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Calvin, Jean

( French theologian and religious reformer, founder of Calvinism.)

Comments for Calvin, Jean
Biography Calvin, Jean
(1509-1564)
Born July 10, 1509 in Noyon, the diocesan center in northern France. His father, Gerard Cowen, has reached a fairly high position in the church and social hierarchy, but in 1528 his detractors made him exile. Calvin's mother, Jeanne Lefranc, was a pious woman from a noble family Walloon. Little Jean, was distinguished by outstanding talent, received his primary education, together with the offspring of a noble family in the castle Montmorot. In 1524-1528 Calvin studied a course in formal logic board Montague in Paris, where instruction was still scholastic methods and where reigned severe ascetic spirit. However, Calvin sought to broaden the narrow confines of this training through intensive self-study various scientific disciplines. Originally designed to church his career (at age 13, he was provided with benefices), but after graduating from the faculty of free science, he, at the request of his father and of his own inclinations, decided to go to law. In Orleans and Brzhe he listened to the lectures of the most famous jurists of the medieval and Renaissance schools, and in 1531 finished the study of law with the degree of licentiate. During this period, Calvin, not limited to jurisprudence, trying to expand their knowledge in the field of classical philology and general humanities. The result of these studies was his commentary on Seneca's treatise on charity (De clementia), published in 1532. But more important for the whole subsequent life of Calvin began his contacts with the reformist and evangelical communities, which in France rallied around the humanist Faber Stapulensisa (ca. 1455-1536), and these people are not only studied the Bible in the original languages, but were familiar with the works of M. Luther, whose 95 theses against indulgences were published in 1517. Rotating in a circle of supporters of Luther, Calvin, and gradually he joined the evangelical Christians. Subsequently, he wrote: 'At first I was so persistently clung to a popish superstition, that I could hardly get out of this abyss. But his sudden conversion, God compelled my heart to obedience '. No information when it came his final break with Rome - in the 1527-1528 or 1532-1533. However, well aware that in late 1533, after the revolutionary reformist speech made rector of the Sorbonne Nicholas cop, which probably inspired by Calvin, the latter had to quickly flee from Paris to escape persecution. He lived under an assumed name in Angouleme, Nerake, Noyon, Poitiers, Orleans and Kle. The growing persecution of evangelical Christians in France, eventually forced him to leave the country altogether: Calvin went to Strasbourg and then in Basel. There he met many leaders of the Reformation - Heinrich Bullinger, Martin Bucer, Wolfgang Kapitonov, Simon Grineem and Oswald Micon. In addition, in 1536 the first edition of Calvin undertook his most important theological work - Manual of the Christian faith (Institutio religionis christianae). This book is in some points is clearly overlapped with the catechism of Luther, it was conceived to give a summary of the Protestant faith and to protect the French Protestants from the allegations, . they, . like the Anabaptists in Germany, . revolt against the government,
. In order to protect themselves Calvin prefaced his book, a lengthy and sophisticated dedication to the French king Francis I.
In the spring of 1536 Calvin lived some time in Italy at the court of the Duchess Renata Ferrara, and in autumn of that year, last visited Noyon. From there he intended to go to Strasbourg, but an outbreak of war between Charles V and Francis I of France made prohibitively expensive by Lorraine, and he had to go through Geneva. In Geneva, he had intended only to sleep, but on his arrival became known H. Varel, just launched a reform of the church in Geneva. Farel asked and even begged Calvin, has already earned a reputation in scientific circles for his book, to stay in Geneva and to read the course of theological lectures. He believed that it would be very helpful if the author of Institutio deliver lectures on the SW. Scripture and show the citizens of Geneva, where the Reformation has just gained momentum, it means not only political independence from the Savoy and the bishop, but life in accordance with the precepts of the Gospel and the promises. If Calvin initially refused to take on this task, it is only because he had other plans and that he, at his temperament, was inclined to avoid the publicity. However, permeated with the conviction that God is really like, he contributed to the triumph of the Reformation in Geneva, he, with all zeal and diligence took the role of professor and preacher, SW. Scripture.

At first, Calvin intended to implement radical changes, completely changing the physical and spiritual makeup of the city. Unfortunately, three years later, this plan failed - partly because of pride and stubbornness Genevan, partly because of the impatience of the reformer. Calvin was banished from the city. He again moved to Strasbourg, and lived there from 1538 and 1541, but not as a preacher and religious teacher, but as a scientist. Here, . in addition to lecturing at them gathered around a small community of refugees from France, . he had the opportunity to get acquainted with the type of church organization, . which he dreamed, it was a truly evangelical church, . with the liturgical rite, . Church discipline, . joint singing of psalms,
. In addition, he participated in religious disputes, held in Hagen, Worms and Regensburg on the initiative of Charles V, and published a second, considerably enlarged edition of Institutio. An important aspect of his work was Anabaptist persuasion and return to the church many of them. In 1540, in Strasbourg, Calvin married Idlette De Bur, widow repentant Anabaptists.

However, all this time he did not forget about the Genevan, and Genevese not forget about it. In early 1539, shortly after the expulsion, he was at the request of bцLarnaise, wrote a brilliant response to Cardinal Sadole, who sent a pastoral letter to Genevan return to the bosom of the Catholic Church. After 1540 internal complications forced Genevan solicit Calvin back to Geneva. Autumn 1541 Calvin gave these requests - on condition that he be given the opportunity to implement innovations, which he achieved earlier, ie. make church reform on the basis of a new system of church positions ( 'church ordinances', . ordonnances ecclsiastiques, . 1541) and a single tier of worship ( 'rite church prayers and hymns', . forme des prires et de chants ecclsiastiques, . 1542), . as well as the adoption of the new catechism,
. Since this began the second period of activity of Calvin in Geneva. He himself was no longer impulsive and passionate enthusiast, as before, it was a mature and prudent builder of church life, and his case will soon become world-wide significance.

Its merit lies primarily in the construction of a truly evangelical church. Taking the example of New Testament and ancient church, Calvin created in Geneva, a church organization, which later became normative for the Reformed Churches throughout the world. He established four compulsory church ministry: pastors, doctors (teachers of theology), presbyters (elders) and deacons (assistants). Pastors, along with teachers form vnrable companie des pasteurs ( 'venerable collection of pastors') to guide catechesis and education, as pastors, along with the elders - 'consistory' to supervise the morals and behavior of church members. Elders (presbyters), together with the deacons do the material needs of the flock, care for the poor, as well as take on some pastoral work. When the organization received a fixed rank services and liturgies, . including the singing of psalms and confession, . an opportunity to create a community of believers, . are not simply going to the Sunday worship, . to thank God and receive a warning, . but tried to turn his entire life in service to God,
. While, . that the church remains the center of, . affecting the entire life of believers, . is service to God can be in everyday affairs, . in teaching school, . caring for the poor, . so that economic, . and political life, . and in general - all private and all public life dedicated to serving God,
. Calvin gave his church as a community of believers, are guided by the knowledge that each member, in accordance with their abilities and occupies the position, should strive to turn the world into 'sight of God's glory' (theatrum gloriae Dei). In addition, the reformer, tried to, the introduction of strict internal discipline, to make the Church independent of secular authorities and enable her to live by their own laws separate from the state, and even against the will of the civilian authorities. Strictly adhering to this policy and appointing the most severe punishment for deviations from the purity of dogma and disregard for the commandments of the church, . Calvin is constantly in conflict with his opponents, . while, . in 1555, . his followers did not have a majority in the magistrate,
. Widely known for his action against S. Kastelliona, A. Perrin, Berthelot, and M. Bolseka Servetus. However, it would be wrong to blame for the persecution of one of Calvin or see it on this basis, intolerant and intolerable despot, . 'proud, . arrogant, . tyrannical nature, . - As they say, . - Full of cruelty and hatred towards their enemies',
. Calvin has never acted out of personal motives, but always proceeded from the political necessity and the representations of his era. Lucidity purpose, . to which should seek, . his own deepest sense of responsibility, . especially political and religious situation in Geneva, and the specific tasks, . who stood in front of Calvin, . prompted him to achieve in 1544 with the displacement Kastelliona rector of the Geneva College because of differences in religious views, . exile in 1552 Bolseka, . criticized Calvin's doctrine of predestination to salvation, . and execution in 1553 the Spanish physician Michael Servetus as a heretic and false teachers, . denies the doctrine of the Trinity,
. According to the Calvin, Geneva, entrenched inside, had become a bastion of the Reformation, but the power over the republic of Geneva has never been an end in itself for the reformer. His original goal was to return France to the evangelical faith, . - And not only France, . but many other countries, . religious and spiritual leaders who maintained contact with Calvin, . - Scotland, . England, . Netherlands, . Poland and Transylvania (if you merely mention the most important),
. Only by including every single Christian in the church community and achieving strict adherence to the doctrinal and church discipline, Calvin was able to complete the work of the Reformation as a successor to Luther in the Western and Central Europe. Only through vigorous and stringent measures (which, . if necessary, . could be flexible enough), and only through the unification of church organization and worship Calvin succeeded in making Geneva the Protestant spirituality center model with high moral standards and lifestyles,
. On the outstanding abilities of Calvin, his generosity and genuine breadth (but not narrow) views are best allow us to judge his efforts to unite Church. Always and everywhere, wherever possible, Calvin sought to unite the Protestants. Unfortunately, these efforts have met with only a single success - the adoption of the 'Zurich Agreement' (Consensus Tigurinus, 1549), established the trade-off between Calvin and the Protestants of the German part of Switzerland in the interpretation of the doctrine of the Eucharist.

To this day retains its significance vast literary heritage of Calvin. He not only preached and taught the children, . adults and students, . but a lot of writing - 'exposure' (interpretation) and homilite almost all the books of the Old and New Testaments, . theological treatises (for the most part - pamphlets in defense of the Geneva Reformation and the Reformation in general), . instructive and edifying letters,
. His main ideas were set out in the already mentioned treatise Institutio religionis christianae. This work complements and Calvin rewrote several times, until it grew to four thick volumes. Calvin Institutio - the most important doctrinal essay in the history of the Reformation and the most extensive and comprehensive theological system for the entire period from Thomas Aquinas to F. Schleiermacher. It remains the most vivid example of Protestant thought. Conceived as a simple introduction to CB. Scripture and the presentation of its content, this book, faithful to its subject - the Bible does not leave aside as a purely ecclesiastical tradition. It discusses the ideas and lively discussion of ancient philosophy, . Church Fathers (especially St. John Chrysostom and Augustine), . scholastics (Peter Lombard, . Aquinas, . Anselm of Canterbury, . Duns Scotus and Bernard of Clairvaux), . Calvin representatives of the modern Roman Catholic Church, . Erasmus, . Luther, . Bucer, . Melanchthon, . Anabaptists, . Spirituals and antitrinitariev,
. Thus, Calvin collected and systematized all the major theological ideas of his time, but we can not say that he adhered to any particular theological principles. His theological system can not be reduced to any of the ideas included in it - for example, the idea of predestination. It simply takes the biblical truth and combines them, guided by the highest principle - the perception of the key role of Christ.

Teaching Kalviia.

Influence Calvin.


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