Calvin And De Las Casas Essay

1993 words - 8 pages

Calvin and De Las Casas In the 16th century there was a general movement for reform in Europe. The reform obviously varied from culture to culture, religion playing a bigger part of the reform at the time. However cultures with widely differing practices often share certain fundamental values. They all shared in the interest to spread intense religious feelings among the people of Europe. This period in history is called the Reformation. The events of the Reformation, however, were closely tied in to political and social conflict. Two important figures of the time that had to deal with these political and social conflicts were John Calvin and Bartolomé de Las Casas. Both of these figures were men of their hour who basically gave their lives in order to see that their goals for reform where met. This paper will take a look at both these men's lives and show that despite the obvious differences in both of these reformers' lives; they used politics in their strategy for reform, thus, sharing a single movement for reform in the 16th century. John Calvin was born on July 10, 1509 in Noyon, France. In those days the most important man in Noyon was a bishop whom Calvin's father was a secretary to. It was a factor that made his father decided that Calvin would get a religious education. At fourteen his father sent him to the University of Paris to be trained to be a priest by studying theology. He received a thorough conservative training in Catholic faith at this university. His fathers' affairs with the bishop fell out, again playing a part in Calvin's life. His father now felt that law would be more to his liking and he sent Calvin to the University of Orleans and Bourges. Despite the education he received at both universities, Calvin was more interested in the study of the classics. So when his father passes away he seized the opportunity to follow his heart by returning to the University of Paris to study Greek, Hebrew, and Latin classics. It seemed that Calvin had found a field of his own choice but, something happened that converted him and from that time on he gave his life to the service of God. Now a lover of the great Christian classic, the Bible, he became convinced that the Word of God, the holy Scripture, and not the things which the Church fathers said, was the real guide to follow in religious matters. His Protestant views forced him to flee Paris for his safety after his friend Nicholas Cop, who was giving his inaugural address as rector, made a strong plea for acceptance of the Reformation. But it was the case that many rectors have tried to do the same in Calvin's defense failing and having to flee for their safety."Rector after rector neglected to insist that students declare in writing their subscription to the full version of confession of faith which seems quietly to have fallen into desuetude. The intention, at the outset, had been to deny entry to the unsound in doctrine lest they pollute the School...

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