Posted by: Michael Dewalt | December 31, 2008

Separation of Church and State – Calvin Style

One of our Calvin500 Plenary speakers, John Witte, is speaking at a conference hosted by the Meeter Center:
January 7, 2009, Fine Arts Center

The opening speaker for the 2009 January Series will be John Witte Jr., Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law and Ethics and Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University.

John Calvin called for the separation of church and state but not the division of religion and politics. He advocated human rights but always with corresponding religious duties. He accepted democracy and rule of law but within the confines of a refined and rigorous Christian republicanism. In this lecture celebrating the 500th anniversary of Calvin’s birth, one of the world’s leading scholars of law and religion assesses Calvin’s political legacy and its enduring lessons for us still today.



  1. Is it possible to flesh these ideas out a bit as I will not be able to attend your conferences. I am from South Africa and without the means to attend.

    Are there perhaps online articles that cover these ideas by Calvin?

    • flesh out? i am not the one to do so, you can check calvin college and seminary and see what they have is the only place i could direct ya as of now, or email me latter at okay!

  2. Hi, William.

    You may find chapter 19 of A Theological Guide to Calvin’s Institutes:
    Essays and Analysis
    to be helpful. Chapter 19 is titled “Calvin on Human Government and the
    State” and is an exposition of Book 4, Chapter 20 of Calvin’s Institutes.

  3. William,
    Here’s the link:

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