Thursday, April 16, 2015

Frowning their disapproval

I suspect the four ministers on Geneva's Reformation Wall would have been shocked to see those scantily-glad students (including, horror of horrors women) doing weird things (exercises) and having fun.

The four men standing over five-meters are:
  • Theodore Beza (1519–1605)
  • John Calvin (1509–1564)
  • William Farel (1489–1565)
  • John Knox (c.1513–1572)      
They were anything but fun loving. Ask Mary Queen of Scots about her nemesis Knox.

Dour is an understatement. One person described their faces as hate-filled. The first time I saw the wall, I went home and took a shower to wash away the creepy feeling the wall left me with.

A minister friend of mine who was visiting saw the wall and shuddered. Later, walking through the Paquis area of the city, where the hookers hang out, he said he liked that part of the city more.  He thought there was more life in the women than those early Calvinists whose philosophy restricted so much of the beautiful things in life.

The wall is located in the park which includes the University of Geneva, founded by Calvin 350+ years ago.

There is something about walking through the halls of the university and knowing so much learning has gone on. The curriculum has expanded greatly from its original theology and law concentrations. By European standards it might be considered expensive at 500CHF per semester. Today the dollar and CHF are about one to one.

Calvin and his cohorts probably not approve of much of what is going on at the university today. Still much good has come out of their narrow-minded, joyless philosophy in spite of them all.

Stained glass windows of the University of Geneva.

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