Government And Law In Reformation Theology . The Protestant

1105 WordsMar 31, 20175 Pages
Government and Law in Reformation Theology The Protestant Reformation’s initiation through Martin Luther’s criticism of the Catholic Church with his Ninety-Five Theses brought about a united front of Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin, and Martin Luther and their attempts to reform the Catholic Church, all of whom eventually split from the Church and started their own religious movements. As the Reformation movement flourished under each leader, their theological differences eventually split the movements apart drastically, their differences eventually turning into a massive feud between Zwingli and Luther, each declaring the other as a heretic [1]. Of their many differences, their opinions on the relationship between religion and the state…show more content…
Calvin had a very similar viewpoint to Zwingli’s beliefs on the authority of the church and state, with some slight differences regarding the level of importance placed upon the church. In agreement with Zwingli, Calvin affirmed that “if it be his pleasure to appoint kings over kingdoms, and senators or other magistrates over free cities, it is our duty to be obedient to any governors whom God has established over the places in which we reside” [3]. While Zwingli placed more of a balance upon the relationship between the state and church, Calvin asserted that the state only held authority as a direct result of the church, the authority directly approved of by God. In his view, any influential entities within the state only held their influence under God. Calvin first pushed for his theology to be implemented after writing Institutes of the Christian Religion, attempting to reform the religious life within Geneva, Switzerland for two years until he and a contemporary, William Farel refused to adopt religious practices enforced in other parts of Switzerland. Calvin escaped the city under persecution, only to return in 1541 once the council of Geneva had finally agreed to implement his previous reforms under the diminishing influence of the church there. His Ecclesiastical Ordinances were implemented in the city except for the most significant aspect, the Consistory. The Consistory was

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