Calvin and the Anabaptists

Mirjam van Veen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


The unhappy encounter between Anabaptists and Reformed in Wismar in 1553 is a striking example of how confusing the sixteenth-century religious landscape was. In the early 1550s a group of Anabaptists under the leadership of Menno Simons managed to live peacefully in the small German Hanseatic town Wismar. They met informally in the private homes of members of their community. Apparently Wismar’s authorities turned a blind eye toward this group of Anabaptists. This mode of peaceful coexistence between a predominantly Lutheran population and a minority of Anabaptist refugees came to an end when a group of Dutch Reformed refugees arrived in the city. Unlike the Anabaptists, these Reformed refugees were unwilling to compromise. They endeavored to establish their own ecclesiastical organization and claimed their own church building to worship God in a pure Reformed manner.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJohn Calvin in Context
EditorsR. Ward Holder
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press 2010
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781108687447
ISBN (Print)9781108482400
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


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