Calvin's reform of education in 16th century Geneva and its application to the Japanese context
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The purpose of this study is to examine the reform of education in 16th century Geneva by the Protestant reformer John Calvin and to show its application to the context of mission in Japan. Before Calvin committed himself to the reform of Geneva, he himself received various influences for his own formation. The first chapter of this study examines each aspect of his educational background. Among the schools and the teachers he met, it was Mathurin Cordier, Calvin’s first teacher of Latin, who influenced him most. Cordier was for Calvin the ideal educator who could integrate knowledge and piety in a Christlike character. Calvin maintained his great respect for his life-long master until he closed his eyes. The second chapter studies the realization of Calvin’s thought on education. Calvin’s aim in reform was that everyone in the city of Geneva, regardless of age, should be educated by the word of God. However, he also laid a great emphasis on the education of future generations. He himself drafted catechisms and ordered each household to study them daily. Secondly, he and his followers established the Academy of Geneva for the education of youth and future ministers and civic leaders. Calvin’s Academy was a highly innovative institution, and later became the model for many Christian schools and seminaries. This study examines the principles and programs of the academy. The third chapter deals with Calvin’s understanding of humanity which should be the foundation for education. We examine how his doctrine of man influences his idea of education. Finally, the last chapter studies the present situation of educational ministries in Japan. We examine the challenges and attempt to present a way of applying Calvin’s educational ideas in order to show their relevance to Christian education in Japan.