When most of us think about the history of Reformed theology, if we think about it at all, we tend to think first of Calvin and then we typically jump to Jonathan Edwards, then perhaps to Princeton and thence to our own time but a lot happened in between Calvin and Princeton. For many of us, outside of Edwards and Whitefield, the story of what happened to Reformed theology, piety and practice in the 18th century is a lost story. After all, when we think of Geneva today we think of the Red Cross and the United Nations. We might think of Rousseau and Voltaire and then Calvin but how do all those phases of Geneva’s life story fit together?
Dr Jennifer Powell McNutt is Associate Professor of Theology and the History of Christianity at Wheaton College, where she has taught since 2008. She earned her PhD at the University of St Andrews in Reformation studies and she’s the author of Calvin Meets Voltaire: The Clergy of Geneva during the Age of Enlightenment, 1685-1798, Eighteenth-Century Studies Series (Ashgate: Jan. 2014). She was on campus earlier this year to talk to our students about what happened to the Reformed faith and practice in Geneva in the 18th century.
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