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Koers

versão On-line ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.74 no.4 Pretoria  2009

 

Taal en kerkeenheid: Calvyn se 1545-Kategismus in Latyn

 

Language and church unity: Calvin's 1545 Catechism in Latin

 

 

P.H. Fick; D. Kotzee

Skool vir Kerkwetenskappe, Potchefstroomkampus, Noordwes-Universiteit, Potchefstroom. E-pos: rikus.fick@nwu.ac.za, dkotzee@gmail.com

 

 


OPSOMMING

In 1545 het Calvyn 'n kategismus geskryf. Hy verdedig die feit dat hy dit in Latyn gedoen het soos volg: "Ek is van oordeel dat dit nuttig is dat 'n openlike getuienis na vore kom, waardeur die kerke wat andersins oor lang afstande van mekaar geskei is en tog in Christus 'n eenstemmige leer het, mekaar kan herken." Hoewel hy gedurig uit Rooms-Katolieke oord van kerkskeuring beskuldig is, was sy ekumeniese ingesteldheid bo verdenking. Hy het elke geleentheid aangegryp om die sondigheid van afskeiding van 'n kerk wat die merktekens van 'n ware kerk vertoon, te beklemtoon. Teen die tyd van die Reformasie is Latyn nie meer as 'n "heilige taal" beskou nie, maar eerder as 'n rolmodel vir ander tale. Hoewel die hervormers in toenemende mate die gebruik van die moedertaal vir godsdiensoefening aangemoedig het, het hulle steeds Latyn in hulle korrespondensie met mekaar en in ander geskrifte gebruik. Dit word ook weerspieël in die boekdrukkuns: werke in die verskeie moedertale én in Latyn is gedruk en versprei. Calvyn se "Kategismus" van 1545 in Latyn is spoedig in verskeie tale vertaal - ook in Grieks en Hebreeus. Daarmee het hy sy doel bereik om die eenheid van geloof tussen die reformatoriese kerke te bevorder. Hierdie kerkhistoriese dokument in Latyn verkry sodoende 'n besondere status: 'n simbool van Calvyn se hoop op kerkeenheid.

Kernbegrippe: Calvyn; kategismus; kerkeenheid; Latyn


ABSTRACT

In 1545 Calvin wrote a catechism. He defended the fact that he had done it in Latin, saying: "I judge it useful that there should be public testimonies, whereby churches which, though widely separated by space, agree in the doctrine of Christ, may mutually recognize each other." Although he was constantly being accused by the Roman Catholic Church of being a schismatic, Calvin's ecumenical intentions were above reproach. At every opportunity he stressed the sinfulness of schism from a church that bears the marks of the true church. By the time of the Reformation Latin wasn't regarded any more as a "holy" language, but as a role model for other languages. Although the reformers increasingly propagated the use of the vernacular in religious service, they still maintained correspondence with each other in Latin and wrote many of their treatises in this language. The art of printing presented the same phenomenon: both vernacular and Latin (especially academic works), were produced and distributed. Calvin's "Catechism" of 1545, written in Latin, was soon translated into many languages, even into Greek and Hebrew. Thereby Calvin reached his goal of promoting unity of faith between the different reformation churches. The fact that the catechism was written in Latin gave it a special status as church-historical document: a symbol of Calvin's hope for church unity.

Key concepts: Calvin; catechism; church unity; Latin


 

 

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