Sauer, James Books

Faithful Ethics According to John Calvin the Teachability of the Heart
1997 0-7734-8521-X
This volume argues that neither theoretical nor confessional approaches to the relationship of faith and ethics can adequately address the issues involved. It draws on conceptual tools from the work of Bernard Lonergan to show that attention needs to shift from content to method. Using the work of John Calvin, it shows that faith shaped ethics. The volume contains an annotated translation and extended commentary of Calvin's Letter to Sachinus on Lending at Interest. This text is generally recognized by economic historians as an important one for understanding the development of early modern capitalism. The translators of existing versions in French and English do not have a background in Renaissance economic history, and this version corrects some problems with those texts. The commentary provides a substantial analysis of classical and Renaissance views of what an economy is and the meaning of economic transactions in human living. It places Calvin's theological work into the context of the general ethical dynamism of the Renaissance. This reappraisal of Calvin's thought will most certainly generate debate among moral theologians and specialists of Calvin. It also provides evidence of the relevance of these conceptual tools for the studies of history and theological ethics.