Calvin Congress Convenes
About a hundred Calvin scholars gathered in Princeton in August for the
eighth quadrennial International Congress on Calvin Research. Founded in
Europe in the early 1970s, the congress, thought to be the most eminent
gathering of Calvin scholars in the world, held its first meeting in
Amsterdam in 1974.
PTS professor Elsie McKee (front row, second from left) with fellow
members of the Calvin Congress planning committee.
The five-day event consisted of presentations, discussion, music, and
visits to local sites of interest to Reformed historians (Old Dutch
Parsonage, which is a museum, and the Old Tennent Church).
Elsie McKee, PTS professor of Reformation studies and the conference’s
local arrangements host, called the event “a working congress, a study
time.” Her presentation was titled “Calvin and His Colleagues As Pastors:
New Insights into the Collegial Ministry of Word and Sacraments in
Calvin’s Geneva.” Other scholars presented papers on a wide range of
Music also played an important role in the meeting—reflecting the fact
that sung psalms were an important element in worship in Calvin’s Geneva
“There was a rich selection of music, both
instrumental and vocal, from the Genevan French Reformed Psalter and from
psalters of the other languages of the Reformed tradition,” she said,
“both historical texts from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries and more
contemporary texts and settings from around the Reformed world, including
from Indonesia and Japan. Texts were sung in 11 languages: French,
English, German, Dutch, Italian, Hungarian, Romansch, Gaelic, Indonesian,
Afrikaans, and Japanese.”
Scholars welcomed the chance to reflect
at Princeton Seminary on Calvin’s worldwide influence through the
has included a significant influence on this very campus.