Calvinism - Key Dates Document

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Calvinism Key Dates
William Farel and Pierre Viret spread evangelical ideas ­ both friends of Calvin
Berne had undergone reformation ­ Geneva's geographical position meant it was in close proximity
to Berne and Calvin did not have to begin the reformation (Geneva = exposed to Protestant ideas)
Calvin was almost completely unchallenged up to this year
The Institutes of the Christian Religion was published
Farel approached Calvin
Calvin presented the Confession of Faith
Geneva agreed to its own Protestant reformation
The city adopted religious reform ­ monasteries were dissolved, mass was abolished; papal
authority renounced
Syndics (known as the Libertines) opposed Calvin and had won power in the city
Calvin and Farel were ordered to leave Geneva and went to Strasburg
Calvin gained further experience/an enhanced rep. under the guidance of Bucer as he developed a
2nd edition of the IoCR to wide acclaim
Calvin returned to Geneva after the Libertines had fallen from power (in 1540)
Ecclesiastical Ordinances set up
Little Council agreed that it would draw up plans for a structured organisation for the Genevan Church
­ accepted Calvin's proposals, put into law by the Ecclesiastical Ordinances (i.e. a Company of
Pastors, the Consistory, the Grabeau, Deacons and Lay Elders) ­ able to change society and would've
not succeeded without the help of the LC
Gained experience of German affairs/how Lutheranism developed ­ e.g. Calvin attended the
Colloquy of Regensburg during which attempts to reconcile Protestants and Catholics failed
Ami Perrin supported Calvin, but probably feared his political influence
9 members of the Consistory
Sebastian Costello (head of the Genevan College) claimed that the Song of Songs (in the Old
Testament) was an erotic poem not inspired by God, so should be excluded from Scriptures ­ Calvin
wanted him expelled

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Strong anti-foreign feeling in Geneva
Foreigners made up 1/3 of the Genevan population
Ameaux (a respected councillor) suggested that Calvin taught untrue doctrine ­ Calvin demanded
that he Ameaux walk through the streets carrying a taper and asking for Calvin's and God's mercy
(brutal humiliation) ­ council wanted a private apology
Perrin, Berthelier and Favre families emerged as a strong group in the Council after 1546
Ami Perrin and members of the Libertines were often called before the Consistory for bad conduct
(i.e.…read more

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French immigrants to the city led to increased support allowed him triumph in Council elections in
Calvinism grew strongly in France and congregations were set up in many parts (1,750 congregations
compromising about 10% of the population)
80 final chapters of the Ecclesiastical Ordinances
Genevan Academy founded ­ a boys' grammar school and a university
Calvin appointed Theodore Beza as the leader
Pupils would study classical history and literature (vital for a student of theology) ­ made for a
Humanist education - theology…read more

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Genevan Academy
Later 1560s:
Influences were greatly in the Netherlands ­ increased when sections of the nobility adopted
Calvinism to give a religious reason for their political opposition to Spanish rule
Calvinism remained a faith of a minority
Extra Notes:
Farel was key because he was in part responsible for clearing a path through which Calvin walked
Viret was liked more than Calvin
Institutes of the Christian Religion ­ Calvin's book: a six chapter introduction to the Christian faith.…read more


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