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John Calvin, Creation, and the Liturgical Arts

2020 Calvin Symposium on Worship | Seminar

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While both friend and foe of John Calvin have regarded him as an enemy of the physical body, a pessimist about the material creation, and a negative influence on the liturgical arts, that would tell only half the story—and be far from the more interesting story. This seminar explored ways in which Calvin, standing at the headwaters of the Reformed tradition, represents a rich resource for the arts in worship, even if not in the ways one might initially suppose. More specifically, Calvin’s theology of creation opens up a trinitarian grammar by which we might understand the theological purposes of music, painting, architecture, poetry, and other media of art in corporate worship.