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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Reformed Protestantism originated in the 1520s in both Zurich under the direction of Ulrich Zwingli and in Strasbourg under the influence of Martin Bucer and several others. It was not until Guillaume Farel and John Calvin arrived in Geneva in the 1530s, however, that it became a major force of the Reformation. Although theologically very similar to Lutheranism, including Calvin’s views on predestination, theology was never the foundation of Reformed identity. An emphasis on independence from the secular state as well as enhanced moral discipline, specifically in the development of the institution of the consistory in Geneva, are what made Reformed Protestantism distinct. Although it spread quickly and significantly throughout Europe and the New World, it invariably was forced to adapt to differing political and cultural circumstances in every case. Thus, while Calvin’s Geneva was always the prototype for Reformed Protestantism, it never became a model to be copied elsewhere.

Keywords: Reformed, Protestantism, Farel, Calvin, Geneva, predestination, discipline, consistory

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