The doctrine of the cross: A conversation between St. Augustine and John Calvin
LE3 .A278 2011
Master of Arts
Acadia Divinity College
This thesis explores the convergences and divergences between St. Augustine and John Calvin‟s doctrines of the cross. Although many suggest that Calvin was essentially Augustinian, this paper investigates that assumption. Through an examination of their respective contexts and influential belief systems, the foundational principles and key concepts of their respective doctrines of the cross are surveyed. While appreciating each theologian‟s theological heritage, the author interacts with Augustine and Calvin‟s teachings on the cross before having them interact with each other. As a result, a three-way conversation occurs about the cross of Christ that enables the author to gain insights about the cross from two of the greatest theologians in the history of Western Christianity. At the same time this dialogue reveals the uniqueness of Augustine and Calvin‟s own beliefs on this critical subject to the Christian faith. In conclusion, Calvin is fundamentally Augustinian; however, he goes beyond Augustine at points while also introducing the justice of God into his doctrine of the cross that Augustine did not highlight.
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