Statues of William Farel, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, and John Knox at the centre of the International Monument to the Reformation in Geneva, Switzerland. They were among the most influential theologians that helped develop the Reformed tradition.
Huldrych Zwingli as depicted by Hans Asper in an oil portrait from 1531 (Kunstmuseum Winterthur)
Calvin preached at St. Pierre Cathedral in Geneva
Map of the Swiss Confederation in 1515
Cover of Calvin's magnum opus: Institutes of the Christian Religion
House where Zwingli was born in Wildhaus in what is now the Canton of St. Gallen
Early Calvinism was known for simple, unadorned churches, as shown in this 1661 painting of the interior of the Oude Kerk, Amsterdam
The Grossmünster in the centre of the medieval town of Zürich (Murerplan, 1576)
Abandoned Calvinist church in Łapczyna Wola, Poland
Relief of Zwingli preaching at the pulpit, Otto Münch, 1935
Calvinist church in Semarang, Indonesia.
Above the entrance to the Grossmünster doors is inscribed Matthew 11:28, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
The seal of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, an early American Presbyterian church
Statue of Zwingli in front of the Wasserkirche church in Zürich
Fall of Man by Jacob Jordaens
1549 painting by Hans Asper
The "Shield of the Trinity" diagrams the classic doctrine of the Trinity
Coloured woodcut of the Marburg Colloquy, anonymous, 1557
This Dutch stained glass allegory shows Christ ascending the cross with Satan and several dead people on his back. Faith is personified as a woman to the right of a naked man on the ground asking Christ the way of salvation.
The Battle of Kappel, 11 October 1531, from Chronik by Johannes Stumpf, 1548
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt, based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son illustrating forgiveness
"The murder of Zwingli", by Karl Jauslin (1842–1904).
John Calvin on his deathbed with church members
A rendition of Huldrych Zwingli from the 1906 edition of the Meyers Konversations-Lexikon
The Bay Psalm Book was used by the Pilgrims.
Painting of Zwingli by Hans Asper
Moïse Amyraut formulated Amyraldism, a modified Calvinist theology regarding the nature of Christ's atonement.
Dutch prime minister Abraham Kuyper initiated neo-Calvinism
Stephen Bocskay, leader of Hungarian Calvinists in anti-Habsburg rebellion and first Calvinist prince of Transylvania ((r. 1605 – 1606))
Reformed church in Koudekerk aan den Rijn (Netherlands), 19th century
The burning of the Guernsey Martyrs during the Marian persecutions in 1556
The Grote Kerk in Haarlem, Dutch Republic, c. 1665

The namesake of the movement, French reformer John Calvin, embraced Protestant beliefs in the late 1520s or early 1530s, as the earliest notions of later Reformed tradition were already espoused by Huldrych Zwingli.

- Calvinism

His legacy lives on in the confessions, liturgy, and church orders of the Reformed churches of today.

- Huldrych Zwingli
Statues of William Farel, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, and John Knox at the centre of the International Monument to the Reformation in Geneva, Switzerland. They were among the most influential theologians that helped develop the Reformed tradition.

13 related topics

Alpha

Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms, where he refused to recant his works when asked to by Charles V. (painting from Anton von Werner, 1877, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart)

Reformation

Major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in particular to papal authority, arising from what were perceived to be errors, abuses, and discrepancies by the Catholic Church.

Major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in particular to papal authority, arising from what were perceived to be errors, abuses, and discrepancies by the Catholic Church.

Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms, where he refused to recant his works when asked to by Charles V. (painting from Anton von Werner, 1877, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart)
Martin Luther's 1534 Bible translated into German. Luther's translation influenced the development of the current Standard German.
Erasmus was a Catholic priest who inspired some of the Protestant reformers
Jiří Třanovský (1592–1637), the "Luther of the Slavs" who was active in Bohemia, Moravia, Poland, and Slovakia (Upper Hungary)
Huldrych Zwingli launched the Reformation in Switzerland. Portrait by Hans Asper.
John Calvin was one of the leading figures of the Reformation. His legacy remains in a variety of churches.
The seal of the Diocese of Turku (Finland) during the 16th and 17th centuries featured the finger of St Henry. The post-Reformation diocese included the relic of a pre-Reformation saint in its seal.
Henry VIII broke England's ties with the Roman Catholic Church, becoming the sole head of the English Church.
Thomas Cranmer proved essential in the development of the English Reformation.
Oliver Cromwell was a devout Puritan and military leader, who became Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
John Knox was a leading figure in the Scottish Reformation
Although a Catholic clergyman himself, Cardinal Richelieu allied France with Protestant states.
Saint Bartholomew's Day massacre, painting by François Dubois
Contemporary illustration of the auto-da-fé of Valladolid, in which fourteen Protestants were burned at the stake for their faith, on 21 May 1559
Anabaptist Dirk Willems rescues his pursuer and is subsequently burned at the stake in 1569.
Stephen Bocskay prevented the Holy Roman Emperor from imposing Catholicism on Hungarians.
A devout Catholic, Mary I of England started the first Plantations of Ireland, which, ironically, soon came to be associated with Protestantism.
Waldensian symbol Lux lucet in tenebris ("Light glows in the darkness")
Jan Łaski sought unity between various Christian Churches in the Commonwealth, and participated in the English Reformation.
Reformation in Moldova
Primož Trubar, a Lutheran reformer in Slovenia
Religious fragmentation in Central Europe at the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War (1618).
The Reformation at its peak, superimposed on modern European borders
The Reformation & the Counter-Reformation—both at their end—and superimposed on modern European borders
Treaty of Westphalia allowed Calvinism to be freely exercised, reducing the need for Crypto-Calvinism
Katharina von Bora played a role in shaping social ethics during the Reformation.

The initial movement in Germany diversified, and other reformers such as Huldrych Zwingli and John Calvin arose.

During Reformation-era confessionalization, Western Christianity adopted different confessions (Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, Anabaptist, Unitarian, etc.).

Luther's rose seal, a symbol of Lutheranism

Lutheranism

One of the largest branches of Protestantism, identifying with the theology of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the Roman Catholic Church launched the Protestant Reformation.

One of the largest branches of Protestantism, identifying with the theology of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the Roman Catholic Church launched the Protestant Reformation.

Luther's rose seal, a symbol of Lutheranism
Martin Luther (1529) by Lucas Cranach the Elder
Title page of the Swedish Gustav Vasa Bible, translated by the Petri brothers, along with Laurentius Andreae
A Hundskirche replica
The University of Jena around 1600. Jena was the center of Gnesio-Lutheran activity during the controversies leading up to the Formula of Concord and afterwards was a center of Lutheran Orthodoxy.
Danish Queen Sophie Magdalene expressed her Pietist sentiment in 1737 by founding a Lutheran convent.
A nineteenth-century Haugean conventicle
The Olbers, one of the ships that carried Old Lutherans to the Western Hemisphere
Representing the continuation of the Finnish Awakening to the present, youth are confirmed at the site of Paavo Ruotsalainen's homestead.
Luther's translation of the Bible, from 1534
Moses and Elijah point the sinner looking for God's salvation to the cross to find it (Theology of the Cross).
Law and Grace, by Lucas Cranach the Elder. The left side shows humans' condemnation under God's law, while the right side presents God's grace in Christ.
Title page from the 1580 Dresden Book of Concord
Lutherans believe that whoever has faith in Jesus alone will receive salvation from the grace of God and will enter eternity in heaven instead of eternity in hell after death or at the second coming of Jesus.
Lutherans believe in the Trinity.
A.C. Article IX: Of Confession
Lutherans practice infant baptism.
Luther communing John the Steadfast
A.C. Article 18: Of Free Will
The Broad and the Narrow Way, a popular German Pietist painting, 1866
"Even though I am a sinner and deserving of death and hell, this shall nonetheless be my consolation and my victory that my Lord Jesus lives and has risen so that He, in the end, might rescue me from sin, death, and hell."—Luther
Luther composed hymns and hymn tunes, including "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott" ("A Mighty Fortress Is Our God").
Divine Service at the St. Nicholas church in Luckau, Germany
Ukrainian Lutheran Church of the Cross of the Lord in Kremenets, which uses the Byzantine Rite
Christ Lutheran Church, Narsapur in India
Resurrection Lutheran School is a parochial school of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) in Rochester, Minnesota. The WELS school system is the fourth largest private school system in the United States.
Georg Calixtus taught at the University of Helmstedt during the Syncretistic controversy.
Stormtroopers holding German Christian propaganda during the church council elections on 23 July 1933 at St. Mary's Church, Berlin. After that, internal struggles, controversies, reorganization, and splits struck the German Evangelical Church.
LCMS pastor wearing a chasuble during communion
Confirmation in Lunder Church, Ringerike, Norway, 2012. The Church of Norway is a member of the Porvoo Communion, which means that these confirmands would be readily transferred into any Anglican church should they ever emigrate.
Læstadian lay preacher from Finnmark, Norway, 1898
Hallowed be Thy Name by Lucas Cranach the Elder illustrates a Lutheran pastor preaching Christ crucified. During the Reformation and afterwards, many churches did not have pews, so people would stand or sit on the floor. The elderly might be given a chair or stool.
Nathan Söderblom is ordained as archbishop of the Church of Sweden, 1914. Although the Swedish Lutherans boast of an unbroken line of ordinations going back prior to the Reformation, the bishops of Rome do not recognize such ordinations as valid.
Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in St. Petersburg
Schwäbisch Hall Church Order, 1543
The Pennsylvania Ministerium published this 1803 hymnal.
Lighthouse Lutheran Church, an LCMC congregation in Freedom, Pennsylvania
A church of the Batak Protestant Church in Balige, Indonesia, a merged denomination that includes a Lutheran element
View of the altar and the pulpit in the Church of the Ascension in Jerusalem
Faith Lutheran School in Hong Kong
The coat of arms of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
Countries with a member of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference as of 2013

Unlike Calvinism, Lutheranism retains many of the liturgical practices and sacramental teachings of the pre-Reformation Western Church, with a particular emphasis on the Eucharist, or Lord's Supper, though Eastern Lutheranism uses the Byzantine Rite.

The followers of John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, and other theologians linked to the Reformed tradition also used that term.

Portrait by an unknown artist, German School

Martin Bucer

Portrait by an unknown artist, German School
Map showing the two partitions that made up Saxony in green and pink. Saxony had long been divided into two principalities, one of which, with its capital at Wittenberg, was an electorate. Charles V transferred the electorate and much of its territory to Albertine Saxony in 1547 after the defeat of the Schmalkaldic League and John Frederick I, Elector of Saxony. Hesse was to the west of Saxony. Important cities that Bucer visited are shown in red.
Franz von Sickingen was the protector and defender of Martin Bucer during his early years.
Matthew Zell was the first major reformer in Strasbourg and supported Bucer on his arrival in the city.
Bucer tried to mediate between Martin Luther (left) and Huldrych Zwingli (right) on doctrinal matters.
The Church of the Penitent Magdalens' steeple behind timber-framed houses extant since the time of Martin Bucer
Philipp Melanchthon worked closely with Bucer on many theological documents to advance the reformed cause.
Charles V attempted to win back Protestant princes through a series of colloquies and imperial diets. When reconciliation failed, he sought to suppress Protestant resistance in the Schmalkaldic War.
Thomas Cranmer gave Martin Bucer refuge in England, where he lived his final years.
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Martin Bucer (early German: Martin Butzer; 11 November 1491 – 28 February 1551) was a German Protestant reformer based in Strasbourg who influenced Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anglican doctrines and practices.

He acted as a mediator between the two leading reformers, Martin Luther and Huldrych Zwingli, who differed on the doctrine of the Eucharist.

Posthumous portrait by Hans Asper, before 1550

Johannes Oecolampadius

Posthumous portrait by Hans Asper, before 1550
Johannes Œcolampadius by Hans Asper
Statue of Oecolampadius at Basel Minster

Johannes Oecolampadius (also Œcolampadius, in German also Oekolampadius, Oekolampad; 1482 – 24 November 1531) was a German Protestant reformer in the Calvinist tradition from the Electoral Palatinate.

He was the leader of the Protestant faction in the Baden Disputation of 1526, and he was one of the founders of Protestant theology, engaging in disputes with Erasmus, Zwingli, Luther and Martin Bucer.

Wolfgang Capito

Wolfgang Capito

Wolfgang Fabricius Capito (also Koepfel) (c.

Wolfgang Fabricius Capito (also Koepfel) (c.

Wolfgang Capito

1478 – November 1541) was a German Protestant reformer in the Calvinist tradition.

Here he made the acquaintance of Zwingli and began to correspond with Luther.

Portrait by Hans Asper, c. 1550

Heinrich Bullinger

Portrait by Hans Asper, c. 1550
Sculpture of Bullinger at Grossmünster (Otto Charles Bänninger 1940)
Iconoclasm during the Reformation in Zürich, Stadelhofen, illustrated Bullinger chronicle

Heinrich Bullinger (18 July 1504 – 17 September 1575) was a Swiss Reformer, the successor of Huldrych Zwingli as head of the Church of Zürich and former pastor at Grossmünster.

Then, in 1549, they drafted the Consensus Tigurinus together, which is viewed as a significant point of agreement on the doctrine of the Eucharist between the Calvinists and the Zwinglians.

Catholics give adoration to Christ, whom they believe to be really present, in body and blood, soul and divinity, in sacramental bread whose reality has been changed into that of his body.

Real presence of Christ in the Eucharist

Christian doctrine that Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist, not merely symbolically or metaphorically, but in a true, real and substantial way.

Christian doctrine that Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist, not merely symbolically or metaphorically, but in a true, real and substantial way.

Catholics give adoration to Christ, whom they believe to be really present, in body and blood, soul and divinity, in sacramental bread whose reality has been changed into that of his body.
A 3rd-century fresco in the Catacomb of Callixtus, interpreted by the archaeologist Joseph Wilpert as showing on the left Jesus multiplying bread and fish, a symbol of the Eucharistic consecration, and on the right a representation of the deceased, who through participation in the Eucharist has obtained eternal happiness
Ecce Agnus Dei ("Behold the Lamb of God") at Solemn Mass
Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgy.
A notice about the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist in Mikael Agricola Church, Helsinki.
Eucharist in an Episcopal church
A United Methodist minister consecrates the elements
A Scottish Sacrament, by Henry John Dobson

There are a number of Christian denominations that teach that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, including Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Church of the East, the Moravian Church, Lutheranism, Anglicanism, Methodism, Irvingism and Reformed Christianity.

Thus, the main theological division in this question, turned out to be not between Catholicism and Protestantism, but within Protestantism, especially between Luther and Zwingli, who discussed the question at the Marburg Colloquy of 1529 but who failed to come to an agreement.

John Calvin

French theologian, pastor, and reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation.

French theologian, pastor, and reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation.

Calvin was originally interested in the priesthood, but he changed course to study law in Orléans and Bourges. Painting titled Portrait of Young John Calvin from the collection of the Library of Geneva.
William Farel was the reformer who persuaded Calvin to stay in Geneva. 16th-century painting. In the Bibliothèque Publique et Universitaire, Geneva.
Calvin preached at St. Pierre Cathedral, the main church in Geneva.
Idelette and Calvin had no children survive infancy.
Sixteenth-century portrait of John Calvin by an unknown artist. From the collection of the Bibliothèque de Genève (Library of Geneva)
Michael Servetus exchanged many letters with Calvin until he was denounced by Calvin and executed.
John Calvin at 53 years old in an engraving by René Boyvin
The Collège Calvin is now a college preparatory school for the Swiss Maturité.
Traditional grave of Calvin in the Cimetière de Plainpalais in Geneva; the exact location of his grave is unknown.
Title page from the final edition of Calvin's magnum opus, Institutio Christiane Religionis, which summarises his theology.
Joachim Westphal disagreed with Calvin's theology on the eucharist.
Calvin wrote many letters to religious and political leaders throughout Europe, including this one sent to Edward VI of England.
Portrait of Calvin by Titian
The last moments of Calvin (Barcelona: Montaner y Simón, 1880–1883)
John Calvin memorial medal by László Szlávics, Jr., 2008

He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism, including its doctrines of predestination and of God's absolute sovereignty in the salvation of the human soul from death and eternal damnation.

Voltaire wrote about Calvin, Luther and Zwingli, "If they condemned celibacy in the priests, and opened the gates of the convents, it was only to turn all society into a convent. Shows and entertainments were expressly forbidden by their religion; and for more than two hundred years there was not a single musical instrument allowed in the city of Geneva. They condemned auricular confession, but they enjoined a public one; and in Switzerland, Scotland, and Geneva it was performed the same as penance."

Portrait by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1543

Philip Melanchthon

German Lutheran reformer, collaborator with Martin Luther, the first systematic theologian of the Protestant Reformation, intellectual leader of the Lutheran Reformation, and an influential designer of educational systems.

German Lutheran reformer, collaborator with Martin Luther, the first systematic theologian of the Protestant Reformation, intellectual leader of the Lutheran Reformation, and an influential designer of educational systems.

Portrait by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1543
Melanchthon and Luther with Christ crucified in the middle
Loci Communes, 1521 edition
Portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger, c. 1530–1535
Portrait of Philip Melanchthon, 1537, by Lucas Cranach the Elder
Melanchton's house in Wittenberg
Melanchthon with Luther behind, by Johann Gottfried Schadow, Melanchthon House Museum, Wittenberg
The room in which Melanchthon died, Melanchthon's house. Wittenberg
Portrait of Philip Melanchthon by Lucas Cranach the Younger, c. 1562
The Melanchthon window attributed to the Quaker City Stained Glass Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at St. Matthew's German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Charleston, South Carolina
Detail from Unterricht der Visitatorn, an die Pfarherrn in Hertzog Heinrichs zu Sachsen Fürstenthum, Gleicher form der Visitation im Kurfürstenthum gestellet, woodcut by Lucas Cranach the Younger, Wittenberg, 1539
Crest of Philip Melanchthon, featuring the bronze serpent of Moses
Anonymous Netherlands, Portrait of Melanchthon, early 18th century, engraving and etching
Melanchthon's room in Wittenberg
Head of Melanchton statue at Lessing-Gymnasium (Frankfurt), whose founder had been influenced by personal contacts with Melanchton
Engraving of Melanchthon in 1526 by Albrecht Dürer captioned, "Dürer was able to draw the living Philip's face, but the learned hand could not paint his spirit" (translated from Latin)

A friendly attitude towards the Swiss at the Diet was something he later changed, calling Huldrych Zwingli's doctrine of the Lord's Supper "an impious dogma".

The renewal of this dispute was due to the victory in the Reformed Church of the Calvinistic doctrine and its influence upon Germany.

Twelve Articles of the Peasants pamphlet of 1525

Anabaptism

Protestant Christian movement which traces its origins to the Radical Reformation.

Protestant Christian movement which traces its origins to the Radical Reformation.

Twelve Articles of the Peasants pamphlet of 1525
Dissatisfaction with the outcome of a disputation in 1525 prompted Swiss Brethren to part ways with Huldrych Zwingli.
Menno Simons
Thomas Müntzer led the German peasants against the landowners
Felix Manz was executed by drowning within two years of his rebaptism
Birching of Anabaptist martyr Ursula, Maastricht, 1570; engraving by Jan Luyken from Martyrs Mirror
The burning of a 16th-century Dutch Anabaptist, Anneken Hendriks, who was charged with heresy.
Memorial plate at Schipfe quarter in Zürich for the Anabaptists executed in the early 16th century by the Zürich city government
Evangelical Mennonite Church in Altkirch, Association of Evangelical Mennonite Churches of France.
Praise team at The Meeting Place in Winnipeg, Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches.
Amish children on their way to school
Goshen College Library in Goshen, Indiana, Mennonite Church USA.

Anabaptism in Switzerland began as an offshoot of the church reforms instigated by Ulrich Zwingli.

Unlike Calvinists, Anabaptists failed to gain recognition in the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 and as a result, they continued to be persecuted in Europe long after that treaty was signed.