Society Religion and Spirituality Christianity Church History The Reformation Reformed Reformation
This category will concentrate on the development of the Reformed churches in a number of countries, as well as on the influence on the Protestant church in England. Although Martin Luther is recognized as the first great reformer of the Protestant Reformation, there were also others who objected to the excesses of the Catholic Church and sought a reformation. Some of these were Ulrich Zwingli in Zurich, Martin Bucer in Strassburg, Guillame Farel in Geneva, as well as others. These reformers disagreed with Luther in some areas, particularly in the treatment of the Eucharist or Lord's Supper. There were attempts to compromise with Luther at the Colloquy at Marlburg in 1529, but opinions were too deeply held on both sides and a separate reformation was underway. The central figure for this branch of the Reformation then became John Calvin, who published his "Institutes of the Christian Religion" in 1536. He worked in Geneva from 1536-1538, in Strassburg from 1538-1541, and back in Geneva from 1541-1564. During his lifetime of preaching and study and writing, he outlined his theology, developed a church liturgy, a church government and started an Academy which trained other ministers. Through the 1540's this movement was constrained to Switzerland and nearby areas. But then, in a burst of activity, it expanded to a number of countries. It spread to Scotland under John Knox, after he had been in Geneva from 1555-1559. The church in France produced the Gallic Confession in 1559. In the Netherlands, Guido de Bres published the Belgic Confession in 1561. Ursinus and Olevianus wrote the Heidelberg Catechism in 1563 in Germany. The churches in these and other countries were greatly influenced by Calvin in theology, liturgy and church government and began to be known as Reformed churches, except in Scotland where the church was named Presbyterian. These churches did not agree with Calvin on everything, especially on some of his ideas of church and state, but in most other matters followed his example.
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