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John Calvin as Sixteenth-Century Prophet$
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Jon Balserak

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198703259

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198703259.001.0001

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Calvin, the Prophets, and the French (Holy) Wars

Calvin, the Prophets, and the French (Holy) Wars

(p.102) 4 Calvin, the Prophets, and the French (Holy) Wars
John Calvin as Sixteenth-Century Prophet

Jon Balserak

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the character of Calvin’s prophetic authority by examining his involvement with the French Wars of Religion. Calvin began training and sending ministers into France in 1555. The Reformed faith had, by that time, been winning converts from among the nobility, and this continued during the 1550s. This chapter argues that around this time Calvin began to conceive of plans which would use these nobles to help win France for the Reformed religion. While being open to different possibilities, one idea which forced itself upon Calvin was the possibility of war. He had, from 1536, said that a “lesser magistrate” had a duty to protect the people from a king when that king had become tyrannical and he had, from 1550, viewed the French king as a tyrant. This chapter examines how Calvin laboured to bring about his plans, including preparations for war, to win France.

Keywords:   Calvin, religious wars, tyranny, missionaries, Insurrection

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