Magyar Balázs Dávid

Baltazár Dezső Református Ál­talános Iskola, Bocskai István Gimnázium

Publications: 12

Dr. Magyar Balázs Dávid Kálvin-kutató, a hajdúböszörményi Baltazár Dezső Református Ál­talános Iskola és a Bocskai István Gimnázium etika- és vallástanára Debrecenben és Kampenben végezte egyetemi tanulmányait. Kálvin életét és szociáletikáját Kampenben (2008), Genfben (2009), a Grand Rapids-i (USA) H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studiesban (2010, 2014, 2017) és Var­sóban (2012) kutatta. Doktori címet a Debreceni Református Hittudományi Egyetemen szerzett a „Nem jó az embernek egyedül lenni.” Kálvin János, a házassági és családi életformára való nevelés reformátora című dolgozatával (2016). Jogi tanulmányokat a Debreceni Egyetem Állam- és Jogtudományi Ka­rán folytatott, ahol 2018-ban joghallgatóként szerzett abszolutóriumot. 2013 és 2018 között e kar jogtörténeti műhelyének, a Praetor Szakkollégiumnak tagja. 2014 májusában első helyezést ért el a Károli Gáspár Református Egyetem Állam- és Jogtudományi Kara által meghirdetett Református értékek a jogban – Kálvin nyomában témájú pályázatán. 2014–2017 között a reformáció-emlékbizottság tudományos munkacsoportjának javaslattevő tagja. 2016 óta a Nemzeti Tehetség Program, 2017-ben pe­dig a Magyar Állami Eötvös Ösztöndíj sikeres pályázója. Első önálló kötete 2018-ban jelent meg Kálvin János a házasságról, családról és szexualitásról címmel az Universitas Kiadó gondozásában.

Publications of Balázs Dávid Magyar

The reception of John Calvin’s theology and social thoughts in Hungary raises several historical, judicial and theological questions. The multi-faceted legacy of Péter Melius Juhász makes it clear that Calvin’s theological and ethical considerations had a profound impact on the sixteenth century moral life of the local townsfolk of Debrecen. But the exploration of the practical aspects of this influence has been neglected in current Calvin-studies. For this reason, the primary intention of the present study is to show what practical implications in the field of public morals the ecclesiastical and literary ministry of the early modern preachers of Geneva and Debrecen had. Readers will find that the Hungarian reformers did not directly refer to the written legacy of Luther or Calvin, but the sifting examination of the Registers of the Magistrates of Debrecen contributes significantly to demonstrating the effectiveness of the doctrines preached by the reformers in Eastern Hungary. Moreover, the elaboration on the public morals of Debrecen also allows a comparison of the moral life of the inhabitants of the two Reformed cities of Geneva and Debrecen.

Research articleReformátus Szemle 114.6 (2021)

John Calvin was devoted to restore the sanctity of the Genevan townsfolk, by which he understood the practical fulfilment of God’s Law, the Ten Commandments. To be sure, his primary intention was to exert an influence on the texture of daily life of the Genevan population. He delivered sermons and published-edited commentaries in order to establish his new theological ethics, and marital reforms concerning the adequate moral life of a Christian family. He fought against every kind of sexual crime, including fornication and adultery. However, while Calvin accepted in theory that adultery ought to be punished with death penalty, the Genevan reality was very different, because Calvin was preaching from the mercy of God day by day.

Calvin’s thoughts on Christian marriage and family life raised several historical, judiciary and social questions. An examination of Juhász Péter Méliusz’s Debrecen-Egervölgyi Confession and Major Articles shows that Calvin’s heritage deeply influenced the Hungarian Reformed teaching on engagement, marriage and divorce. Nonetheless, the readers will find that the reformers of the “Hungarian Reformed Church” did not cite directly the theological and ethical works of Calvin or Luther concerning the questions of fornication and adultery. An examination of the operation of the Magistracy of Debrecen reveals that, in case of adultery, sinners were allowed to receive the clemency of their spouses, extricating them from the legal procedure with this merciful statement: “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezech 33,11). Between 1547 and 1625 only 26 people (female: 17, male: 9) out of a total of 241 persons (female: 136, male: 105) accused of fornication and adultery were actually executed. Nevertheless, death sentence was promulgated in cases of serious fornication mixed with sexual violence or murder of infants.

Research articleReformátus Szemle 114.2 (2021)

John Calvin transformed the theology and law of sex, marriage and family life. Building on a generation of Protestant reformers, Calvin constructed a comprehensive new theology and law that made the conclusion and dissolution of marriage, the nurturing and welfare of children, family cohesion and support, sexual sin and crime essential concerns for both church and state. He drew the Consistory and Council of Geneva into a creative new alliance to guide and govern the reformation of the intimate domestic sphere. Calvin and his colleagues applied and adapted this new theology in hundreds of marriage and family-related lawsuits that were passed before the Consistory each year. „He set out his theological and ethical reforms in rich number of sermons, commentaries, and systematic writings” (John Witte). Despite the efforts of the Consistory and Council of Geneva, there were numerous cases of homosexuality, paedophilia, sexual assault, and bestiality, which made Calvin constantly anxious. He believed, if magistrates do not punish sexual crimes (e.g. adultery, fornication, sodomy), “a door will be thrown open for any kind of treachery, for poisoning, and murder, and robbery” and “Paul therefore denounces punishment not only on adulterers, but also on fornicators, for both depart from the holy institution of God”. For this reason, Calvin admitted, it would be good to drive out such public fornicators from the city in order to avoid scandals and to keep them from abusing themselves by fornication. Calvin’s legal and theological standpoint was: there is a greater danger in not punishing the crime or hiding the punishment, than in exerting a public and exemplary punishment with the aim of prevention. This is why the Genevan Council applied death penalty so often. But Calvin continued to preach about the Grace of God day after day.

Research articleReformátus Szemle 112.1 (2019)

The consolidation of the entire law system of Hungary during the 19th century (e. g. laws of 38/1868, 34/1874, 43/1895, and 33/1896) created a brand-new alliance between Austria (ruled by the Habsburg-house) and Hungary, which paved the way for the practical fulfillment of the Kiegyezés (Compromise / Ausgleich) in 1867. This special legal situation influenced not only the everyday life but also the higher educated levels of the so-called “Reformed Church of Hungary”. In this sparkling intellectual sphere, several essays, books, and cyclopedia were published related to the history of the Reformation and the life of John Calvin. Among the pieces of this irretrievable literary heritage, the collection of Calvin-biographies (1864−1906) written in Hungarian bears a distinctive role. In spite of the rich history of Hungarian Calvin-research, the several portraits of Calvin illuminated by these biographies have not been examined until now. Among the prominent representatives of the Hungarian Calvin researchers, Imre Révész did the first substantial contribution to the opening of the closed world of Calvin’s collective memories in Hungary. One of his best-known books was the Life of Calvin (1864). It was the first biography of Calvin published in Hungarian. However, Révész’s evaluation of Calvin’s personality and his role for example in Servetus’ death caused a long-standing debate in the published and the unpublished works of Calvin-researchers as well. Namely, Révész and his famous follower, Ferenc Balogh (1864), believed the reformer was “quite innocent” in the death penalty of Servetus, but their literary “opponents”, for instance Ferenc Szilágyi (1864), Pál Schneider (1877), Károly Szász (1878), Lajos Warga (1887), Ferenc Kanyaró (1891), and Jenő Zoványi (1908), depicted Calvin as a bloodthirsty tyrant, dictator of Geneva who persecuted intellectual freedom entirely.

Research articleReformátus Szemle 110.5 (2017)

Contemporaries of Calvin were less preoccupied with the Servetus-affair than modern researchers. Calvin is known to have taken care of the formal complaint and legal proceeding against Servetus. The evaluation of his person and role in Servetus’ death caused long-standing debates among the prominent representatives of the Hungarian Calvin researchers. For instance, Imre Révész, Sr., in his famous Calvin biography (Life of Calvin, 1864) and his follower, Ferenc Balogh (1864) believed the reformer was „quite innocent” in the death penalty of Servetus, but their literary opponents, namely Ferenc Szilágyi (1864), Károly Szász (1878), Lajos Warga (1887), Ferenc Kanyaró (1891), and Jenő Zoványi (1908) depicted Calvin as a bloodthirsty tyrant, dictator of Geneva who persecuted intellectual freedom.

Research articleReformátus Szemle 108.2 (2015)

This paper focuses on the early period of the reformer’s ministration, who was a very learned teacher, pastor and theologian at Geneva and Strasbourg. In these places he implemented his theological and ethical convictions against the destructive works of the Anabaptist radicals. Due to the persistently growing popularity of their heretical ideas concerning Christian baptism, church discipline, the Lord’s Supper, separation from the world, civil authority, and oaths, after the publication of his so called Psychopannychia (1534) and the Institutes (1536), Calvin had to continue his polemic fight against the left wing of the reformation. It is by no means surprising that Calvin’s works of 1537–1544 – for instance The Genevan Confession and Catechism,The Articles and the Brief Instruction for Arming all the Good Faithful against the Errors of the Common Sect of the Anabaptists – are full of religious and moral refutations opposing those whose beliefs were based on the “hated” articles of Confessio Schlattensis.

Research articleReformátus Szemle 107.3 (2014)

In the early period of the Reformation, this multifaceted radical movement divided the Protestantism into two theological camps. To magisterial reformers (Zwingly, Luther, Calvin), the task of the reformation was not only to remove impurities but to maintain continuity. Anabaptist reformers, on the other hand, saw the task of the reformation as a necessity for a new church modelled not on Catholicism before Boniface (as Luther considered) but on the church before Constantine, or even on the New Testament.

Research articleReformátus Szemle 107.1 (2014)

Ennek a tanulmánynak az az alapintenciója, hogy a keresztyén házasság, házirend és gyermeknevelés kálvini értelmezésével kapcsolatban és a reformátor újszövetségi vonatkozású prédikációinak és kommentárjainak alapján megpróbálja néhány, színesebb szociáletikai és valláspedagógiai gondolattal kiegészíteni azt a képet, amelyet Kálvin társadalomformáló szolgálatának kutatói eddig vázlatosan rajzoltak meg.

Református Szemle 106.3 (2013)

Jelen tanulmány alaposan vizsgálja meg az állami iskolák alakulását és a Genfi vallási nevelést a Kálvin előtti és alatti időszakban. A templomi fegyelem és az igehírdetés mellett Kálvin szellemi reformációt is igyekezett létrehozni. következésképpen az egész vallási és oktatási rendszer megójjult. A dolgozat rámutat arra, hogy a konzisztórium progresszív ellenőrzése miatt milyen sikereket ért el a Kálvini oktatási reform.

SzaktanulmányReformátus Szemle 105.4 (2012)

A jelen tanulmány alapintenciója, hogy megvizsgálja Kálvin társadalomformáló szolgálatának első korszakát és legfontosabb forrásait (igehirdetések és konzisztóriumi jegyzőkönyvek), és feltárja azt a társadalmi és vallási miliőt, amely egyre szükségesebbé tette Genfben a családi és intézményi vallásos nevelés struktúrájának teljes újjászervezését.

Református Szemle 105.3 (2012)

A „Kálvin-emlékévek” (2009–2014) során hazánkban megrendezett nagyszabású konferencia- és programsorozatokkal nemcsak Kálvin János születésére és életművére, hanem a nagy reformátor első magyar nyelvű életrajzára is méltán emlékezhetünk. Közel másfél évszázada annak, hogy 1864 áprilisában megjelent a „debreceni reformált egyház rendes lelkipásztorának,” Révész Imrének híres összefoglaló életrajzi és történeti munkája Kálvin élete és a kálvinizmus címmel.

Református Szemle 105.2 (2012)