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Title: Calvin and the Turks
Author(s): SLOMP, Jan
Journal: Studies in Interreligious Dialogue
Volume: 19    Issue: 1   Date: 2009   
Pages: 50-65
DOI: 10.2143/SID.19.1.2036228

Abstract :
During his lifetime John Calvin faced political and religious threats from Islam. The fleet and armies of Sultan Sulayman the Magnificent (1494-1566) dominated the Mediterranean Sea and Eastern Europe and in 1529 his armies besieged Vienna. Calvin took his own king Francis of France to task for allowing his Turkish allies against Habsburg more religious freedom on the soil of France than the followers of the Reformation. Unlike Erasmus and Luther, Calvin did not publish a single special study on Islam. But the many references to Turks and their religion in his works, Bible commentaries, letters and especially sermons, show a great pastoral concern. Calvin never made an effort to study Islam properly in spite of the fact that his own publisher Oporin in Basel had printed the first Latin translation of the Qur’ân (1543). Consequently he was not aware of the fact that his theology of religion contains points of contact for dialogue with Muslims.

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