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Calvinism and Religious Radicals

| Discussion Topics | Documents | Reading |

 Discussion Topics and Essay Questions

a) Calvinism and the Swiss Reformation
  • How important was the Swiss Reformation to the spread of European Protestantism?
  • Why was Calvinism the most successful brand of Protestantism in later sixteenth-century Europe?
  • How radical was Calvinism?
b) Radical Religious Minorities
  • Why did religious minorities arouse such hostility in early modern Europe?
  • Did radical religious groups present a serious threat to established authority?


**NOTE: Some eresources are accessible only on-campus or via off-campus proxies or the athens service**





Audio Links

 Secondary Literature

Key Selected Texts

(see also the secondary literature for The Reformation and Religious Change)

  • A. Pettegree (ed.), The Reformation World (2000) (ebook), esp. parts 3 and 4
  • Penny Roberts, 'The Long Reformation: Reformed', in B. Kümin (ed.), The European World (2009)
  • A. Ryrie, Palgrave Advances in the European Reformations (2006)

Further Reading

a) Calvin and Calvinism
b) The Radical Reformation (esp. the Anabaptists)
c) Radical religious groups (esp. in 17thC England)

d) Toleration and persecution in 16thC Europe

·Dutch iconoclasm (1566)
·John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536-59), 'On civil government and resistence'
·Theodore Beza, Supralapsarianism: The Fall of Man Was Both Necessary and Wonderful
·The Heidelberg Catechism, 'Part I - On the Misery of Man' (1542)
·Theodore Beza, On the Rights of Magistrates, 'Must Magistrates Always Be Obeyed As Unconditionally As God?' (1574)
·William Dowsing's Journal detailing iconoclasm in East Anglia (1640s)
·Job Adriaensz Berckheyde, Interior of the St Bavo Church at Haarlem (1560)
·Franz Hogenberg, The Calvinist Iconoclastic Riot of August 20, 1566 (1588)
·Francois Dubois, St Bartholomew's Day Massacre

b) Calvinism

  • P. Benedict, Christ’s Churches Purely Reformed: A Social History of Calvinism (2002)
  • F. Clark, Calvin and other Reformers (1972)
  • B. Cottret, Calvin: a Biography (2000)
  • J. Dillenberger, Images and relics: theological perceptions and visual images in sixteenth-century Europe (1999)
  • C. Eire, The War against the Idols: the Reformation of Worship from Erasmus to Calvin (1996)
  • B. Gordon, The Swiss Reformation (2002)
  • “ , Calvin (2009)
  • B. Hall, Calvin (1956)
  • H. Höpfl, The Christian Polity of John Calvin (1982)
  • R.P. Hsia, Social Discipline in the Reformation 1550-1750 (1989)

Module Forum

Module Homepage



Glossary of Religious Terms

External Links

(see also the links for The Reformation and Religious Change)

Martin Luther, On the Jews and their Lies (1543)

French Wars of Religion - primary sources

Huguenots (from New Advent) - information about French Protestantism

Street Corner Society - explores the history of radical groups like the Quakers and Diggers

The Diggers - documents and essays relating to the English Digger movement (1649-50)

British Civil Wars, Commonwealth and Protectorate - good section on the different sects and factions that emerged during the conflicts