Luther and Calvin: Religious Revolutionaries

Luther and Calvin: Religious Revolutionaries

Charlotte Methuen, Lion

Charlotte Methuen specialises in the history of the Reformation in the 16th century, highlighting the work of Martin Luther in the German states and John Calvin among French speakers in France and Switzerland.

She writes of Luther’s Bible translation, “perhaps his most significant and best known legacy, both for the theological accents which he set in his translation, and also for its influence on the development of the German language”.

His emphasis on “justification by faith” led to conflict with Rome and ultimately the revolution in religious belief and practice.

Calvin, who came a generation later, was drawn into an evangelical movement which had already taken shape. By that time it became imperative for Calvin to redefine the respective functions and powers of Church and State.

Although they differed in some aspects, they both shared an interest in the study of scripture and sought to return to the faith and practice of the early church.

Methuen’s final chapter confirms the lasting contribution of these two revolutionaries to the church as a whole.

John Atkinson

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