Calvin, Jean


Calvin, Jean
(1509-1564) (John Calvin, Jean Cauvin)
   religious reformer
   A major figure of the Protestant Reformation, Jean Calvin (or Cauvin) was born in Noyens and studied for the priesthood at the University of Paris. Encouraged by his father, however, to study law and theology, he also attended the universities at orléans and Bourges. Calvin studied Hebrew and Greek, too, and this humanistic formation is apparent in his early writing Commentaire du "De Clementia" de Seneca (1532). In 1533, he embraced the Reformation, and it was his association with Nicholas Cop, the newly elected rector of the university of Paris, which forced him to flee the city when Cop announced his own support of the teachings of the reformer Martin Luther in 1535. Calvin moved about frequently in the next two years as a preacher (saintonge, Angoumois) and was finally forced to leave France altogether for Basel. There, he published the first edition (in Latin) of his L'Institution de la religion chrétienne (1536), which he later translated into French (1541). He soon went to Geneva, where he was asked by Guillaume Farel to assist in that city's reform movement. In 1538, however, both were asked to leave and Calvin journeyed to strasbourg, where he taught theology, took part in the French reform movement, met the reformer Melancthon, and married Idette de Buse, a widow. Recalled to Geneva in 1541, he led the reform movement there again and helped to draft the Ordonnances ecclésiastiques, which became the basis for the reformed church of the city. Calvin also took charge of and reorganized the educational life of Geneva and supervised its citizens' religious formation. Calvin's role and his extremely strict teachings were not without opposition, however. In response, he condemned his political and religious critics to exile or death, as in the case of Michael servetus, whom Calvin had burned in 1553.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

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  • Calvin — noun 1. United States chemist noted for discovering the series of chemical reactions in photosynthesis (1911 ) • Syn: ↑Melvin Calvin • Instance Hypernyms: ↑chemist 2. Swiss theologian (born in France) whose tenets (predestination and the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Jean Caulvin — noun Swiss theologian (born in France) whose tenets (predestination and the irresistibility of grace and justification by faith) defined Presbyterianism (1509 1564) • Syn: ↑Calvin, ↑John Calvin, ↑Jean Cauvin, ↑Jean Chauvin • Instance Hypernyms:… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Jean Cauvin — noun Swiss theologian (born in France) whose tenets (predestination and the irresistibility of grace and justification by faith) defined Presbyterianism (1509 1564) • Syn: ↑Calvin, ↑John Calvin, ↑Jean Caulvin, ↑Jean Chauvin • Instance Hypernyms:… …   Useful english dictionary


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