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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441


COERTZEN, P.. Theocracy: Views on Calvin and the Confessio Belgica, art. 36 - a contribution to an important debate. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2010, vol.44, n.2, pp.333-348. ISSN 2305-0853.

John Calvin is often seen as a supporter of theocracy and the Dutch Confession of Faith (Confessio Belgica) art. 36 as a theocratic confession. This article looks at the views of various authors on this matter and comes to the conclusion that Calvin was not a supporter of a theocracy and the Dutch Confession, art. 36 is not a theocratic confession either. The question is then asked where the views of Calvin, the Dutch Confession and various countries (inter alia Switzerland, and the Netherlands) at the time of the Reformation on the relationship between church and state came from. As an answer to this question the argument is put that, in reaction to the theocracy of the Roman Catholic Church (as can been found in the Corpus Iuris Canonici), it was a returned the historical view on church and state that had been current since the time of Constantine. These views were also applied in South Africa from 1652-1994. An attempt is also made to show what was new in Calvin's views on church and state.

Keywords : Calvin; church and state; Constantinianism; Dutch Confession of faith/Confessio Belgica; papal revolution; theocracy.

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