Owen Chadwick

in The Early Reformation on the Continent

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780198269021
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600470 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church


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It was an axiom initially accepted by all but anabaptists that a state could only exist with a single religion, and it took years of religious war in Germany for a kind of semi‐toleration to be accepted. Debate about the correct punishment for heretics and blasphemers reached its crucial point in the case of Michael Servetus in Geneva and Calvin's defence of his execution, an event that propelled Sebastian Castellio to the forefront as the main proponent of toleration. The situation of the Jews in Germany was not affected radically by the early Reformation, though Luther's anti‐Semitism towards the end of his life created disquiet among other Reformers. Persecution of witches, though common in some regions, had not yet attained the dimensions of the later witch craze.

Keywords: anti‐Semitism; Calvin; Sebastian Castellio; Jews; religious toleration; Michael Servetus; witchcraft

Chapter.  13109 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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