Original Research

The mirror metaphor in Calvin’s Institutes: A central epistemological notion?

E. Kayayan
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 30, No 4 | a1587 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v30i4.1587 | © 1996 E. Kayayan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 June 1996 | Published: 12 June 1996

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E. Kayayan,, South Africa

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In this article it will be argued that the metaphor of the mirror presents the characteristics of a central image in Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion. This metaphor manages to crystallize several constitutive elements of a religious epistemology which seemingly cannot be articulated in a satisfactory way without having recourse to it. As a form of dynamic accommodation, the Calvinian mirror image provokes an illumination and restores vision. It endeavours to offer a faithful reflection, even though not complete, mainly of otherwise invisible realities, thus rendering possible the knowledge thereof. "Mankind knowing itself", which becomes knowing only when it manages to envisage itself as a mirror, is another object subjected to the mirror's dynamics.


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