Original Research

An exploration of the idea of ecodomy in Calvin's view of God and the world: Its implications for churches in South Africa today

Jerry Pillay
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 36, No 3 | a1474 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v36i3.1474 | © 2015 Jerry Pillay | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 May 2015 | Published: 27 October 2015

About the author(s)

Jerry Pillay, Department of Church History and Church Polity, University of Pretoria, South Africa


The Faculty of Theology chose as its theme oikodome, which speaks about the fullness of life for all. This article explored this theme by looking at John Calvin’s understanding of God and the world. In this article, working from the premise of the sovereignty of God, the author attempted to show that undergirding Calvin’s theology is the idea of oikodome. The author showed that for Calvin everything in life is connected to God and thus the idea of oikodome is deeply rooted in Calvin’s theology. The author illustrated this by examining significant themes in Calvin’s teachings on the Trinitarian God, creation, humanity and providence, state and church, transformation of society, concern for the poor, and education. The author used this information to show what implications the idea of oikodome has for churches in South Africa today, especially in the context of poverty and struggle. The author calls on churches to embrace the theological foundation explicated by Calvin in their endeavour to work toward the fullness of life for all people.


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