Continued Legacy

After the deaths of Calvin and his successor, Beza, the Geneva city council gradually gained control over areas of life that were previously in the ecclesiastical domain. Increasing secularisation was accompanied by the decline of the church.



Even the Geneva académie was eclipsed by universities in Leiden and Heidelberg, which became the new strongholds of Calvin's ideas.  It washere that they first inamed Calvins theology as "Calvinism" by Joachim Westphal in 1552. By 1585, Geneva, once the wellspring of the reform movement, had become merely its symbol.  Calvin had always warned against describing him as an "idol" and Geneva as a new "Jerusalem". He encouraged people to adapt to the environments in which they found themselves. Even during his polemical exchange with Westphal, he advised a group of French-speaking refugees, who had settled in Wesel, Germany, to integrate with the local Lutheran churches. Despite his differences with the Lutherans, he did not deny that they were members of the true Church. Calvin's recognition of the need to adapt to local conditions became an important characteristic of the reformation movement as it spread across Europe.

Due to Calvin's missionary work in France, his programme of reform eventually reached the French-speaking provinces of the Netherlands. Calvinism was adopted in the Electorate of the Palatinate under Frederick III, which led to the formulation of the Heidelberg Catechism in 1563. (https://www.urcna.org/1651/file_retrieve/23908)  


Federick III Elector Palatine



Frederick III of Simmern, the Pious, Elector Palatine of the Rhine (February 14, 1515 – October 26, 1576) was a ruler from the house of Wittelsbach, branch Palatinate-Simmern-Sponheim. He was a son of John II of Simmern and inherited the Palatinate from the childless Elector Otto-Henry, Elector Palatine (Ottheinrich) in 1559. He was a devout convert to Calvinism, and made the Reformed confession the official religion of his domain by overseeing the composition and promulgation of the Heidelberg Catechism. His support of Calvinism gave the German Reformed movement a foothold within the Holy Roman Empire.


Heidelberg Catechism and the Belgic Confession  


were adopted as confessional standards in the first synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in 1571. Several leading divines, either Calvinist or those sympathetic to Calvinism, settled in England (Martin Bucer, Peter Martyr, and Jan Laski) and Scotland (John Knox). During the English Civil War, the Calvinistic Puritans produced the Westminster Confession, which became the confessional standard for Presbyterians in the English-speaking world. As the Ottoman Empire did not force Muslim conversion on its conquered western territories, reformed ideas were quickly adopted in the two-thirds of Hungary they occupied (the Habsburg-ruled third part of Hungary remained Catholic). A Reformed Constitutional Synod was held in 1567 in Debrecen, the main hub of Hungarian Calvinism, where the Second Helvetic Confession was adopted as the official confession of Hungarian Calvinists. Having established itself in Europe, the movement continued to spread to other parts of the world including North America, South Africa, and Korea.



Calvin did not live to see the foundation of his work grow into an international movement; but his death allowed his ideas to break out of their city of origin, to succeed far beyond their borders, and to establish their own distinct character.

John Calvin, memorial medal by László Szlávics, Jr., 2008

Calvin is recognized as a Renewer of the Church in Lutheran churches, and as a saint in the Church of England, commemorated on 26 May, and on 28 May by the Episcopal Church (USA).


 Calvin and Europe

Geneva became the most influential city in the Protestant movement. It represented the city where religion had been most truly reformed and changed for the better. John Knox, the Scottish Protestant leader, a Calvinist himself, called Geneva “the most perfect school of Christ.” Geneva’s impact on Europe was huge for two reasons:

Calvin did not want his belief to be restricted to just one area and he did not want Geneva to become a refuge for fleeing Protestants. The city was to be the heart that pumped Calvinism to all of Europe. This spread was to be based on a new educational system which was established in Geneva. Both primary and secondary schools were created and in 1559 the Academy was established which was to become the University of Geneva.












Geneva was/is French speaking and Calvin spoke French. It was expected that many French Huguenots (Calvinists in France were known as Huguenots) would head for the university to train as missionaries. This was the main task of the university. In 1559 it had 162 students. In 1564, it had over 1500 students. Most of these were foreign. Calvin had some luck with his teaching staff as there had been a dispute over the level of pay at Lausanne University and many of the teaching staff there simply transferred to Geneva as the pay was better and the financial structure of the university was on a stronger footing. After their course at Geneva, the missionaries were given a French-speaking congregation in Switzerland where they could perfect their skills before moving on to France itself. The ease with which ministers could get into France was a bonus for Calvin. However, the size of the country was to be both a help and a hindrance to Calvinists.


The first Huguenot (Calvinist) ministers arrived in France in 1553. By 1563, there were nearly 90 Huguenots in France and the speed of its spread surprised even Calvin.

Henry II of France was a strong catholic and he had established a body called the Chambre Ardente in 1547 to monitor and hunt out ‘heresy’ in France. It was not a success and was disbanded in 1550. Whereas his father (Francis I) had used Protestantism to help advance his power against the Parlement de Paris, Henry had no wish to have any association with Protestants whatsoever.

In 1555 the first Huguenot congregation to have a permanent minister was established in Paris. By 1558, this congregation was worshiping in the open, guarded by armed sympathisers.

In 1559, the first synod (national council) was held in Paris. 72 local congregations were represented by the elders from each congregation. In some regions of France travelling ministers had to be used but this was never a major problem as the organization of the church was so tight. Many Huguenot communities were near each other so communication was never really a problem. Educated merchants were drawn to Calvinism. This occurred probably as a result of the impact of the Renaissance and as a reaction to the rigidity of the catholic Church.

A number of noble families converted to Calvinism though there is not one common link to explain their conversion. Each family had its own individual reason. Ironically one of these reasons may have been patriotic. Catholicism was linked to Rome and since the Concordat of Bologna, the French had always linked their religion to national causes. By associating yourself with Calvinism, you would be expressing your belief that France should have no links to Italy.

The Huguenots were concentrated on the coast mainly in the west (La Rochelle) and in the south-east. They develop their own cavalry force and openly worshipped in their own churches. The sheer size of France aided them in the respect that the royal government in Paris found it difficult enough to assert its authority generally. The strict organisation of the Huguenots made any attempt by the authorities to crush them very difficult. Added to this was the simple fact that la Rochelle was a long way from Paris.

By 1561, there were 2150 Huguenot churches in France and Calvinists were estimated to be about 10% of the population – about 1 million people. It has to be remembered that the first Calvinist ministers only got to France in 1553. Calvinism within France became a large minority religion.

The Netherlands:

Calvin made important gains in this state. Ministers first arrived here in the 1550’s aided by Huguenot preachers who were fleeing from France. They made slow progress at first.

Lutheranism had already taken root as had Anabaptism so Calvinism was seen as another protest religion in a ever crowded field. There was also a lot of persecution in general against Protestants. In 1524, Charles V had introduced his own Inquisition to the region and in 1529 and 1531 new edicts were introduced ordering death to anyone who was found guilty of being a Lutheran or simply sheltered them or help Lutherans spread their beliefs.

In 1550 Charles V removed the authority of city councils to try heretics. It was his belief that city magistrates were too lenient and that the provincial courts which took over this duty would have far greater control than the city magistrates.

These measures did check the spread of Protestantism but Calvinism was the most successful of the three and the best equipped to survive:

Its system of non-religious governments by elders allowed it to operate regardless of the authorities. The Anabaptists were too reliant on the role of the individual as opposed to strength in numbers and organization while the Lutherans were poorly organized and more open to attack from the authorities.

By 1560, Calvinism had not spread far because the authorities were very active against it. In total, Protestantism accounted for 5% of the whole population in the Netherlands of which the Calvinists were just a small part. No noble men appeared to be interested as they were too concerned with their political power and economic well being. Their knew that the Catholic Church was corrupt but they found the Calvinists far too authoritarian as the church told you what you could do and what you could not. Most Calvinists were from Antwerp, Ghent and regions near Germany.


Calvinism developed into a popular movement in NW Rhineland and Westphalia – both neighbours of the Netherlands. These were the only areas to convert. In 1562, Frederick III modelled churches in his territory on the Calvinist model which was contrary to the 1555 Religious Settlement of Augsburg which stated that churches could only be Catholic or Lutheran. Heidelburg became a leading intellectual centre but the spread elsewhere was very limited due to Lutheranism and the input of Calvinism into Germany served to disunite the Protestant movement and help the Catholic Church in the Counter-Reformation. John Sigismund of Brandenburg was to convert at a later date and his state followed.



The western area of Poland was German speaking which had helped Luther. However, Poland had a history of nationalism and a desire to be independent and this did not help Luther who had not spent time organising his church. Calvinism first reached Poland in 1550 and the nobles latched on to the idea of using the civilian population – and giving them some power in their religious rights – as a lever to expand their own power. Two leading nobles (Prince Radziwill the Black and John a Lasco) actively helped the spread of Calvinism as did two kings (Stephen II and Stephen Bathory). Regardless of this, Calvinism did not spread far. Why?

Most Poles did not speak German and therefore language remained a major stumbling block as most Calvinist preachers did not speak Polish and could not communicate with the population. Another problem was that numerous Protestant religions already existed in Poland (Bohemian Brethren, Anabaptists, Unitarians etc.) and those who might be won away from the Catholic Church had already been so.

In 1573 in the Confederation of Warsaw, both Catholics and Protestants agreed to make religious toleration part of the constitution to be sworn by each succeeding king. But the division among the Protestants meant that the Catholic Church dominated the country and her nickname at this time was the “Spain of the north”.

Political Thoughts of Calvin

Calvin's social thought was also influential. He believed that human beings were creatures of fellowship and that Church and State satisfied a human need for this type of grouping. According to Wolterstorff:

    "The concern of the church is the spiritual realm, the life of the inner man; the concern of the state is the temporal realm, the regulation of external conduct. In regulating external conduct, the general aim of the state, in Calvin's view, is to insure justice or equity in society at large. This equity has two facets. Obviously the state must enforce restrictive justice, but Calvin also believed that the state should secure distributive justice, doing its best to eliminate gross inequalities in the material status of its members."

Like John Winthrop (see "A Model of Christian Charity"), Calvin believed that an ideal government would be a republic in which power is balanced among magistrates and in which a competent ruling aristocracy is elected by the citizen.

Britsh Islands

The Reformation in England proceeded unambiguously from its monarchs—Henry VIII, and then two of his three children, Edward and Elizabeth. The English monarchs confronted the daunting task of imposing their personal choice on a large, diverse, and in some cases remote, population in England, Wales and Ireland. That they succeeded for the most part in England and Wales remains beyond doubt. The essence was really the printing of the Bible in the local languages.  The Church of England, was resolutely established by the end of the sixteenth century. Church of England was restored fully in 1660.   

In 1542 James V died; his only heir was the infant Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary, Queen of Scots, married Francois, heir to the French crown.    The accession of the Protestant Elizabeth I to the throne of England gave the reformers renewed confidence.  

In Scotland a group known collectively as the "Lords of the Congregation",   led by James Stewart, the illegitimate half brother of Mary, Queen of Scots took matters in hand .  John Knox returned to Scotland and in St Andrews the army of the Lords of the Congregation stripped the altars, smashed the icons, destroyed the relics and whitewashed the walls of its churches over night.  By 1560 the majority of the nobility supported the rebellion; a provisional government was established, the Scottish Parliament renounced the Pope's authority, and the mass was declared illegal. Scotland had officially become a Protestant country.  


It is sometimes suggested that the foundational theologians and preachers of the Protestant Reformation era, including John Calvin, were largely unaware of many of the disputed textual passages in the Greek New Testament.  They used the printed editions of the Textus Receptus Greek New Testament out of necessity, convenience or ignorance rather than conviction.  It is further suggested that many of the most significant textual disputes regarding the New Testament came to light only in the modern era, after the discovery and printing of uncial manuscripts (like Codex Sinaiticus) and papyri.  Thus, it is assumed that if the Protestant Reformers had the information which we now have today they would eagerly embrace the modern critical text of the Greek New Testament.


The Puritans

Calvinism: The Spiritual Foundation of America


 Christopher Pisarenko



As the difference between the Anglican Church and the Puritans following the Calvinist reform went from bad to worse, the English were quite glad to be rid of the Puritans and for the most part let them go whither they would.  Many went to the Virginia colony, where the Anglican Church was established in the charter of 1606.  Pilgrims (the separatists of their day) and Puritans made their way to what would become the Plymouth and the Massachusetts Bay Colonies.  The Pilgrims at Plymouth listened to the preaching of John Robinson, whose ideas of a totally autonomous local church were a strange brand of Calvinism for the time, but a natural outgrowth of Calvinistic principles.  The Plymouth Plantation members adhered to devout obedience to the Scripture interpreted according to Calvinistic hermeneutical principles and courageous living trusting in the sovereign providence of God.


The larger colony of Massachusetts Bay was founded in 1628-30, and by 1640 more than 20,000 Puritans had arrived.  These were the flower of the Puritan movement, and they were led by such men as John Cotton, Thomas Mather, and John Davenport, all from Cambridge.  Their Calvinism was not a rigid and static system, and they weren’t happy with either episcopacy or Presbyterianism.  Slowly congregationalism spread throughout the Puritan colonies, though retaining elements of Presbyterianism.  Thomas Hooker promoted political suffrage to all free men, even if they weren’t communicants in the church.  In 1636 Roger Williams, who for his ideas of separation of church and state had been ousted from Massachusetts, founded at Providence the colony of Rhode Island, where he allowed just about anyone to come.  1636 also saw the founding of Harvard College.  Some of the Puritans stressed the responsibility of men, others of the goodness of God; still others the entire Calvinist pattern of theology.  Various synods were held to decide major issues facing the Church.  The Westminster Confession was adopted bodily, except for the sections dealing with polity and discipline.  Cotton Mather’s writings, among others, indicate the acceptance of essentially Presbyterian views of the ministry.  But the moral character of people started to slide, and revival would not come fully until Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening.


New Englanders were the most famous Calvinists to settle in America before 1700, but they were certainly not the only ones. The Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam, later New York, had established their Reformed church by 1640 (by 1665, the Dutch had also established it in South Africa, which still remains a bastion of the Dutch Reformed church). After 1685, some two thousand Huguenots, fleeing France after Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes, reestablished their Reformed churches after settling in places as far apart as Boston and South Carolina. Soon afterward, thousands of Scots-Irish colonists from Ulster (Northern Ireland) fled in order to escape Protestant persecution; they settled mostly in the middle colonies and formed their first presbytery at Philadelphia by 1706. Methodism, the largest neo-Calvinist Protestant church in America, arrived there by the mid-eighteenth century. As the history of Calvinist emigration to America testifies, such seventeenth-century intra-Protestant confessional quarrels were often high-stakes issues for laymen. They were even more so for clerics because public authorities quickly removed ministers from theologically incorrect factions. After 1619, Remonstrants were deprived throughout the Netherlands; in Scotland, many Episcopalians were deprived after 1639, and Presbyterians were deprived in about one-fourth of its thousand parishes after 1661. The situation was worst in Stuart England, which exceeded its previous pastoral purges under the Tudors in 1553 and 1559. During the Puritan Revolution, over two thousand of England's nine thousand parishes lost Royalist pastors for being insufficiently Calvinist. After the Restoration of 1660 gave the Church of England a head (Charles II) who had once remarked that "Presbyterianism is not a religion for gentlemen," two thousand more were removed as insufficiently Episcopalian. After the Glorious Revolution of 1688, another four hundred British clergy were deposed for refusing to swear allegiance to William and Mary.





 Excerpt from Ecclesiastical Ordinances Edited by Hans J. Hillerbrand Published in 1968


1. Calvin's teachings were adopted by the Puritans, a strict Protestant group in England. They advocated purification of the Church of England (Anglican Church), the official religion of England. Although the Church of England was considered a Protestant faith, it still practiced many of the teachings and elaborate rituals of the Roman Catholic Church. A few dissenters among the Puritans contended that the church was too corrupt to be saved and they wanted total separation. Separation was considered a crime against the state. Nevertheless, a congregation in Scrooby, England, declared themselves to be Nonconformists, or separatists. When the Scrooby leaders were persecuted in 1607, the congregation went to Leyden in the Netherlands (Holland), where they were free to practice their religion. Eventually they decided to leave the Netherlands and settle in English territory in North America. Calling themselves Pilgrims, they set out aboard a ship called the Mayflower in September 1620. Although they were headed for Virginia, a storm forced them into a harbor on the coast of present-day Massachusetts in December 1620. The Pilgrims the established the Plymouth Colony, which was based on the teachings of John Calvin. In 1630 they were joined by other Puritans, who founded the nearby Massachusetts Bay Colony and practiced an even stricter form of Calvinism.











Roots Of Calvinism: Dehumanization, Slavery, And Racism In America!

The Negative Impact of Calvinism and Augustine on Slavery in America


Calvinism: The Spiritual Foundation of America by Christopher Pisarenko has gone as far as to say that the spiritual ethos of America is based on the Calvinistic predestination and particular election and limited atonement to justify slavery and injustice to others.  This is an extract from it:

"For if it is true that the innate depravity of man is universal and no one deserves salvation, then it necessarily follows that the genocide of non-Europeans, the oppression of marginalized groups, the impoverishment of the working class and the annihilation of human life in ever bloodier conflicts are all nothing more than “natural” off shoots of man’s incorrigible depravity. It does not matter, then, how many “Red savages” one kills in extending God’s plan of Manifest Destiny for his cherished elect, nor does it matter how many paupers, workers, “infidels” or even common people are sacrificed in carrying out the absolute INSANITY of the Calvinist God’s decrees.


"In this context it is easy to see how the new Calvinist mercantile class in Europe and North America utilized their beliefs to justify their growing brutality against all classes, races and religious denominations which represented the “Other.” Indeed, this new class of religiously motivated entrepreneurs totally believed that they were God’s chosen people and the fortunate (though undeserving) recipients of His limited atonement. The pessimistic attitude the Calvinists held about their own good fortune – i.e. that they did not deserve it – helped keep them somewhat humble (at least outwardly) and fixated on their business matters. Thus, “Calvinist pessimism” was a useful ideological tool for those who would become known as the “Pilgrims” and “Puritans” in North America (those comprising the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant elite) to exploit, enslave and annihilate ever greater numbers of people, to accrue even more undeserved wealth for the “glory of God,” so long as they did not (paradoxically) squander their holdings on “sinful” endeavors.  And if they did succumb to any amount of sinful degradation (as they most certainly did) – oh well! That was merely the natural result of mankind’s innate depravity. One could simply confess one’s sins and commit oneself to doing better, since God’s grace is inevitable in the end.


"Needless to say, Calvinism caught on like wild fire in North America (even among the White masses), where an austere spiritual-cultural-political-economic worldview was needed in order to:
(1) inspire endless thrift and hard work among the masses,
(2) tame the vast American wilderness (considered by settlers to be the biblical “Promised Land” or “Canaan”), and
(3) subjugate the “heathen” Indians (also considered by settlers to be immoral “Canaanites”).


The Calvinistic Work Ethos


"With the exception of a handful of Catholics in Maryland, the vast majority of European-American colonists subscribed to an ever increasing variety of Protestant sects which had their fundamental ideological roots in the reformist ideas of John Calvin and Martin Luther. Both commoners and elites thus embraced the intertwined religious and secular manifestations of the Calvinist ethos – a philosophy defined by the idea that, instead of merely working for one’s living (in order to survive), one must “live to work.”




 Books by John Calvin

There are many quotes that are used from John Calvin books today both in universities as well as in protestant churches in the United States of America. Below you will find the list of Calvin’s books/works some of which have become very famous around the world.

1. Calvins Commentaries

2. First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians

3. Suffering

4. Treatises against the Anabaptists and against the Libertines

5. How They Found Christ

6. Hosea (Geneva Series of Commentaries)

7. Joel, Amos & Obadiah (Geneva Series of Commentaries)

8. The Covenant Enforced

9. 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus

10. Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God

11. Heart Aflame

12. John

13. Genesis (Geneva Commentaries)

14. Letters of John Calvin

15. Commentaries-Minor Prophets-5v Set

16. A Harmony of the Gospels

17. Jeremiah and Lamentations

18. Of the Popish Mass

19. Matthew, Mark, and Luke

20. Sermones Sobre Job

21. Calvin's New Testament Commentaries Series

22. Calvin's Ecclesiastical Advice

23. The Acts of the Apostles 1-13

24. Prayer

25. The Bondage and Liberation of the Will

26. Calvin Comentarios & Epistolas Pastorales

27. The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians

28. Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life

29. The Mystery of Godliness

30. Day by Day With John Calvin

31. 1 and 2 Thessalonians

32. A Reformation Debate

33. Great Sermons


35.Grace and Its Fruits

36.Commentaries-Jeremiah 30-47

37.Parallel Classic Commentary on the New Testament

38.An Admonition Concerning Relics

39.The Christian Life

40.Libro de Oro de La Verdadera Vida Cristiana

41.The Word And Prayer

42.  The Second Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians and the Epistles to Timothy, Titus and Philemon

43.Institutes Of The Christian Religion V2

44.An Abridgement of the Institution of Christian Religion 1585

45.Commentaries on the Minor Prophets

46.Daniel I (Chapters 1-6)

47.Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians

48.Jonah, Micah & Nahum (Geneva Series of Commentaries)


50.Hebrews and 1 & 2 Peter

51.Gospel According to St. John 1-10

52.Geneva Bible 1599

53.Truth for All Time

54.Knowledge of God the Creator

55.Romans and Thessalonians

56.On God and Man

57.Calvins Commentaries

58.First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians


60.Treatises against the Anabaptists and against the Libertines

61.How They Found Christ

62.Hosea (Geneva Series of Commentaries)

63.Joel, Amos & Obadiah (Geneva Series of Commentaries)


64.The Covenant Enforced

65.1 and 2 Timothy and Titus

66.Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God

67.Heart Aflame


69.Genesis (Geneva Commentaries)

70.Letters of John Calvin

71.Commentaries-Minor Prophets-5v Set

72.A Harmony of the Gospels

73.Jeremiah and Lamentations

74.Of the Popish Mass

75.Matthew, Mark, and Luke

76.Sermones Sobre Job

77.Calvin's New Testament Commentaries Series

78.Calvin's Ecclesiastical Advice

79.The Acts of the Apostles 1-13


81.The Bondage and Liberation of the Will

82.Calvin Comentarios & Epistolas Pastorales

83.The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians

84.Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life

85.The Mystery of Godliness

86.Day by Day With John Calvin

87.1 and 2 Thessalonians

88.A Reformation Debate

89.Great Sermons


91.Grace and Its Fruits

92.Commentaries-Jeremiah 30-47

93.Parallel Classic Commentary on the New Testament

94.An Admonition Concerning Relics

95.The Christian Life

96.Libro de Oro de La Verdadera Vida Cristiana

97.The Word And Prayer

98.The Second Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians and the Epistles to Timothy, Titus and Philemon

99.Institutes Of The Christian Religion V2

100.An Abridgement of the Institution of Christian Religion 1585

101.Commentaries on the Minor Prophets

102.Daniel I (Chapters 1-6)

103.Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians

104.Jonah, Micah & Nahum (Geneva Series of Commentaries)


106.Hebrews and 1 & 2 Peter

107.Gospel According to St. John 1-10

108.Geneva Bible 1599

109.Truth for All Time

110.Knowledge of God the Creator

111.Romans and Thessalonians

112.On God and Man






Calvin's home converted to a museum





Calvin Museum

Calvin was an tireless worker.Calvin, by Ary Scheffer © Musée Calvi



The house where Calvin was born became part of the Hôtel de France, built in the XVIIth century on the place aux Blés, (in fact, a small yard separated it from the “place”). This is what we can infer from drawings, engravings and photographs taken before 1918. During the wars of religion and succeeding invasions the house remained intact – in February 1553, Calvin wrote in a letter “My father’s house is the only one still standing : it is not reduced to rubble like the other houses of this town.”

Calvin's house was destroyed in the First World War and then rebuilt

The Germans took possession of Noyon in 1914 – soon after this a memorial plaque was put up on the house which stated that it was the historic birthplace of the reformer. In the last year of the war it was completely destroyed, as were all the other houses in the town. The imposing city residences which used to hide it from view were never rebuilt.

The Société de l’histoire du protestantisme français (SHPF), bought the ruins of the house and thanks to an international fund which was raised to finance the project, the lower part of the building (as it was before 1917), was completely restored. This was largely due to the efforts of two friends, Monseigneur Lagneau, archpriest of the cathedral and pastor Pannier, general secretary of the SHPF. The top part of the building was added later in order to transform it into a museum. It was inaugurated in 1930, damaged by bombing in 1944, restored in 1954 and, thanks to the perseverance of pastor Georges Casalis, modernized in 1983 to become the building we see today.

There is a large library and many pictures in the museum

Bourges, Calvin's pulpit © V.M.F.

There is a large library with original editions of the Bible, the New Testament, Commentaries etc. In addition, you can find several portraits, scenes of political or religious life in the XVIth century and engravings of Jean Calvin as well as some other reformers. The Noyon he knew as a child is brought to life through pictures of the town and historic sites. There are documents such as the well-known “Placards” of 1534, old maps, medals and seals. Furniture can also be found here, for example a pulpit from the “Désert”, 15Ith century chests and a copy of Calvin’s “seat of majesty”.









Jean Calvin Autograph December 22, 1559 © Musée Calvin de Noyon


The painting with the reformers in Sankt Petri

The painting of the Reformers in St. Peter's Church shows 16 theologians gathered about a table where the bright light of the gospel burns.As the figures show, the 16 theologians may not have met each other around a table, as not all of them lived at the same time.











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