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In this article, I discuss the Protestant contribution to the modern concept of autonomy on the basis of an analysis of John Calvin's moral theology. I show that Calvin affirms our incapacity to know and want what is morally good, as expressed by natural law. Such incapacity is compensated for by the biblical mandates that, according to Calvin, should be incorporated into the positive legislation of Christian republics. In view of all this, I conclude that Calvin is far from the Kantian idea of autonomy which defines our Modernity.
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Keywords: Autonomy; Biblical law; Calvin; Christian Ethics; Law; Natural Law; modernity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Dpto FilosofĂ­a Moral y PolĂ­tica, UNED-Humanidades, Senda del rey 7, 28040 Madrid, Spain., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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