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Calvin and Saumur: The Case of Claude Pajon (1626–1685)

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Given that Calvin served as an important source and authority for Amyraut during the controversies on universal grace which broke out ca. 1634, one might expect the same to be true for the polemics on (im)mediate grace surrounding the teachings of another (later) Saumur universalist, Claude Pajon. As this article demonstrates, however, the manuscript works written by, to, and about Pajon reveal that he did not shelter behind Calvin’s name—even if he believed that the latter had shared his view. The extant sources instead show that John Cameron and Paul Testard, two earlier promoters of la grâce universelle, were Pajon’s main sources of inspiration and served as his authorities. The article closes with a twofold conclusion, namely, that the marginal place of Calvin in the Pajon controversies may well be attributed to the greater acceptance la grâce universelle had gained by that time; and secondly, that one does well to recognize the existence of different currents within la grâce universelle of seventeenth-century French Protestantism.

Affiliations: 1: Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI, USA


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