The Theologian's Almanac: July 14, 2012


John Calvin
Before moving on to today's cast, we should note that this past Tuesday, July 10th, marked John Calvin's 503rd birthday. Do make your way over to Travis's post on July's Book 'O the Month, which is Bernard Cottret’s Calvin: A Biography (also featured at the top of the left sidebar).

Cardinal Jules Mazarin
Born this day in 1602, Giulio Raimondo Mazzarino would go on to succeed Cardinal Richelieu as the chief minister of France, and aid Anne of Austria during her regency until Louis XIV came of age to rule France. Throughout his term in office, Mazarin was unwilling to restore the protections the Huguenots had received under the Edict of Nantes. Mazarin died March 9, 1661.

Pasquier Quesnel
It's the birthday of Pasquier Quesnel, who was born in 1634 in Paris. After graduating from the Sorbonne, he joined the French Oratory, where he cultivated Jansenist sympathies. For this he was banished from Paris in 1681. As a Jansenist theologian, he wrote a devotional text commenting on the New Testament, which the Jesuits attacked with vigor.

Edward Benson
Archbishop of Canterbury, Edward Benson, was born this day in 1829. After an early career in education and serving as the first bishop of Truro, he was enthroned on March 29, 1883 and reigned until his death on October 11, 1896. Benson also created the order for the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, celebrated primarily by Anglicans, but also by Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Presbyterians on Christmas Eve.

Franklin Graham
Today is the birthday of Billy Graham's son, Franklin Graham, who was born in 1952. He has followed in his father's footsteps as an American evangelist and missionary. He heads both the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse. In recent years he has received criticism owing to several statements related to Islam, Barack Obama, and same-sex marriage legislation.


Deusdedit of Canterbury
There is much debate over the details of Deusdedit and his life, including his name. Among the contenders are Frithona, Frithuwine, and Frithonas; it is most likely that he took the name Deusdedit, which means "God has given," at his consecration as the Archbishop of Canterbury in 655. He was the sixth Archbishop of Canterbury, but the first native Briton to hold that office. Another debatable item is the date of his death, the most likely date being July 14, 664.

Richard Taverner
Born c. 1505, Richard Taverner's work aimed to stimulate the Reformation in England. Under Thomas Cromwell, and with Henry VIII's blessing, Taverner produced an English translation of the Bible and commentary. He would spend time in the Tower of London once Cromwell lost favor with the king. He worked as a preacher under the Protestant monarchs, Edward VI and Elizabeth I, but avoided public life during the reign of Queen Mary. Taverner died July 14, 1575.

August Neander
Born January 17, 1789 at Göttingen as David Mendel, he took the name Johann August Wilhelm Neander at his baptism on February 25, 1806. At 17, Neander began studying divinity at Halle, where he studied under Friedrich Schleiermacher, whose conception of Christian feeling significantly shaped Neander's own theology; his motto would become, "Pectus est quod theologum facit" ("The heart is what makes the theologian"). Neander excelled at his theological studies and developed an enduring interest in church history. He served as professor of theology at both Heidelberg and Berlin. After writing several substantial monographs, Neander began work on his five-volume church history, including a sixth posthumous volume, which took the series up to the 15th century. He died at Berlin on July 14, 1850.

Thomas Hazelhurst
"The Chapel Builder," as he was called, Thomas Hazelhurst was an English Wesleyan who put his wealth to building 12 Methodist chapels and three schools between 1848 and 1875 in Runcorn, Widnes, and Cheshire. He was a very active member of his church community, and even served as the organist for the Brunswick chapel. He died July 14, 1876.



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