How Important Was the Work of the Consistory to the Success of the Genevan Reformation by 1564?

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Essay Question - How important was the work of the Consistory to the success of the Reformation in Geneva to 1564? –

The consistory was important to the success of reformation in Geneva as Calvin sought to change the Genevan society by working through the Consistory. However, Consistory was not the only factor explaining the success of the Reformation in Geneva to 1564, as there were other key factors such as the works of Ecclesiastical Ordinances, Institutes of Christian Religion, supports from Geneva and Calvin’s own enthusiasm that were arguably more significant to the success of Reformation.

Calvin's unique coherent belief system played an important role in not only his success in Geneva but all over Europe and this is mainly due to his 'Institutes of Christian Religion' which turns out to be a huge best seller. The significance of his 'Institutes' is that it had been the first time any one had ever systemically explained the Protestant doctrine - whilst Luther had published several books, Calvin's was more developed and provided a commentary on the Bible, including scriptural evidence to back up his views, something which Luther lacked. In addition to this, Calvin's 'Institutes' was updated as he developed his own beliefs, in fact the original, when published in 1536, contained 6 chapters, whilst his edition in 1559 contained 80 - the main reason for this being that he tries to justify everyone of his doctrines. In his 'Institutes" Calvin included his beliefs on issues such as ‘sole fide’ (revealing his Lutheran influence), double predestination, marriage, education, singing in public worship and the Lord's Supper. Calvin published his 'Institutes' at a turbulent time in Geneva, when there was no coherence, and so-called "reformers" spent their time preaching and smashing up Churches. It is for these reasons that Calvin was called to Geneva by Farel, who hoped Calvin, could provide discipline, and although he failed the first time around, the fact that...
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