Calvin’s Success in Geneva Essay

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Calvin’s Success in Geneva

In the generation after Luther and Zwingli the dominating figure of the Reformation was John Calvin, the French Protestant theologian who fled religious persecution in his native country and in 1536 settled in the newly independent republic of Geneva. Calvin led in the strict enforcement of reform measures previously instituted by the town council of Geneva and insisted on further reforms, including the congregational singing of the Psalms as part of church worship, the teaching of a catechism and confession of faith to children, the enforcement of a strict moral discipline in the community by the pastors and members of the church, and the excommunication of notorious
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More than any other reformer, Calvin organized the contemporary diversities of Protestant thought into a clear and logical system. The circulation of his writings, his influence as an educator, and his great ability in organizing church and state in terms of reform created an international following and gave the Reformed churches, as Protestantism was called in Switzerland, France, and Scotland, a thoroughly Calvinistic stamp, both in theology and organization.

Calvin’s success in Geneva can be viewed in five different sections; the pre-conditions, the external forces at work, Calvin’s character, supporting factors within the Calvinist Church and other factors. All these show that Calvin’s success was due to a number of reasons before and during his time and his leadership skills.

The anti-papal feelings in Geneva had been mounting before Calvin had arrived. This means that the people of Geneva were ready for a reformation and Calvin was the one just to lead them, he didn’t convert them into believing they needed a reform. There were already anti-papal feelings in Geneva, when Calvin first visited Geneva he became a distinctive figure as he tried to bring its people into a state of salvation. But he was bitterly opposed by many people; anti-clericals, traditionalists, libertarians, localists and Anabaptists. As Mullett explains “a formidable

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