and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss
JOHN CALVIN: THIRD JUBILEE OF THE REFORMATION IN GENEVA
Bovy, Antoine: Swiss, 1835, Bronze, 108 mm
Jean Cauvin, known as Jean (John) Calvin (1509-1564) was a French theologian of the Protestant Reformation. He was born in Northern France, the son of an attorney. He studied law, learned Greek and Hebrew, but was never ordained a priest. Calvin was greatly influenced by the Humanism of Erasmus while studying at the University of Paris. There he came to reject papal authority and scholasticism in favor of the Scriptures. In 1532 he published provocative theses and instantly had to flee Paris, the flight marking his breech with the Catholic Church. Because of his beliefs, he was forced into exile in Switzerland and in 1538 he fled to Strasbourg. In 1541 he returned to Geneva to found a theocracy based on his Ecclesiastical Ordinances. While there he was excommunicated by the church and banned from France. As Geneva welcomed religious refugees from across Europe, the city became a base for the spread of Calvinism. At a synod, the city accepted the bible as the only source of God's law, and the city's constitution and laws were rewritten.
John Calvin’s numerous works include Institutions of the Christian Religion, On the Christian Life, and The Necessity of Reforming the Church.
The date for the inception of the Reformation in Geneva is considered to be in 1535 when, by edict, Roman Catholicism ceased to be the official religion. This medal commemorates the 300th anniversary of this historic event.
See also medal of John Calvin by Sebastian Dadler.