John Calvin

John Calvin
Birth 1509
Death 1564

French religious reformist who dreamed of purging the faith and the church of anything other than what was required by God and the Bible. He rejected mysticism. He demanded an end to the veneration of relics and bones, contesting their authenticity (we’re with him on this one; in terms of shrouds alone, there were enough to crucify Christ a thousand times over, and then some). He believed in determination: that some people are destined for salvation and some are destined to perish, regardless whether or not they lead a good life. There’s nothing anyone can do about it, and there’s no such thing as free will. He formed an entirely theocratic government in Geneva. Voltaire hit the nail on the head when he said that if he ‘opened the gates of the convents, it was only to turn all society into a convent’.1

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