Jennifer Powell McNutt
Jennifer Powell McNutt is a tenured, Associate Professor of Theology and History of Christianity at Wheaton College, a Fellow in the Royal Historical Society, and director of Wheaton’s M.A. programs in Theology and History of Christianity. She received her PhD in history from the University of St. Andrews (Reformation Studies Institute, 2008), MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary (2003), and BA in Religious Studies from Westmont College (2000). She specializes in the history of the Reformed church and clergy from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries.
McNutt is the recipient of several academic awards including the American Society of Church History’s Sidney E. Mead Prize for her article on the Protestant response to the Gregorian Calendar reform and the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize for her monograph, Calvin Meets Voltaire: The Clergy of Geneva in the Age of Enlightenment, 1685–1798 (Ashgate, 2017). Her recent publications on the history of science include a chapter on Protestant interpretations of Genesis 1–2 during the Reformation, which was published in the multicontributor volume, Since the Beginning: Interpreting Genesis 1 and 2 through the Ages, ed. Kyle R. Greenwood (Baker, 2018).
In 2017, she was awarded first place out of 200 entries by Christianity Today’s Science Writing Contest, for her essay, “Forgotten Figures: How Pastors of the Enlightenment Helped Advance Modern Science.” She is currently coediting The Oxford Handbook of the Bible and the Reformation (OUP) with Prof. Herman Selderhuis as well as writing a monograph on the history of the French Bible and a biography of John Calvin for Oxford University Press.
McNutt will be speaking, Monday, July 22, 8:45 AM in Coray Auditorium (abstract below).
The Mirror of Creation: An Unfailing Witness in Scripture and in the Theology of John Calvin
This presentation will explore the way in which creation functions in scripture and in the theology of John Calvin as a witness to the nature and work of God and to the reality of the human predicament. Within the Gospel accounts, creation functions as no mere backdrop to the story of Christ’s incarnation, death, and resurrection but as a witness in itself to the person and work of Christ. In the history of Reformation Theology, creation’s role as a witness was developed in the work of Calvin through the metaphor of a mirror that does not fail to bear witness to the truth of God’s glory even as humanity struggles to see and understand the witness of creation correctly. Calvin’s theological engagement with scripture regarding creation in relation to the scientific understandings of his time offer a helpful model of faith-driven humility for current-day engagement with the scriptural and theological understandings of creation.