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JEAN CALVIN

In 1541 the French Protestant reformer Jean Calvin (1509-64) set up a Puritan state in Geneva.

He was originally named Jean Chauvin. He studied law and theology, before becoming involved in the Reformation. He believed in predestination (that God had already ordained the future) and that only people chosen by God, the Elect, would be saved. He began the Protestant movement in France in 1532, subsequently fleeing to Switzerland to escape religious persecution in France. His summary of Protestant beliefs, Institutes of the Christian Religion (1535), became the foundation of Calvinism. Calvin spent the rest of his career trying to run the city of Geneva along strict Puritan lines, imposing a dress code and banning all public entertainments.

He died in 1564.



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