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Calvin and His Influence, 1509–2009$
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Irena Backus and Philip Benedict

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199751846

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751846.001.0001

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Calvinism as an Actor in the Early Modern State System around 1600

Calvinism as an Actor in the Early Modern State System around 1600

Struggle for Alliances, Patterns of Eschatological Interpretation, Symbolic Representation

(p.159) 8 Calvinism as an Actor in the Early Modern State System around 1600
Calvin and His Influence, 1509–2009

Heinz Schilling

Irena Backus

Susanna Gebhardt

Oxford University Press

The chapter explores political Calvinism in the late sixteenth century and early seventeenth century. It aims to show the close link between Calvinism and political activism on the international level and argues that this activism was not theologically motivated but that Calvinism had its own political persona. This interest in political action accounts, for among other things, Calvinists’ interest in building alliances with Lutheran states in their struggles against the Catholic powers, viewed as the enemy of both confessions. The chapter also argues that the eschatological view of war that political Calvinism espoused bore a large part in the disaster of the Thirty Years’ War.

Keywords:   political Calvinism, international relations, religious wars, eschatology, European history

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