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French Protestants And The Legacy Of John Calvin: Reformer And Legislator

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Chapter Summary

French Protestants, as disciples of the Calvinist Reformation, willingly describe themselves as 'Reformed,' like their principal church; or as 'Huguenots,' with its strongly historical and even martyrological connotation. In the first half of the twentieth century, Calvinist Protestantism ended up endowing itself with a clearly structured image of its founder. John Calvin was viewed as the man whose particular talent for legislation had known how to organise and to save the Reformation for France and several other countries. We know, much better than the Calvinists of 1903, to what extent the issues of legacy and image are cumbersome, sensitive, and decisive; to what point they require that we go through the exercise of drawing up an inventory of the past and judging it-perilous, yes, but in the end a source of reconciliation and of peace. The legacy of Calvin among his own heirs is a textbook case in this regard.

Keywords: Calvinist Protestantism; Calvinist Reformation; French Protestants; John Calvin



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