Calvanism France Calvanism Before Martin Luther, few dared to openly question the Catholic Church. After his initial challenge people were for the first time in 1000 years more comfortable questioning the beliefs formerly pushed upon them. One of the most influential of those that dared to have such original ideas was John Calvin. Living in France at this time, opposition to the Catholic Church was not well received and he found it necessary to flee to Switzerland. There he teached with the Protestant preachers in Geneva.
His ideas were a bit too controversial there as well though and he was asked to leave. His ideas, as expressed in his book The Institutes of Christian Religion, consist of belief in predestination and that man is naturally wicked. He believed that ever since Adam and Eve committed their Original Sin, wickedness had been passed on to all of the human race and therefore we all justly deserve to go to hell, but Gods mercy has pre selected a few to go to heaven. Basically, he believes no man can earn his way into heaven but only Gods goodness can provide that for him. Geneva generally respected his teachings and by his death in 1564 he was often referred to as the Pope of Geneva European History.