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John Calvin (Jean Cauvin) was a French theologian, pastor and writer during the Protestant Reformation, and a principal figure in the development of the Christian theology system which was later called Calvinism. He broke away from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530 but was forced to flee to Switzerland when religious tensions in Franch provoked violent uprisings against the Protestants.
As church leader, introduced new forms of church government and liturgy in Geneva, despite the opposition of several powerful families who tried to suppress his authority. Calvin spent his final years promoting the Reformation both in Geneva and throughout Europe. Calvin was influenced by the Augustinian tradition, and expounded the doctrine of predestination and the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation.
Calvin's writing and preachings provided the seeds for the branch of theology that bears his name. The Presbyterian and other Reformed churches, which look to Calvin as a chief expositor of their beliefs, have spread throughout the world.
Last Updated: 14-April-2016