Review of Gunther Haas: 'The Concept of Equity in Calvin's Ethics'
Studies in Christian Ethics, Vol. 12, p. 107-110, 1999
4 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2011 Last revised: 21 Nov 2017
Date Written: 1999
The main contention of this important volume is that “equity is the theme of central importance for Calvin’s social ethic.” The author’s main and novel contention is that Calvin’s distinction between “civil” or “external” morality and “spiritual” or “internal” morality is also based on two modes of interpreting the moral norms of conscience and the Bible. This is a convincing argument. His further claims, however, that Calvin developed a unique concept of equity and made it central to his social ethics are less convincing. While equity was clearly important for Calvin, it is not clear that it was the central theme of his social ethics, nor is it clear that Calvin’s views on equity were so unique when read against the rich tradition of Greek philosophy, Roman law, and the medieval ius commune.
Keywords: John Calvin; Günther Haas; Equity; Social Ethics; Canon Law; Aristotle
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