John Calvin (1509-1564)

Image: János Kálvin statue by Barna Buza. – Kálvin Square, Inner Ferencváros neighborhood, Budapest District IX. Hungary.

From the Britannica website:

“John Calvin, French Jean Calvin or Jean Cauvin, (born July 10, 1509, Noyon, Picardy, France—died May 27, 1564, Geneva, Switzerland), theologian and ecclesiastical statesman. He was the leading French Protestant reformer and the most important figure in the second generation of the Protestant Reformation. His interpretation of Christianity, advanced above all in his Institutio Christianae religionis (1536 but elaborated in later editions; Institutes of the Christian Religion), and the institutional and social patterns he worked out for Geneva deeply influenced Protestantism elsewhere in Europe and in North America. The Calvinist form of Protestantism is widely thought to have had a major impact on the formation of the modern world.”

From Wikipedia:

“…Due to Calvin’s missionary work in France, his programme of reform eventually reached the French-speaking provinces of the Netherlands. Calvinism was adopted in the Electorate of the Palatinate under Frederick III, which led to the formulation of the Heidelberg Catechism in 1563. This and the Belgic Confession were adopted as confessional standards in the first synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in 1571. Several leading divines, either Calvinist or those sympathetic to Calvinism, settled in England (Martin Bucer, Peter Martyr, and Jan Laski) and Scotland (John Knox). During the English Civil War, the Calvinistic Puritans produced the Westminster Confession, which became the confessional standard for Presbyterians in the English-speaking world. As the Ottoman Empire did not force Muslim conversion on its conquered western territories, reformed ideas were quickly adopted in the two-thirds of Hungary they occupied (the Habsburg-ruled third part of Hungary remained Catholic). A Reformed Constitutional Synod was held in 1567 in Debrecen, the main hub of Hungarian Calvinism, where the Second Helvetic Confession was adopted as the official confession of Hungarian Calvinists. Having established itself in Europe, the movement continued to spread to other parts of the world including North America, South Africa, and Korea.

Calvin did not live to see the foundation of his work grow into an international movement; but his death allowed his ideas to break out of their city of origin, to succeed far beyond their borders, and to establish their own distinct character…”

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