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He was invited back again in , and upon his return from Germany, where he had been living, he became an important spiritual and political leader. Calvin used Protestant principles to establish a religious government; and in , he was given absolute supremacy as leader in Geneva. As Martin Luther's successor as the preeminent Protestant theologian, Calvin was known for an intellectual, unemotional approach to faith that provided Protestantism's theological underpinnings, whereas Luther brought passion and populism to his religious cause.
While instituting many positive policies, Calvin's government also punished "impiety" and dissent against his particularly spare vision of Christianity with execution.
In the first five years of his rule in Geneva, 58 people were executed and 76 exiled for their religious beliefs. Calvin allowed no art other than music, and even that could not involve instruments. Under his rule, Geneva became the center of Protestantism, and sent out pastors to the rest of Europe, creating Presbyterianism in Scotland, the Puritan Movement in England and the Reformed Church in the Netherlands.
Calvin died on May 27, , in Geneva, Switzerland. It is unknown where he is buried. Today, Calvin remains widely credited as the most important figure in the second generation of the Protestant Reformation. We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!
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