French churches abroad,
Calvin understood and misunderstood

The year 2009 is the five hundredth anniversary of Calvin’s birth. Many celebrations have been organised with different aims, be they educational exhibitions or international congresses. The virtual museum of Protestantism has already devoted several texts to Jean Calvin, his life and work.

Our present exhibition focuses on his broad-minded views concerning problems in society and the debates following the birth of humanism. It also stresses aspects of his work for the Churches in France, and of his modern way of thinking.

The exhibition focuses on two aspects of Calvin’s work:

  • Calvin the letter-writer, spokesman for and defender of the Huguenots;
  • Calvin, the author of a treatise against judiciary astrology.
About French churches and
astrology : Calvin understood and misunderstood

From sensitivity to evangelical trends to organising the French Reformed Church in the 16th century.

The king’s policy
towards the Reformed Church
in France (1555-1562)

Calvin, through representatives from the Church in Paris, presented a confession of faith to King Henri II.

Calvin advised
and “guided the souls”
of “faithful believers in France”

Calvin wrote letters to several Protestant communities and encouraged them to be steadfast – he called them “the faithful believers of France”. He wanted to give them advice and...

Calvin’s letter
to the “Paris prisoners”
(September 1557)

Calvin wrote the following letter to the “Paris prisoners” ; they were, for the most part, ladies of the nobility who had been arrested for attending a Protestant assembly in the rue...

Against judiciary astrology

Astrology is said to be judiciary when observations of the heavens are interpreted to allegedly distinguish between right and wrong, in order to judge individuals. The practice was very highly...

The aim of the Warning

A hypothesis without scientific basis.

Judiciary astrology,
a very ancient tradition

Judiciary astrology (God’s judgement announced in the stars) as practiced in the 16th century, was part of very ancient traditions, which never ceased to cause amazement and...

A warning to simple people

Rather Calvin addressed, in his words, simple people, meaning those who were not educated, but were sympathetic to the Reformed trends. Some, in remote parts of the countryside, enjoyed listening...

Calvin on “What is
a true prophetic word ?”

There is but one true prophetic word, the one anchored in faith, which underestimates neither sin nor salvation.