Jean Calvin, Heart in Hand

  • Marjorie O’Rourke Boyle


This study investigates Jean Calvin’s reform of the scholastic psychology of the mind by the biblical law of the heart. It interprets his personal seal, the cloven heart in hand, for all hearts as divided between hypocrisy and sincerity. Calvin condemned the philosophical faculties of the soul residing in the heart as disabled toward salvation by original sin. The heart was a stony deformity until the Spirit extracted it and implanted a soft healthy heart imprinted with his own seal. It fleshes out Calvin’s portrait by revealing him on the soulful affects in cardiac physiology and humoral theory. It discloses his basis in Aristotelian physics for the Spirit’s intrinsic movement in recreating the fallen heart to sanctification by recreating its natural intrinsic movement to evil.

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marjorie O’Rourke Boyle
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Medieval StudiesUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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