Jean Senebier (1742-1809) and ‘Reasonable Calvinism’

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Abstract

Jean Senebier (1742-1809) is now primarily remembered as one of the librarians of the Library of Geneva and as a naturalist who investigated plant physiology and contributed to the discovery of the process of photosynthesis. Despite some exceptions, his theological and religious thought has not received the attention it deserves. In this exploratory essay, it will be investigated whether there is continuity of discontinuity between his theological and religious ideas and those of a number of important representatives of what has been called „reasonable Calvinism‟, such as Jean-Alphonse Turrettini (1671-1737), Jacob Vernet (1698-1789), and Charles Bonnet (1720-1793), whose work Senebier knew all too well. After having introduced Senebier, I shall first characterise the religious and theological views of the three abovementioned „reasonable Calvinists‟. Next, I shall discuss Senebier‟s views on the relation between reason and revelation. It will become clear that despite some differences there was an important continuity between the religious and theological views of Turrettini, Vernet, Bonnet and Senebier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-26
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Science and Theology
Volume16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Jean Senebier
  • Geneva
  • Reasonable Calvinism

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