Where From – Where To
Papers read at the Conference on Calvin Balatonfüred (Hungary), 4-6th April 1995
Edited by the Calvin
Research Section of John Calvin Alliance and
Preface by M. Márkus and I. Karasszon by Dr. Loránt Hegedűs
The author (Bishop of the Danubian Reformed Church District) praises the historical role of Calvin’s thought in Hungary and that of the ensuing Calvinism in past and present. The study tries to show up the significance of Calvin research pointing to the harmony of God–Mankind–World and ends by reaffirming the christological concentration of Reformed theology.
Dr. Barna Nagy's Calvin Researches, by Dr. Richárd Hörcsik
The author commemorates the great Hungarian researcher died in 1969, describes his life, delineates his periods of research, highlights his insights into the political theology of J. Calvin, appreciates his translation of Calvin’s works, assesses his editorial activity of Calvin’s sermons and acknowledges him as the organizer of the Hungarian research of Calvin in the 60’s. The study suggests that much of B. Nagy’s activities is still to be discovered and published, and wishes to set forth the path blazed by the great scholar.
A History of the Translations Calvin’s Works into Hungarian, by Dr. Mihály Bihary.
The author tries to give an exhaustive sketch of how Hungarians appropriatcd Calvin’s thoughts by means of translations in the course of centuries. He reviews first the translations of the Catéchisme de Genéve and of the Institutes in the 16th and 17th centuries, then lists the Hungarian speaking literature on Calvin in the 19th century and describes the publishing activity in the last 100 years. In digressions he tackles the Hungarian translations of Calvin’s letters, Calvin’s prayers, Calvin’s sermons, Calvin’s commentaries and finally Calvin’s biographies written by Hungarian scholars. In the Appendices he gives the bibliographical data of the Hungarian publications.
Experiences of the Calvin Conferences, by Dr. Wilhelm H. Neuser.
The paper was read in German („Die bisherigen Erfahrungen mit den Calvin-Konferenzen”) and intended to give a brief account of the organisations which regularly hold congresses and conferences on Calvin. The paper evaluates their methods: Lectures and seminars, mentions the advantages and disadvantages of a central theme, and draws attention to the difficulties of Calvin research. In the author’s opinion there are dogmatical, exegetical and „weltanschaulich” hindrances in understanding Calvin’s thoughts. He stresses the importance of language ability in Calvin research and submits suggestions to the Hungarian Calvin Research Section such as holding conferences (in co-operation with West-European Calvin researchers), educating the next generation of Calvin researches (seminars in Theological Schools), delegating members to the International Calvin Congress and translating and propagating Calvin’s works in Hungarian.
Future Tasks of the International Research on Calvin, by Dr. Wilhelm H. Neuser.
The paper was read in German („Künftige Aufgaben der internationalen Calvinforschung”); the author summarizes his experiences as secretary to the International Calvin Congress and reports on the major achievement in the field of „Forschungsberichte” (historical sketch of the research), „Wirkungsgeschichte” (the impact of J. Calvin), Calvin’s biography, Calvin’s commenting on the Bible, Calvin and the Church Fathers, Calvin and scholasticism, Calvin and his contemporaries; he also mentions some recent subjects. Promising fields are the research on Calvin’s epistemology, on his major, distinctive ideas, on his commenting on apocalypticism, on the doctrine of the Holy Communien and of the ministry, on providence, Church discipline and on Two-Regiments-doctrine in Calvin.
Methodological Implications of Calvin Research, by Dr. István Karasszon
The author draws attention to the Hungarian translations of Calvin’s works and underscores the importance of setting forth the tradition of the Hungarian-speaking Calvin research. Besides he stresses the significance of language abilities in promoting Calvin studies in Hungary, especially Latin and French reading is suggested. The aim of any Calvin research in Hungary will consist, in the author’s opinion, in breaking the isolation of the portrait of Calvin in the Hungarian mind. Historically, as well as theologically, the context of Calvin’s activities should be uncovered and put into the original framework.
The Commemoration of the 300-Year-Anniversary of Calvin’s Death in Hungary, by Dr. János Csohány.
The author quotes the contemporary documents which deseribed how the four Church districts commemorated itt 1864 the death of the Reformer: The idea of commemorating was issued by the Transdanubian District and the other districts joined in large-scale organizations, except for the Transtibiscan District which refused all kind of festival activities referring to the spirit of the Reformer which was, allegedly, contrary to the festivals. The study reviews the first Hungarian speaking biography of Calvin, written by I. Révész Sen., which raised country-wide interest. Going into the details of the commemorations the author underscores that in many places Lutherans, Roman Catholics and also Jews joined the Reformed Church in commemorating the death of the ’Champion of Christian faith’, testifying thus to the ecumenical spirit in Hungary in the former century.
Calvin Literature in the Reformed College of Debrecen, by Csaba Fekete.
On the basis of the finding of the Library of the College, the author argues that Calvin was the major teacher of the Hungarian Reformed Church in the 16th and 17th centuries, even though a kind of pluralism prevailed in the curriculum of the College. The Chief Librarian Fekete describes the interesting history of the most important ancient books and provides the reader with a valuable list of the major editions of Calvin’s works and the historical literature dealing with Calvin’s theology.
Calvin Literature in the Scientific Collection of Pápa, by László Köntös.
In view of the turbulent history of the Reformed College of Pápa, it is not possible to uncover the traces of the origin of Calvinism in the Transdanubian District, as the author argues. Nevertheless, there are some interesting copies of ancient Calvin editions. The possessors’ remarks are valuable; indeed they enable us to write a brief account of the spreading of Calvinism in the decades and centuries subsequent to the Reformation. Besides, the author includes a catalogue of Calvin’s works existing in the Pápa Library.
Calvin Literature in the Library of the Scientific Collection of the Reformed College of Sárospatak, by Mihály Szentimrei.
On the basis of ancient historical sources, the author gives a brief account of the origin of the Library and the works of Calvin which presumably were there. However, in the 17th century devastation most of there works went lost; the major part of the Library consists of works collected only later. Some of the remained ancient books are highly valuable. The author lists them and offers the help of the co-workers of the Library in Calvin research.
On the Occasion of the Reprint Edition of Calvin’s Institutes in Hungary, by Kálmán Tarr.
The author (Director of John Calvin Publishing House, Budapest) reports on the financial and organisational background of the reprint edition and affirms the engagement of the Publishing House to editing Calvin’s works. He also mentions the idea of a new translation. However, limited financial possibilities call for realistic actions. First, all the works should be reprinted which are not available any more. Then it seems necessary that the Publishing House, the Collegium Doctorum of the Reformed Church and the Calvin Research Section coordinate their activities.
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