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John Calvin and the English Catholics, c. 1565–1640

By Peter Marshall

Abstract

This article examines the assessments of John Calvin's life, character, and influence to be found in the polemical writings of English Catholics in the Elizabethan and early Stuart periods. It demonstrates the centrality of Calvin to Catholic claims about the character and history of the established church, and the extent to which Catholic writings propagated a vibrant ‘black legend’ of Calvin's egotism and sexual depravity, drawing heavily not only on the writings of the French Calvinist-turned-Catholic Jerome Bolsec, but also on those of German Lutherans. The article also explores how, over time, Catholic writers increasingly identified some common ground with anti-puritans and anti-Calvinists within the English church, and how claims about the seditious character of Calvin, and by extension Calvinism, were used to articulate the contrasting ‘loyalty’ of Catholics and their right to occupy a place within the English polity

Topics: BR
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:3964

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