case today - our criticism should not be too harsh and one-sided. We should rather look for Calvin's own, unique contributions. A contemporary Reformational philosopher advised that the "real Calvin" is not met within the reiterations he made of views current amongst his contemporaries, but rather the new and non-conformist insights by which on crucial points he turned against the prevalent notions of the day. <![CDATA[<b>Calvin's ethics of socio-economic life</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512009000300005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Teen die agtergrond van die middeleeuse Rooms-Katolieke devaluering van hande-arbeid en in reaksie tot die statiese stande-gelaagdheid daarvan, het Calvyn 'n pleitrede gevoer vir 'n herwaardering van die koopmansstand en van die plek van die ekonomiese sektor van die samelewing binne 'n koninkryksperspektief daarop. Enersyds was daar talle misstande en bedenklike praktyke in swang in Italie en andersyds het die Roomse kerk nog 'n groot mag gehad oor die samelewing - met betrekking tot die ekonomiese sektor veral deur die instandhouding van die rente-verbod. Nie alleen het Calvyn die hiërargiese samelewingsbeskouing van die middeleeue ondergrawe nie, maar tegelyk ook nuwe moontlikhede geopen vir die opbloei van ekonomiese aktiwiteite met sy pleit vir die opheffing van die rente-verbod. In Genève het hy uit hoofde van sy bediening allerlei praktiese voorstelle gemaak, soos die verlening van gratis doktershulp aan armes; die prysvasstelling van brood, wyn en vleis; die reglementering van arbeidsduur; die verpligting om laerskool onderwys te volg; die geneeskundige behandeling van invalides en siekes; openbare werke en herskoling van werkloses; hulp aan verbygaande vreemdelinge; instituering van die diakonaat; en 'n verbod op bedelary omdat daarvoor in Genève geen rede meer bestaan het nie. Die prysvasstelling van brood, wyn en vleis dui op die noodsaaklike lewensbehoeftes in die tyd wat veroorsaak is deur die voortdurende styging van die pryse wat daartoe gelei het dat die mindergegoedes gebrek begin ly het (Calvyn het dus in 'n tyd van inflasie geleef). Calvyn het die hele lewe op gelyke voet geplaas en elke beroep as 'n roeping gesien. Besondere aandag word gegee aan die beroemde Weber-tese, naamlik dat die kapitalisme 'n vrug van die Calvinisme is. Daar word aangetoon dat dit egter die Engelse puritanisme was wat hierdie faam moet ontvang - gepaardgaande met wat Weber 'n "binne-wêreldse asketisme" genoem het: die werkers het hul hard-verdiende geld gespaar (opgepot) en dus in die wêreld as vreemdelinge geleef. Aan die einde is 'n "Postscript" (2009) bygevoeg waarin 'n aantal ooreenkomste en analogieë tussen Canvyn se tyd en ons huidige situasie belig word, terwyl vasgehou word aan die onderliggende duursame betekenis van Calvyn se nalatenskap ook vir ons situasie van vandag.<hr/>Against the background of the medieval Roman Catholic depreciation of manual labour and the flourishing of trade and commerce this article portrays the contrast between the traditional static medieval hierarchical understanding of society and the approach of Calvin. The said depreciation of manual labour is aptly captured in a medieval legend where we learn of a person who found demons in every nook and cranny in a monastery, but surprisingly only one demon was found on a tower in the marketplace. When the person mentioned was surprised, a cleric responded by explaining that there is a greater need for demons in a monastery because many are needed to seduce the monks. At the marketplace however, one is more than sufficient, because everyone there is already a devil! This legend shows clearly how the medieval tradition devaluated the mercantile estate. This under-evaluation took its stance alongside a new appreciation of the self-esteem of human beings. However, the latter was accompanied by an increasing anarchy and immorality which indeed made Christians hesitant to participate in the horrible practices of this domain of life. By avoiding being a merchant one is not threatened by temptations. Add to this that the medieval view of society as an organic whole, where every sector of life had its well-assigned and properly integrated place, did not really contribute to the development of a constructive and dynamic economic life. The estate of merchants was kept in place by the doctrine of the "fair price." The system of guilds also did not allow for fair competition. However, breaking through this static establishment soon generated a cold and calculated rationalistic attitude towards life where even personal affairs were treated in economic terms - such as where a difference of opinion between two merchants led to an inscription that that person's life is owed, followed by a subsequent credit inscription: "Debt paid." When Calvin wrote his Institution the point of gravity of trade and commerce shifted to the Netherlands (Antwerpen), although the Roman Catholic church still held an enormous power, particularly evinced in the maintenance of the prohibition of interest. A very useful study in this regard is found in the work of A. Biéler, La penseé économique et sociale de Calvin (Die ekonomiese en sosiale denke van Calvyn). The title of this work is somewhat pretentious because Calvin largely entered into a discussion of social-economic issues as part of the advice he gave to believers. This included directives such as the regulation of the duration of work, making primary school education compulsory, the medical treatment of invalids and ill people, public works and the re-training of unemployed people, aid to strangers who pass by, a prohibition to begging because in the Geneve of the time this was no longer necessary. Interestingly Calvin also made a plea for a fixed price for bread, wine and meat (the necessary means of life at the time). As extensively shown by Bohatec Calvin constantly advocated the idea of what is just and fair. It was supported by his new, non-hierarchical, view of society and his conviction that all of life ought to open up to the service of God. This view transcended the medieval prohibition on interest, and broadened the scope of God's kingdom to encompass all of life - where the execution of every walk of life became a calling equal in importance and dignity to every other calling in life. Particular attention is given to the famous Weber thesis that capitalism is the outcome of Calvinism. At the end a 2009 "Postscript" is added in which a number of similarities and analogies between the era of Calvin and our own contemporary situation are highlighted, while holding on to the basic positive perspective initially advanced in the substantive article. <![CDATA[<b>Calvin's step into public at the Disputation of Lausanne (October 1536)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512009000300006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Teen die agtergrond van die middeleeuse Rooms-Katolieke devaluering van hande-arbeid en in reaksie tot die statiese stande-gelaagdheid daarvan, het Calvyn 'n pleitrede gevoer vir 'n herwaardering van die koopmansstand en van die plek van die ekonomiese sektor van die samelewing binne 'n koninkryksperspektief daarop. Enersyds was daar talle misstande en bedenklike praktyke in swang in Italie en andersyds het die Roomse kerk nog 'n groot mag gehad oor die samelewing - met betrekking tot die ekonomiese sektor veral deur die instandhouding van die rente-verbod. Nie alleen het Calvyn die hiërargiese samelewingsbeskouing van die middeleeue ondergrawe nie, maar tegelyk ook nuwe moontlikhede geopen vir die opbloei van ekonomiese aktiwiteite met sy pleit vir die opheffing van die rente-verbod. In Genève het hy uit hoofde van sy bediening allerlei praktiese voorstelle gemaak, soos die verlening van gratis doktershulp aan armes; die prysvasstelling van brood, wyn en vleis; die reglementering van arbeidsduur; die verpligting om laerskool onderwys te volg; die geneeskundige behandeling van invalides en siekes; openbare werke en herskoling van werkloses; hulp aan verbygaande vreemdelinge; instituering van die diakonaat; en 'n verbod op bedelary omdat daarvoor in Genève geen rede meer bestaan het nie. Die prysvasstelling van brood, wyn en vleis dui op die noodsaaklike lewensbehoeftes in die tyd wat veroorsaak is deur die voortdurende styging van die pryse wat daartoe gelei het dat die mindergegoedes gebrek begin ly het (Calvyn het dus in 'n tyd van inflasie geleef). Calvyn het die hele lewe op gelyke voet geplaas en elke beroep as 'n roeping gesien. Besondere aandag word gegee aan die beroemde Weber-tese, naamlik dat die kapitalisme 'n vrug van die Calvinisme is. Daar word aangetoon dat dit egter die Engelse puritanisme was wat hierdie faam moet ontvang - gepaardgaande met wat Weber 'n "binne-wêreldse asketisme" genoem het: die werkers het hul hard-verdiende geld gespaar (opgepot) en dus in die wêreld as vreemdelinge geleef. Aan die einde is 'n "Postscript" (2009) bygevoeg waarin 'n aantal ooreenkomste en analogieë tussen Canvyn se tyd en ons huidige situasie belig word, terwyl vasgehou word aan die onderliggende duursame betekenis van Calvyn se nalatenskap ook vir ons situasie van vandag.<hr/>Against the background of the medieval Roman Catholic depreciation of manual labour and the flourishing of trade and commerce this article portrays the contrast between the traditional static medieval hierarchical understanding of society and the approach of Calvin. The said depreciation of manual labour is aptly captured in a medieval legend where we learn of a person who found demons in every nook and cranny in a monastery, but surprisingly only one demon was found on a tower in the marketplace. When the person mentioned was surprised, a cleric responded by explaining that there is a greater need for demons in a monastery because many are needed to seduce the monks. At the marketplace however, one is more than sufficient, because everyone there is already a devil! This legend shows clearly how the medieval tradition devaluated the mercantile estate. This under-evaluation took its stance alongside a new appreciation of the self-esteem of human beings. However, the latter was accompanied by an increasing anarchy and immorality which indeed made Christians hesitant to participate in the horrible practices of this domain of life. By avoiding being a merchant one is not threatened by temptations. Add to this that the medieval view of society as an organic whole, where every sector of life had its well-assigned and properly integrated place, did not really contribute to the development of a constructive and dynamic economic life. The estate of merchants was kept in place by the doctrine of the "fair price." The system of guilds also did not allow for fair competition. However, breaking through this static establishment soon generated a cold and calculated rationalistic attitude towards life where even personal affairs were treated in economic terms - such as where a difference of opinion between two merchants led to an inscription that that person's life is owed, followed by a subsequent credit inscription: "Debt paid." When Calvin wrote his Institution the point of gravity of trade and commerce shifted to the Netherlands (Antwerpen), although the Roman Catholic church still held an enormous power, particularly evinced in the maintenance of the prohibition of interest. A very useful study in this regard is found in the work of A. Biéler, La penseé économique et sociale de Calvin (Die ekonomiese en sosiale denke van Calvyn). The title of this work is somewhat pretentious because Calvin largely entered into a discussion of social-economic issues as part of the advice he gave to believers. This included directives such as the regulation of the duration of work, making primary school education compulsory, the medical treatment of invalids and ill people, public works and the re-training of unemployed people, aid to strangers who pass by, a prohibition to begging because in the Geneve of the time this was no longer necessary. Interestingly Calvin also made a plea for a fixed price for bread, wine and meat (the necessary means of life at the time). As extensively shown by Bohatec Calvin constantly advocated the idea of what is just and fair. It was supported by his new, non-hierarchical, view of society and his conviction that all of life ought to open up to the service of God. This view transcended the medieval prohibition on interest, and broadened the scope of God's kingdom to encompass all of life - where the execution of every walk of life became a calling equal in importance and dignity to every other calling in life. Particular attention is given to the famous Weber thesis that capitalism is the outcome of Calvinism. At the end a 2009 "Postscript" is added in which a number of similarities and analogies between the era of Calvin and our own contemporary situation are highlighted, while holding on to the basic positive perspective initially advanced in the substantive article. <![CDATA[<b>A "Passage to the understanding of the whole Scripture": Calvin's first Bible commentary seen in historical-theological perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512009000300007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Uit die beskikbare gegewens blyk dat Calvyn die boek Romeine gedurende die jare dertig deeglik moes bestudeer het. Vaste planne om 'n kommentaar daarop te skryf kan teruggevoer word na sy gesprekke met Grynaeus gedurende 1535/1536. Dit word egter algemeen aanvaar dat die kommentaar beduidend aanleun op die lesings wat Calvyn in Genève en Straatsburg oor Romeine gehou het. Dit beteken dat die kommentaar op die kateder beslag gekry het, dit wil sê binne die konteks van opleiding in en uitleg en verkondiging van die Woord. Dit is noodsaaklik om hierdie inleiding te lees en die verdeling van die inhoud van die brief in sy onderlinge verband te begryp. Waarin vind Calvyn die werklike sentrum van die Romeinebrief? Hy vind dit daarin dat Christus ons deur die geloof regverdig. "Die genade van God in Christus",² die "geregtigheid van Christus" ("Christi iustitia")³ as tema loop soos 'n dik rooi draad deur die Romeinebrief, en daarom ook deur Calvyn se kommentaar. In Christus vind die Romeinebrief sy samehang en sy sin. Christus lê sorgvuldig beslag op die orde, die ontwikkeling en die beweging van die argument in die brief. Met betrekking tot die vraag watter eksegetiese metode onderliggend aan die Romeinekommentaar gevind kan word, is daar al dikwels daarop gewys dat die belang wat Calvyn eksegeties aan die teks van die Romeinebrief toegeken het, verband hou met die humanistiese retoriek van die sestiende eeu,4 waarin hy ook geskool was. Hierdie metode het ingehou dat die betroubare verstaan van 'n teks bereik moet word deur die taal van die teks te ken (daardeur word betekenisse toeganklik gemaak), die skopus van die teks te vind binne sy groter tekstuele samehang (ko-teks), die sentrale temas van die teks te identifiseer, die kultuurhistoriese konteks waarbinne dit beslag gekry het van die teks te ken en die interpretasiegeskiedenis (geskiedenis van die eksegese) daarvan, met ander woorde die vraag hoe die betrokke teks deur die loop van die eeue uitgelê is, te beheers. Veral die oorspronklike outeur se denkrigting en doelstellings moet hier in ag geneem word. Calvyn wou doelbewus nie die weg van óf Bucer óf Melanchthon opgaan nie. Veel eerder wil hy die betekenis van die teks volgens die bedoeling van die skrywer ontsluit, aan die hand van die onderlinge tekste binne hulle groter geheelverband en hulle aaneenskakeling met mekaar.<hr/>From the available data it appears that Calvin embarked upon a penetrating study of the Book of Romans during the period between 1530 and 1540. It is possible to trace his definitive plans to write this commentary to conversations he had with Grynaeus during the years 1535 and 1536. However, it is generally accepted that this commentary is significantly substantiated by the lectures given by him in Geneva and Straatsburg at the time. This means that this commentary obtained its shape on the lecture podium, within the context of the training of prospective ministers in the exegesis and preaching of the Word. It is necessary to read and understand this introduction and the subdivision of the content of the letter in its mutual context. What constitutes, according to Calvin, the actual core of the letter to the Romans? He finds it in the fact that Christ justifies us through faith: "The Grace of God in Christ" (COR II/XIII,7,22-23), the righteousness of Christ ("Christi iustitia" - COR II/ XIII,8,29) runs like a golden thread through the letter to the Romans and for that reason also through the commentary of Calvin. The letter to the Romans finds in Christ its coherence and meaning. Christ delicately lays claim to the order, development and dynamics of the argument in the letter. Between August and October 1539 three important publications of Calvin appeared. During August he finalized his thorough revision and extensive expansion of his 1536 Christianae Religionis Institutio - which has since appeared as the Institutio Christianae Religionis. During this month of August 1539 he also found time to respond to the demand of Cardinal Sadoletus to return to the Roman Catholic Church - Calvin's Responsio. And in October of the same year he completed his commentary on the book of Romans. Calvin now started to broaden his purview of the reformation spreading over Europe. Regarding the question of which exegetical method underpinned the foundation of Calvin's Roman commentary, it has been pointed out many times that the exegetical weight assigned by Calvin to the text of the letter to the Romans has a connection with the humanistic rhetoric of the sixteenth century, in which he was also trained. (The concept humanistic is here used in a technical sense, as it prevailed at the time. It referred to the methods and instruments of the study of foremost antique) texts, in other words, knowledge of the basic languages (albeit Greek, Hebrew or Latin), control over philology, grammar and using the auxiliary means of semantics, and so on.) This method entailed that a reliable understanding of the text had to be attained through knowledge of the text (through its meanings it became accessible in other words), that the scopus of the text had to be found within the larger textual coherence (context), that the central themes of the text were identified, that the cultural-historical context within which it obtained its form was known and that the history of intepretation (the history of the exegesis) was also known. In other words, it concerned the question regarding the mastery of the text under consideration - as explicated in the course of history. What is of particular importance is that the thought orientation and aims of the original author had to be taken into consideration. Calvin intentionally did not want to pursue the road of Bucer or Melanchthon. Much rather he wished to discern the meaning of the text according to the intention of the author, from the perspective of the mutual role of texts within their larger encompassing context as well as their interconnections with each other. To underline the influence of Calvin's commentary in the history of theology, a list of editions is added. For an Afrikaans reader the translations of Calvin's works (in Afrikaans) are also added in a comprehensive attachment. <![CDATA[<b>Calvin's Theology of the Holy Spirit</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512009000300008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es CALVYN SE TEOLOGIE VAN DIE HEILIGE GEES: In sy Institusie skram Calvyn nie weg van die mees eksistensiële grondvrae van Christenwees nie: Wat is geloof? Hoe ontstaan geloof? Hoe word 'n mens daarvan bewus? Voorafgaande aan hierdie soteriologiese vraagstelling, behandel hy die Heilige Gees. Hy stel trouens die soteriologie doelbewus op pneumatologiese basis. Kenmerkend van sy pneumatologie is die Christo-soteriologiese konsentrasie daarvan. Die punt waarom dit hier gaan is die uitklaring van die vraag hoe God in Christus na ons toe kom. Die realiteit van die ganse Christelike lewe stoel dus op die werk van die Heilige Gees. In die onderrig oor die Heilige Gees bly Calvyn egter binne die raam van 'n trinitaries-teologiese perspektief en differensieer hy slegs in terme van die verhouding (relationes) tussen Vader, Seun en Gees. Die werk van die Vader staan so in verband met die skepping, dié van die Seun met die versoening en verlossing. Op grond van Johannes 16:13-15 gaan dit in die werk van die Heilige Gees om die realisering van wat die Vader en Seun doen. So word God se aktualiteit trinitaries-teologies identifiseerbaar. Calvyn werk gevolglik sy pneumatologie in twee rigtings uit: 1. die herskepping en verlossing, wat insluit die getuieniswerk van die Gees in verband met die Skrif (hermeneutiek) en die sakramente; 2. die skepping en onderhouding van die kosmos, waarin sy onderrig oor die Heilige Gees 'n trinitariese brug na die leer van die voorsienigheid van God word.<hr/>ABSTRACT Calvin's treatment in the Institutes of the reality of Christ, of salvation, of the most existential and fundamental questions of being a Christian - eg. what faith is, how it actually comes into being, how we become aware of it - is preceded by a chapter on the Holy Spirit and his significance for Christian existence and life. What is known or confessed or experienced of Christ, is effected and realized through the concealed work of the Holy Spirit. Calvin thus intentionally argues the soteriology on the foundation of pneumatology. The Holy Spirit pre-eminently sustains not only the Trinitarian unity and community between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but also creates the mutual communio sanctorum between the believers. This communion is an unio cum Christo, determined by Christ. It is though realized by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. This Spirit leads us through faith to the light of the gospel. In this way the reality of the whole Christian life depends on the work of the Holy Spirit. In and through the Holy Spirit we are met by the authentic and Trinitarian God Himself. The Trinitarian unity, Calvin argues, is not an undifferentiated identity. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit is unified in a unitas essentiae. The only way to differentiate between Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is possible in terms of the relation (relationes) between the Persons of the Godhead. This differentiation is linked with the pluriformity of the work of God: the Father and creation, the Son and (re)conciliation and salvation. The work of the Holy Spirit is to effectively realize what the Father and Son do. The Holy Spirit is God's activity in action. The only biblical way to understand and comprehend this is along a Trinitarian-theological line. The Trinitarian relation can only be apprehended in pneumatological categories. Calvin develops his pneumatology accordingly in two directions. 1. Re-creation regeneration and salvation. The focus here is on the work of the Spirit in the sphere of faith and the Christian congregation. Sanctification and faith are seen as specific concretizations. The Spirit, effectuating the Christ-event, is also designated as the ..Spirit of Sanctification" (..Geist der Heiligung"; Spiritus sanctificationis) and distinguished from the general operation within the context of creation. The Spirit of sanctification shows itself as the root and seed of the heavenly life within us which, in turn, is only possible because we can believe. Therefore believing is emphasized as the most significant work of the Holy Spirit. After pneumatology the chapter on faith has to follow. Two aspects are of importance. The first is connected to the hermeneutical issue. On what grounds do we know for sure that the Scriptures testify of the living God and that they are not human (religious) words? The certainty of this conviction does not rest upon disputations, Calvin states, but on the concealed testimony of the Holy Spirit. Secondly, Calvin elucidates the work and testimony of Holy Spirit in relation to the Word and sacraments. The praesentia realis of Christ in the Lord's Supper, is a presence through Word and Spirit. The second direction in which Calvin expounds his pneumatology, is related to creation and the sustaining or preserving of the cosmos. In this regard his teaching on the Holy Spirit becomes a Trinitarian bridge to the doctrine of the Providence of God. God's Spirit is obviously the effector providentiae. Consequently the Christian appreciation of reality receives a characteristic and distinctive spiritual foundation. <![CDATA[<i>Knowledge in the Blood - </i>Jonathan D Jansen]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512009000300009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es CALVYN SE TEOLOGIE VAN DIE HEILIGE GEES: In sy Institusie skram Calvyn nie weg van die mees eksistensiële grondvrae van Christenwees nie: Wat is geloof? Hoe ontstaan geloof? Hoe word 'n mens daarvan bewus? Voorafgaande aan hierdie soteriologiese vraagstelling, behandel hy die Heilige Gees. Hy stel trouens die soteriologie doelbewus op pneumatologiese basis. Kenmerkend van sy pneumatologie is die Christo-soteriologiese konsentrasie daarvan. Die punt waarom dit hier gaan is die uitklaring van die vraag hoe God in Christus na ons toe kom. Die realiteit van die ganse Christelike lewe stoel dus op die werk van die Heilige Gees. In die onderrig oor die Heilige Gees bly Calvyn egter binne die raam van 'n trinitaries-teologiese perspektief en differensieer hy slegs in terme van die verhouding (relationes) tussen Vader, Seun en Gees. Die werk van die Vader staan so in verband met die skepping, dié van die Seun met die versoening en verlossing. Op grond van Johannes 16:13-15 gaan dit in die werk van die Heilige Gees om die realisering van wat die Vader en Seun doen. So word God se aktualiteit trinitaries-teologies identifiseerbaar. Calvyn werk gevolglik sy pneumatologie in twee rigtings uit: 1. die herskepping en verlossing, wat insluit die getuieniswerk van die Gees in verband met die Skrif (hermeneutiek) en die sakramente; 2. die skepping en onderhouding van die kosmos, waarin sy onderrig oor die Heilige Gees 'n trinitariese brug na die leer van die voorsienigheid van God word.<hr/>ABSTRACT Calvin's treatment in the Institutes of the reality of Christ, of salvation, of the most existential and fundamental questions of being a Christian - eg. what faith is, how it actually comes into being, how we become aware of it - is preceded by a chapter on the Holy Spirit and his significance for Christian existence and life. What is known or confessed or experienced of Christ, is effected and realized through the concealed work of the Holy Spirit. Calvin thus intentionally argues the soteriology on the foundation of pneumatology. The Holy Spirit pre-eminently sustains not only the Trinitarian unity and community between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but also creates the mutual communio sanctorum between the believers. This communion is an unio cum Christo, determined by Christ. It is though realized by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. This Spirit leads us through faith to the light of the gospel. In this way the reality of the whole Christian life depends on the work of the Holy Spirit. In and through the Holy Spirit we are met by the authentic and Trinitarian God Himself. The Trinitarian unity, Calvin argues, is not an undifferentiated identity. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit is unified in a unitas essentiae. The only way to differentiate between Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is possible in terms of the relation (relationes) between the Persons of the Godhead. This differentiation is linked with the pluriformity of the work of God: the Father and creation, the Son and (re)conciliation and salvation. The work of the Holy Spirit is to effectively realize what the Father and Son do. The Holy Spirit is God's activity in action. The only biblical way to understand and comprehend this is along a Trinitarian-theological line. The Trinitarian relation can only be apprehended in pneumatological categories. Calvin develops his pneumatology accordingly in two directions. 1. Re-creation regeneration and salvation. The focus here is on the work of the Spirit in the sphere of faith and the Christian congregation. Sanctification and faith are seen as specific concretizations. The Spirit, effectuating the Christ-event, is also designated as the ..Spirit of Sanctification" (..Geist der Heiligung"; Spiritus sanctificationis) and distinguished from the general operation within the context of creation. The Spirit of sanctification shows itself as the root and seed of the heavenly life within us which, in turn, is only possible because we can believe. Therefore believing is emphasized as the most significant work of the Holy Spirit. After pneumatology the chapter on faith has to follow. Two aspects are of importance. The first is connected to the hermeneutical issue. On what grounds do we know for sure that the Scriptures testify of the living God and that they are not human (religious) words? The certainty of this conviction does not rest upon disputations, Calvin states, but on the concealed testimony of the Holy Spirit. Secondly, Calvin elucidates the work and testimony of Holy Spirit in relation to the Word and sacraments. The praesentia realis of Christ in the Lord's Supper, is a presence through Word and Spirit. The second direction in which Calvin expounds his pneumatology, is related to creation and the sustaining or preserving of the cosmos. In this regard his teaching on the Holy Spirit becomes a Trinitarian bridge to the doctrine of the Providence of God. God's Spirit is obviously the effector providentiae. Consequently the Christian appreciation of reality receives a characteristic and distinctive spiritual foundation. <![CDATA[Debate]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512009000300010&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es CALVYN SE TEOLOGIE VAN DIE HEILIGE GEES: In sy Institusie skram Calvyn nie weg van die mees eksistensiële grondvrae van Christenwees nie: Wat is geloof? Hoe ontstaan geloof? Hoe word 'n mens daarvan bewus? Voorafgaande aan hierdie soteriologiese vraagstelling, behandel hy die Heilige Gees. Hy stel trouens die soteriologie doelbewus op pneumatologiese basis. Kenmerkend van sy pneumatologie is die Christo-soteriologiese konsentrasie daarvan. Die punt waarom dit hier gaan is die uitklaring van die vraag hoe God in Christus na ons toe kom. Die realiteit van die ganse Christelike lewe stoel dus op die werk van die Heilige Gees. In die onderrig oor die Heilige Gees bly Calvyn egter binne die raam van 'n trinitaries-teologiese perspektief en differensieer hy slegs in terme van die verhouding (relationes) tussen Vader, Seun en Gees. Die werk van die Vader staan so in verband met die skepping, dié van die Seun met die versoening en verlossing. Op grond van Johannes 16:13-15 gaan dit in die werk van die Heilige Gees om die realisering van wat die Vader en Seun doen. So word God se aktualiteit trinitaries-teologies identifiseerbaar. Calvyn werk gevolglik sy pneumatologie in twee rigtings uit: 1. die herskepping en verlossing, wat insluit die getuieniswerk van die Gees in verband met die Skrif (hermeneutiek) en die sakramente; 2. die skepping en onderhouding van die kosmos, waarin sy onderrig oor die Heilige Gees 'n trinitariese brug na die leer van die voorsienigheid van God word.<hr/>ABSTRACT Calvin's treatment in the Institutes of the reality of Christ, of salvation, of the most existential and fundamental questions of being a Christian - eg. what faith is, how it actually comes into being, how we become aware of it - is preceded by a chapter on the Holy Spirit and his significance for Christian existence and life. What is known or confessed or experienced of Christ, is effected and realized through the concealed work of the Holy Spirit. Calvin thus intentionally argues the soteriology on the foundation of pneumatology. The Holy Spirit pre-eminently sustains not only the Trinitarian unity and community between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but also creates the mutual communio sanctorum between the believers. This communion is an unio cum Christo, determined by Christ. It is though realized by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. This Spirit leads us through faith to the light of the gospel. In this way the reality of the whole Christian life depends on the work of the Holy Spirit. In and through the Holy Spirit we are met by the authentic and Trinitarian God Himself. The Trinitarian unity, Calvin argues, is not an undifferentiated identity. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit is unified in a unitas essentiae. The only way to differentiate between Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is possible in terms of the relation (relationes) between the Persons of the Godhead. This differentiation is linked with the pluriformity of the work of God: the Father and creation, the Son and (re)conciliation and salvation. The work of the Holy Spirit is to effectively realize what the Father and Son do. The Holy Spirit is God's activity in action. The only biblical way to understand and comprehend this is along a Trinitarian-theological line. The Trinitarian relation can only be apprehended in pneumatological categories. Calvin develops his pneumatology accordingly in two directions. 1. Re-creation regeneration and salvation. The focus here is on the work of the Spirit in the sphere of faith and the Christian congregation. Sanctification and faith are seen as specific concretizations. The Spirit, effectuating the Christ-event, is also designated as the ..Spirit of Sanctification" (..Geist der Heiligung"; Spiritus sanctificationis) and distinguished from the general operation within the context of creation. The Spirit of sanctification shows itself as the root and seed of the heavenly life within us which, in turn, is only possible because we can believe. Therefore believing is emphasized as the most significant work of the Holy Spirit. After pneumatology the chapter on faith has to follow. Two aspects are of importance. The first is connected to the hermeneutical issue. On what grounds do we know for sure that the Scriptures testify of the living God and that they are not human (religious) words? The certainty of this conviction does not rest upon disputations, Calvin states, but on the concealed testimony of the Holy Spirit. Secondly, Calvin elucidates the work and testimony of Holy Spirit in relation to the Word and sacraments. The praesentia realis of Christ in the Lord's Supper, is a presence through Word and Spirit. The second direction in which Calvin expounds his pneumatology, is related to creation and the sustaining or preserving of the cosmos. In this regard his teaching on the Holy Spirit becomes a Trinitarian bridge to the doctrine of the Providence of God. God's Spirit is obviously the effector providentiae. Consequently the Christian appreciation of reality receives a characteristic and distinctive spiritual foundation.