The Long Reformation: Reformed (Penny Roberts) III: The Reformed 'International'

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  • The Long Reformation: Reformed (Penny Roberts) III: The Reformed 'International'
    • Reformed Protestantism was more successful geographically and numerically than Lutheranism
      • This was due to Reformed Protestantism not requiring goodwill of established authorities
    • Spread of Lutheranism
      • Scandinavia and some German territories
    • Spread of Reformed Church
      • Outside some German territories and Scandinavia, Reformed Church had more widespread appeal that Lutheran, even if it was only among a minoirty of people
      • Places that drew inspiration from both Geneva and Zurich
        • England
        • Scotland
        • France
        • Netherlands
        • Coreligionists in Central and Eastern Europe
          • Hungary
          • Transylvania
          • Poland
      • In many areas, Reformers were building on already established Lutheran base
        • e.g.
          • Hungary
          • Absorbed 'proto-Protestants' such as Hussites of Bohemia and Waldensians of France
      • Nobility was specifically targeted and their response was vital to success of Reformed cause
      • Historians, like Pettegree, Scriberner, Benedict and Ryrie
        • have begun to emphasise national or even local character of Churches which emerged
          • Provided more 'multinational' and 'pluralistic' picture
        • Contrary to traditional views presented Reformed cause as international
      • According to Todd
        • Despite usual association, of Calvinism in particular, with  sophisticated urban centres with high rates of literacy
          • Did not inhibit its spread into rural highlands of Scotland with its predominantly oral culture  and persistence of popular beliefs
    • Areas of compromise for Reformed Church
      • Areas where Reformers were minority and marginalised group
        • Huguenots in France
      • Where it was closely allied to the state
        • Northern Netherlands and Scotland
        • Compromise was price of success
      • Netherlands
        • Fate of Reform was tied in with political circumstances
          • Desire to break away from dominance of Catholic Spain
        • Ministers of Calvinist minority were reliant on secular authorities to establish its position as dominant religion
        • Dutch Church's ability to influence matters of policy was limited
      • Scotland
        • Reform was shaped by politics and it was nobility which decided its progress
          • also in France (despite ultimate failure) and Empire, where Calvinsim was not officially recognised until 1648
      • In most cases, Reformed Church could be modified to local conditions
        • England
          • Retention of bishops
        • Transylvania
          • pluralistic settlement recognised three Protestant  Churhes spit largely along ethnic lines
            • Lutheran
            • Reformed
            • Anti-Trinitarian
    • Tensions between relative conservatism of Reformed leadership and more provocative behaviour of its popular base
      • e.g. carrying out act of iconoclasm
      • In some of most divisive conflicts of period, Dutch Revolt and French Wars of Religion
        • Reformed doctrine became associated with rebellion and resistance
      • Despite vehement declarations of need to obey constituted authority, Theodore Beza, Calvin's successor in Geneva was:
        • one of most prominent figures to develop systematic theory of right to resistance by 'lesser magistrates', including nobles and princes as well as high ranking officials
      • For Dutch Rebels seeking to overthrow Spanish domination, and Huguenot, Scottish and Hungarian nobles fighting against royal forces
        • theories of right to resistance provided legitimacy for their cause
      • In England
        • Puritans enthusiastically opposed royal supremacy
    • People who fled their native country because of persecution that we find truly international aspect of movement
      • Not so much in their integrating with host countries,
        • Since they tended to establish their own communities and churches, known as 'stranger churches'
      • Seen through contacts with home countries and other refugees
      • Calvin himself and his fellow ministers were religious exiles and this inevitably informed their attitude to movement they had spawned
      • Strasbourg, Geneva and other francophone centres like Lausanne
        • Magnets principally for French refugees
      • Emden in N. Germany
        • Favoured by Dutch refugees
      • England
        • Hosted French and Dutch Churches
      • Scottish Protestants and Marian exiles
        • sought refuge in a variety of European centres at times of adversity
      • Exile involved:
        • Giving up established ties, property and sometimes status
        • But offered freedom of conscience and a haven from persecution and even death
      • Calvin viewed exile as only respectable alternative to martyrdom
        • He condemned those who maintained outward conformity with Catholicism (Nicodemites)
      • Greatest exception to influence of established authorities leading to conflict with Church emerged where both Church and state were newly established, as in New England
        • Here religious refugees decided way that society should be structured and organised without having to battle with existing interests
      • those unable to move elsewhere had to find strategies to survive as best they could in face of social hostility and political exclusion
      • Those best suited or adaptable to exile were those with transferable skills
        • such as printers, merchants and artisans and those who wished to train for ministry
    • Protestant education networks
      • vital to international connections of Reformed movement
      • Protestant universities were established at:
        • Leiden in Netherlands
        • Genevan Academy
        • Heidelberg in Empire in 1570s
        • Academies at Sedan and Saumur in France at end of C16th and early C17th
    • International links
      • Important printing centres developed
        • Geneva
        • Emden
        • Distributed Reformed literature to rest of Europe
      • Trading links and economy
        • A principal channel for communication of ideas
        • Influx of skilled workers could give boost to local and national economies
          • Netherlandish cloth workers and French silversmiths did in England
        • Refugees from francophone southern provinces
          • Brought skills and wealth to Dutch economy
          • also imported Calvinist beliefs
      • Military or financial assistance could be sought and given by one Protestant state to another
        • E.g. England and German Protestant princes to Dutch and French Calvinists whose fortunes in Europe were closely allied
      • Most important according to Roberts, Geneva and other training centres:
        • sent out ministers to serve newly established Churches abroad
        • Gave advice to those setting Churches up via vast network of correspondence
        • Resolved Church's disputes and provided them with funds
      • Another measure of movement's success, if also its limits
        • Demand for properly trained ministers soon far outstripped supply

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