Exiles and Calvinist Identity

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Historians tend to agree that the experience of exile had a decisive impact on the organizational structures of Calvinism, and on its theology and identity, encouraging the development of independent church structures, and a strong Reformed confessional culture. Meanwhile, the decision to go into exile is considered a catalyst for wider radicalization among Calvinists. But this consensus is problematic. So many refugees were ready to negotiate their beliefs that it raises the question of whether the notion of radicalized exiles really matches the experiences of sixteenth-century believers. Like other Protestants, Reformed theologians were inclined to identify their church as a suffering church. This chapter argues that exile did not contribute to the development of orthodox Calvinism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultures of Calvinism en Early Modern-Europe
EditorsCrawford Gribben, Graeme Murdock
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780190066185
ISBN (Print)9780190456283
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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