Conscience As Court And Worm: Calvin And The Three Elements Of Conscience

Journal of Religious Ethics 14 (2):333-355 (1986)
Although Calvin does not examine the nature and function of conscience in his typically systematic fashion, this article contends that a fairly consistent and coherent view of conscience emerges from the two metaphors accompanying Calvin's frequent appeals to conscience. Calvin utilizes judicial metaphors when dealing with the cognitive element and metaphors of violence when addressing the emotive element of conscience. Through these metaphors Calvin represents conscience as a process of casuistic reasoning and, more innovatively, as impervious to the corruptions of self-deception. This innovation enables Calvin to offer some constructive insights into the repressed conscience and to jettison the will as a necessary component of conscience
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