Episode #247: Jennifer Powell McNutt— Rehabilitating Calvin

Jason Micheli —  February 7, 2020 — Leave a comment

What if we reconsidered Calvin and Calvin’s prioritizing of God’s power and sovereignty from the perspective of what Calvin was, a refugee, and from the hermeneutic of what his context makes his work, liberation theology?

Our episode today is with a classmate of Jason’s from Princeton, Dr. Jennifer Powell McNutt.

The Rev. Dr. Jennifer Powell McNutt is the Franklin S. Dyrness Associate Professor in Biblical and Theological Studies at Wheaton College, a Fellow in the Royal Historical Society, and a Parish Associate at First Presbyterian Church of Glen Ellyn. Dr. McNutt received her Ph.D. in History from the University of St. Andrews (Reformation Studies Institute, 2008), M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary (2003), and a B.A. in Religious Studies from Westmont College (2000).

She is the recipient of several academic awards including the Overseas Research Student Award (Universities, U.K.) for her doctoral research and the Sidney E. Mead Prize (American Society of Church History) for her first published article. Her first monograph, Calvin Meets Voltaire: The Clergy of Geneva in the Age of Enlightenment, 1685-1798 (Ashgate, 2014), was awarded the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize by the American Society of Church History. In 2013-2014, Dr. McNutt was awarded Wheaton’s Leland Ryken Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities (2013) for exemplifying excellence in the classroom, a deep commitment to inspiring students to realize the ideals of careful scholarship in their own work, and the integration of the Christian faith and learning in the Humanities. In 2017, Westmont College honored Dr. McNutt with an 80th Anniversary Alumni Award for her work as a professor at Wheaton in cultivating “thoughtful scholars, grateful servants and faithful leaders for global engagement with the academy, church and the world.” In 2017, she was one of the Reformation experts interviewed for “A Call to Freedom” documentary that was produced to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. In 2018, that documentary was awarded three regional Emmys including Outstanding Historical Documentary.

Dr. McNutt’s research specializes in the history of the church and Christian Theology from the Reformation through the Enlightenment with particular expertise in John Calvin and his clerical legacy, the Reformed tradition, the relationship between Christianity and science, and the history of the Bible and its interpretation. Current contracted projects include co-editing The Oxford Handbook of the Bible and the Reformation (OUP) with Prof. Herman Selderhuis and editing the 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude volume for the Reformation Commentary on Scripture series (InterVarsity Press Academic). She recently published the co-edited volume, The People’s Book: The Reformation and the Bible (IVP, 2017), for the Wheaton Theology Conference series. She is currently researching and writing two monographs: the history of the French Bible from the early-modern period through the Enlightenment and a social history of John Calvin’s thought. Her research has received international grants including the Andrew Mellon Research Fellowship (2015-2016) at the Huntington Library and the Huntington Trinity Hall Exchange Fellowship at the University of Cambridge (2015-2016). Her publications include academic journal articles and book chapters as well as popular ecclesiastical pieces for Christianity Today and Christian History Magazine. In 2017, Dr. McNutt was awarded first place in Christianity Today’s essay contest for her article on how clergy during the Enlightenment contributed to the advancement of modern science.

Dr. McNutt is also an ordained Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and is co-president of McNuttshell Ministries, Inc. with her husband, Rev. Dr. David McNutt. She enjoys preaching at churches and on college campuses, writing for popular outlets, and conducting podcast and video interviews.

Jason Micheli


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