Reformation in Geneva


The Reformation in Geneva was not of the Lutheran type, but was based upon the teachings of Jean Calvin. In fact, Martin Luther was seen by Calvin as only beginning the Reformation. Some in the Reformed Church referred to Martin Luther as a half-papists, indicating that he retained too many Roman Catholic practices, such as vestments, liturgy, et al. The photo tour below does not represent the history of the Lutheran Church, but of the Reformed Church, which provides the theological foundation for most other Protestant Churches (Presbyterians, Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists, et al).

At the Mur des Réformateurs (Wall of the Reformation), William Farell, John Calvin, Theodore Beze, and John Knox are pictured at the center of the wall (pictured in top panel above). Off to the left when facing the Wall of the Reformation, a carved stone with Luther’s name appears. Off to the right when facing the Wall of the Reformation, a carved stone with Zwingli’s name appears. From the perspective of the Reformed Church, both Luther and Zwingli are given credit for beginning the Reformation. However, the Reformed Church does not believe Luther or Zwingli, properly reformed the church, hence the need for Calvin, Beze, and others. This is why Luther and Zwingli are represented by stones but not carved into the wall. the Reformation Wall was constructed in 1909 for the 400th birthday of Calvin.

At the Mur des Réformateurs (Wall of the Reformation), William Farell, John Calvin, Theodore Beze, and John Knox are pictured at the center of the wall (pictured in top panel above). Off to the left when facing the Wall of the Reformation, a carved stone with Luther’s name appears. Off to the right when facing the Wall of the Reformation, a carved stone with Zwingli’s name appears. From the perspective of the Reformed Church, both Luther and Zwingli are given credit for beginning the Reformation. However, the Reformed Church does not believe Luther or Zwingli, properly reformed the church, hence the need for Calvin, Beze, and others. This is why Luther and Zwingli are represented by stones but not carved into the wall. the Reformation Wall was constructed in 1909 for the 400th birthday of Calvin.

“The Wall is in the grounds of the University of Geneva, which was founded by John Calvin, and was built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Calvin’s birth and the 350th anniversary of the university’s establishment. It is built into the old city walls of Geneva, and the monument’s location there is designed to represent the fortifications’, and therefore the city of Geneva’s, integral importance to the Reformation.” (From Wikipedia, http://bit.ly/Hnjk1r) The Reformation Wall is 100 meters long.

“The Wall is in the grounds of the University of Geneva, which was founded by John Calvin, and was built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Calvin’s birth and the 350th anniversary of the university’s establishment. It is built into the old city walls of Geneva, and the monument’s location there is designed to represent the fortifications’, and therefore the city of Geneva’s, integral importance to the Reformation.” (From Wikipedia, http://bit.ly/Hnjk1r) The Reformation Wall is 100 meters long.

Not too far from the Reformation Wall is St. Pierre Cathedral. Before the Reformation, it was a Roman Catholic Cathedral whose origins date to the 4th century AD

Not too far from the Reformation Wall is St. Pierre Cathedral. Before the Reformation, it was a Roman Catholic Cathedral whose origins date to the 4th century AD

The inside of the cathedral is rather stark. The pre-Reformation ornamentation is gone, “reformed” away under Jean Calvin’s instruction. Calvin preached here regularly until his death.

The inside of the cathedral is rather stark. The pre-Reformation ornamentation is gone, “reformed” away under Jean Calvin’s instruction. Calvin preached here regularly until his death.

– Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations

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