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Calvin's Company of Pastors: Pastoral Care and the Emerging Reformed Church, 1536-1609

(Oxford Studies in Historical Theology)

4.71  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In Calvin's Company of Pastors, Scott Manetsch examines the pastoral theology and practical ministry activities of Geneva's reformed ministers from the time of Calvin's arrival in Geneva until the beginning of the seventeenth century. During these seven decades, more than 130 men were enrolled in Geneva's Venerable Company of Pastors (as it was called), including notable r ...more
Hardcover, 428 pages
Published December 28th 2012 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 2012)
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4.71  · 
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 ·  59 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Peter Jones
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have read in quite some time.

First, the scholarship is top notch. Manetsch knows so much about that time period in Geneva. For example, he explores the differences between rural and city pastors, the impact it had on Geneva that many of her pastors were French refugees, the different types of writings the pastors published, and the various troubles that occurred in worship. His mastery of the source material is evident throughout the book.

Second, the writing is really g
Clayton Hutchins
It is difficult to overstate the importance of this book. The value it holds for contemporary ministers, or aspiring ministers, in the Reformed tradition is simply tremendous, to say nothing of the landmark it is in the realm of Calvin scholarship. Manetsch has written a masterpiece of what I would call devotional scholarship. What is it? It's a biography, but not of one man, but of one man's vision for pastoring a sixteenth-century town, and of the company of men who shared that vision and soug ...more
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A remarkable study of social history in Reformation Geneva from 1536-1609. As many others have noted, this book is especially insightful for pastors and other ministry leaders performing on the ground works of ministry. It is also helpful to see the practical outworking of much of Calvin's theology of the church and pastoral ministry (e.g. ministry during the plague, baptism & the Lord's Supper for children, the limits of catechesis, etc.).

In addition, there are plenty of stories that highl
Aaron Ventura
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating and very funny at times. Manetsch gives us a tour of pastoral life in Geneva and ably describes the inner workings, tensions, fights, and fruit of Calvin’s company of pastors. Highly recommend for those in ministry.
vittore paleni
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, in more ways than one!
Eric Chappell
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-reading
A well-researched, -written, -planned book. I really enjoyed it.

Three reoccurring themes: 1) Genevan ministers can't be appreciated apart from understanding the religious nature of their sense of vocation; 2) Calvin and Co. were not ivory-tower theologians, but for them theology was always practical; 3) Beza & Co. protected Calvin's legacy but did make subtle changes due to practical challenges.

Chapter 1: Geneva and Her Reformation
Fascinating introduction to the reformation in Geneva. It wa
Ryan Handermann
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
6 stars.

Required reading for reformed pastors.

Few books I read are worth every single page.
Michael Philliber
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An instructive, impassioned, insightful work on the period of 1536 to 1609 in Calvin's Geneva. The primary areas of focus deal with (1) pastoral care as envisioned and implemented by Calvin and carried on by Beza and others; (2) pastoral camaraderie forged in Calvin's Reformed Church of Geneva, how it looked, and the way it continued to function for decades after Calvin's death.

This work, so it seems to me, rightly rehearses the various textures of the historical situation, and much of the reaso
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just fantastic. Superbly researched without overkill. Especially interesting is how these pastors worked together and saw their individual roles as part of a greater good. While not riveting, Manetsch takes potentially boring material and turns it into a vivid portrait of ministerial life in Geneva.

(Possibly only useful to other pastors or historians interested in the development of the pastoral office in Protestant churches.)
Phillip Howell
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Pastors and historians will love this book, the average lay person would likely get bored. I found it a really helpful perspective of what ministry was like in 16th century.
Nick Roark
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Peter B.
I am glad I took the time to read this book, as it gave me a unique look into how pastoral ministry operated in a different time and different culture. And not any time and culture, but a very important one: Reformation Geneva. This book focuses not only on Calvin's pastoral ministry, but on the efforts of the whole company of pastors that applied Calvin's theology and biblical teachings to the practical and complex life of a city.

This book's practicality for us today is very well expressed nea
Pete Williamson
Manetsch has provided us with an in-depth study of the Reformed Church in Geneva beginning in the time of Calvin. In my experience, too many people have opinions about Calvin and the Reformation without knowing very much about them. This is one book that would help one develop an informed perspective. This is also a valuable addition to the pastor's library as Manetsch provides in some detail how the pastoral ministry was understood and carried out.
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I think every pastor, at whatever stage, will find great encouragement from this academic work. Every pastor should be well grounded in his knowledge of history, and what better era than Calvin's Geneva. This is one of my favorite books I've read this year.

The hardback is currently priced at $70, so perhaps a local library can offer it (or InterLibrary Loan). Last time I looked online, I know they're planning on releasing a paperback version in 2015, which I'm sure will be more affordable.
Feb 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sarah by:
Beautiful, sensitive, and thorough historical work. Each chapter could easily have been a book unto itself.
Zach Hollifield
Superb. Historically intriguing and pastorally encouraging and challenging.
Stephen Davis
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Scott M. Manetsch (PhD, University of Arizona) is professor of church history at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is the associate general editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture and the author of Calvin's Company of Pastors: Pastoral Care and the Emerging Reformed Church, 1536-1609.

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