But to a Genevan
magistrate, whose mind was occupied by far other ideas than those of devotion and heroism, this elevation of mind had much the appearance of madness.
Even as they sought the purity of Christ's Church, the Genevan
pastors endeavored to provide assistance and guidance for the people of God as they struggled with personal sin and plodded along the pilgrim's path of repentance, forgiveness, and restoration.
Naphy cites his own research almost exclusively, squandering an opportunity to signal trends in the social, political, and cultural history of Geneva, including the editorial projects of Genevan
archive documents that both stem from and nourish these research interests.
This one-sided emphasis on his person obscures the fact that Vernet wrote a shelf of books and was such an influential figure that he was the representative Genevan
theologian of his day.
While many of their institutional features were modeled after the Genevan
church and were shaped by Calvin's ideas, the ecclesiological views of Martin Bucer, Pierre Viret, and John a Lasco were also important influences, as were the institutional models provided by the early Reformed churches in the Pays de Vaud and the refugee churches of Strasbourg and London.
Academy and Reformed Higher Education, 1560-1620.
In her final chapter Backus evaluates the historical attitudes that shaped the works of Lutherans (Melanchthon's Chronicon Carionis [but does not address the contribution of Caspar Peucer to this work, studied recently by Uwe Neddermeyer and Barbara Bauer], David Chytraeus, Flacius's Catalogus and the Genevan
Calvinist Simon Goulart's reworking of it, the Magdeburg Centuries) and Roman Catholics (Conrad Braun, Caesar Baronius, and two Catalogs of Heretics).
Scanning my bookshelf, I note an Anglican author who celebrates an Anglican Donne; a Catholic who discovers a crypto-Catholic Donne; a Catholicturned-Anglican who admits to a guilty, apostate Donne; a Lutheran who enforces Donne's Lutheranism; a Calvinist whose Donne capitulates to the Genevan
's lex terribilis; a skeptic for whom Donne doubts; an atheist for whom Donne feigns piety; a feminist whose Donne worships Sophia; and so on.
A hagiographical tone colors much that is said about the Genevan
reformer and his spiritual descendants.
Naphy extensively mined the Registres du Conseil and criminal trial records in the Genevan
State Archives for details of episodes and subsequent trials of engraisseurs, most notably in 1530, 1545, and 1570-71.
Thus, to note just two examples from my own field of specialization, we have unearthed a staggering wealth of new sources pertaining to the sixteenth-century Anabaptists, even as the records of the Genevan
Consistory in the sixteenth century have become more accessible, throwing important light on the way the Anabaptists and the Genevan
church functioned.(15) On the whole, however, it is not that new unearthed "facts" have altered the traditional understanding; rather, new perspectives have been imposed on old facts that were known, but ignored.
In general the Genevan
and Zurich interpretations avoid associating the imagery of the text with any concrete personages or events of their own time.