The Calvinist Reformation is characterized above all by a focus on church discipline enforced by church courts known as consistories. The Geneva consistory served as the model and mother institution throughout the Calvinist world. In this book, Robert M. Kingdon surveys the theoretical underpinnings of the Calvinist emphasis on discipline and how theory was put into practice by John Calvin in Reformation Geneva.
Professor Kingdon looks in turn at how the Geneva consistory and the pastors and councilors who staffed it reformed religious practice, religious education and marriage practices. Finally, Robert M. Kingdon uses the emotion of hatred as a lens to examine how Calvin and his colleagues attempted to reform emotions. He delves into the way in which Calvin and his colleagues employed the consistory to attenuate interpersonal hatred, while employing propaganda to whip up interconfessional hatred.
Robert M. Kingdon was America's pre-eminent scholar of the Calvinist Reformation. Thomas A. Lambert wrote his doctoral thesis on the Genevan Reformation under Professor Kingdon and has since been his collaborator on a series of critical editions of the Registers of the Geneva Consistory, also published by Droz. Thomas A. Lambert helped Robert Kingdon finish this long-planned work, based on his 1999 Stone Lectures at the Princeton Theological Seminary.
A scholar to the end, Kingdon was able to read and approve all substantive changes to this work just three days before his passing in December 2010. This final work from Professor Kingdon deserves a place on the shelf of all Reformation scholars.