Portal:Calvinism

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Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, the Reformed faith, or Reformed theology) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice of John Calvin and other Reformation-era theologians. The Reformed tradition was advanced by several theologians such as Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger, Peter Martyr Vermigli, and Huldrych Zwingli, but this branch of Christianity bears the name of the French reformer John Calvin because of his prominent influence on it and because of his role in the confessional and ecclesiastical debates throughout the 16th century.

Calvinists broke with the Roman Catholic Church but differed from Lutherans on the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, theories of worship, and the use of God's law for believers, among other things. Calvinism can be a misleading term because the religious tradition it denotes is and has always been diverse, with a wide range of influences rather than a single founder. The movement was first called Calvinism by Lutherans who opposed it, and many within the tradition would prefer to use the word Reformed.

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Portrait of Knox from the original in the possession of Lord Torpichen at Calder House.
John Knox (c. 1510 – 24 November 1572) was a Scottish clergyman and a leader of the Protestant Reformation and he is considered the founder of the Presbyterian denomination. He was educated at the University of St Andrews and worked as a notary-priest. Influenced by early church reformers such as George Wishart, he joined the movement to reform the Scottish church. He was caught up in the ecclesiastical and political events that involved the murder of Cardinal Beaton in 1546 and the intervention of the regent of Scotland. He was taken prisoner by French forces the following year and exiled to England on his release in 1549.

When Mary Tudor ascended the throne and reestablished Roman Catholicism, Knox was forced to resign his position and leave the country. Knox first moved to Geneva and then to Frankfurt. On his return to Scotland, he led the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Protestant nobility. Knox helped write the new confession of faith and the ecclesiastical order for the newly created reformed church, the Kirk. He continued to serve as the religious leader of the Protestants throughout Mary's reign. In several interviews with the queen, Knox admonished her for supporting Roman practices. Eventually, when she was imprisoned and James VI enthroned in her stead, he openly attacked her in sermons. He continued to preach until his final days.

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