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21 - Religious Colloquies

from Part IV - The Religious Question

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 November 2019

R. Ward Holder
Saint Anselm College, New Hampshire
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One of the most important legacies of the Protestant Reformation was the splintering of the western Catholic Church into competing confessions. Protestants introduced permanent schisms into Latin Christendom, both between Protestants and Catholics and amongst Protestants. But even as these divides began to form in the sixteenth century, earnest theologians and rulers, both Protestant and Catholic, sought to reverse and heal them, hoping to recover the unity among Christians for which Christ had prayed (John 17:21). John Calvin participated in a number of these religious colloquies, or formal conversations about contested theological issues. He was present at colloquies in Hagenau (summer 1540), Worms (autumn 1540), and Regensburg (January 1541), although he was more interested in unity among Protestants than between Protestants and Catholics.1 Such colloquies, which were supposed to be cordial in nature, should be distinguished from disputations, where the goal was to prove the truth of one’s position against all claims to the contrary. The English word colloquy comes from the Latin colloquor: to talk together or hold conversation. The goal of Reformation-era religious colloquies was not to arrive at complete uniformity of belief and practice, rather, it was to determine where reconciliation on matters of belief and practice might be possible.

John Calvin in Context , pp. 183 - 189
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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Armstrong, Clinton, trans. and Mallinson, Jeffrey, ed. Lutheranism vs. Calvinism: The Classic Debate at the Colloquy of Montbéliard 1586, Jakob Andreae and Theodore Beza. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2017.Google Scholar
Hillerbrand, Hans, ed., The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation. 4 vols. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. For dated but still helpful overviews, which have informed this article, see the following entries: Vinzenz Pfnür, “Colloquies,” 3: 375–383; Alois Schmid, “Hagenau, Colloquy of,” 2: 208; Alois Schmid, “Marburg, Colloquy of,” 3: 2–4; Robert Kolb, “Maulbronn, Colloquy of,” 3: 34–35; Jill Raitt, “Montebéliard, Colloquy of,” 3: 84–85; Donald Nugent, “Poissy, Colloquy of,” 3: 281–282.Google Scholar
Lane, A. N. S., “Calvin and Article 5 of the Regensburg Colloquy.” In Calvinus Praeceptor Ecclesiae: Papers of the International Congress on Calvin Research, Princeton, August 20–24, 2002, ed. Selderuis, Herman J.. Geneva: Librairie Droz, 2004, 233263.Google Scholar
Lane, A. N. S., “A Tale of Two Imperial Cities: Justification at Regensburg (1541) and Trent (1546–1547).” In Justification in Perspective: Historical Developments and Contemporary Challenges, edited by McCormack, Bruce, 119145, Grand Rapids/ Edinburgh: Baker Academic/ Rutherford House, 2006.Google Scholar
Neusner, Wilhelm, “Calvin’s Beitrag zu den Religionsgesprächen von Hagenau, Worms und Regensburg (1540/41).” In Studien zur Geschichte and Theologie der Reformation. Festschrift für Ernst Bizer, ed. Abramowski, Luise and Gerhard Goeters, J. F.. Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1969, 213237.Google Scholar
Schulz Hequet, Suzanne. The 1541 Colloquy at Regensburg: In Pursuit of Church Unity. Saarbrücken, Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, 2009.Google Scholar

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