The Protestant Reformation of the Catholic Church devastated the religious unity of Christian Europe, resulting in a great deal of antagonism, which in turn led to the persecutions, denial of civil rights, expulsion, and ultimately the torture and death of many men, women and children. The ongoing conflict was not consigned to one distinct European nation, but was experienced in every European nation that the Catholic Church ruled and reigned. There was no worldview in Europe at that time that allowed for the religious differences of men to coexist peaceably.
As quoted by McGrath in his book, French Protestantism to the Present Day. From Britain in the west to Hungary and Poland in the east, thousands of towns and villages found themselves split internally and still more had to reckon with “heretics” living just down the road or across the field. It was a profound shock, and it evoked extreme responses. France's ‘Most Christian King’ Francis I declared in 1535 that he wanted heresy banished from his realm in such manner that if one of the arms of my body was infected with this corruption, I would cut it off, and if my children were tainted with it, I would myself offer them in sacrifice (Diefendorf, 1991).
The Roots of Calvinism
This limited worldview would become the preferred way of dealing with the problem that the French Calvin’s or Huguenots presented to Catholic France. The roots of Lutheranism or Protestantism in France can be traced back to the life of John Calvin. John Calvin (whose name in French is Cauvin), was born, July 10, 1509 in Noyon, the northern part of France. Calvin sometime around 1527-1530, or possibly later, was converted to Protestantism by the possible influence of German scho...
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... Christopher. (1999). The Body Broken : The Calvinist Doctrine of the Eucharist and the Symbolization of Power in Sixteenth-century France. New York: Oxford University Press.
McGrath, Alister E. (2003). French Protestantism to the Present Day. The Blackwell Companion to Protestantism. Blackwell Publishing. 21 April 2011 http://0-www.blackwellreference.com.library.regent.edu/subscriber/tocnode?id=g9781405157469_chunk_g978140515746916.
Olson, Roger. (1999). The Story of Christian Theology. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press.
Shelley, Bruce. (2008). Church History in Plain Language. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Steinmetz, David Curtis. (2010). Calvin in Context. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. (2006). Retrieved 22 April 2011 www.oxfordreference.com.library.regent.edu/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t95.e2840.
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