„Ha bűnöket látunk, nincs annál veszedelmesebb járvány”. Kálvin János a homoszexualitásról és fajtalankodásról

Magyar Balázs Dávid: „Ha bűnöket látunk, nincs annál veszedelmesebb járvány”. Kálvin János a homoszexualitásról és fajtalankodásról. In: Református Szemle 112.1 (2019), 17-48. pp.

John Calvin transformed the theology and law of sex, marriage and family life. Building on a generation of Protestant reformers, Calvin constructed a comprehensive new theology and law that made the conclusion and dissolution of marriage, the nurturing and welfare of children, family cohesion and support, sexual sin and crime essential concerns for both church and state. He drew the Consistory and Council of Geneva into a creative new alliance to guide and govern the reformation of the intimate domestic sphere. Calvin and his colleagues applied and adapted this new theology in hundreds of marriage and family-related lawsuits that were passed before the Consistory each year. „He set out his theological and ethical reforms in rich number of sermons, commentaries, and systematic writings” (John Witte). Despite the efforts of the Consistory and Council of Geneva, there were numerous cases of homosexuality, paedophilia, sexual assault, and bestiality, which made Calvin constantly anxious. He believed, if magistrates do not punish sexual crimes (e.g. adultery, fornication, sodomy), “a door will be thrown open for any kind of treachery, for poisoning, and murder, and robbery” and “Paul therefore denounces punishment not only on adulterers, but also on fornicators, for both depart from the holy institution of God”. For this reason, Calvin admitted, it would be good to drive out such public fornicators from the city in order to avoid scandals and to keep them from abusing themselves by fornication. Calvin’s legal and theological standpoint was: there is a greater danger in not punishing the crime or hiding the punishment, than in exerting a public and exemplary punishment with the aim of prevention. This is why the Genevan Council applied death penalty so often. But Calvin continued to preach about the Grace of God day after day...