by BENYAMIN F. INTAN in Vol. 6 No. 2 / Oct 2020


In 1974, Martin Marty first introduced the term public theology, and it has since gained popularity. However, the reality of public theology has long been a part of the church’s witness and should continue to be one of the church’s essential tasks. John Calvin’s view of public theology has impacted modern politics, both on the democratic movement and the development of Western law and human rights. Not a few have accused him of inhibiting freedom and democratic ideals. Here, I will discuss Calvin’s political thought and also identify a few themes that were later developed by his followers, especially the neo-Calvinist movement initiated by Abraham Kuyper, and which provide foundational concepts for building a pluralistic and tolerant democratic society.

Public Theology, Neo-Calvinism, John Calvin, Abraham Kuyper, Church-state Relationship, Sphere Sovereignty
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