Calvin And Ecumenism

A variety of observances are being held to mark important anniversaries associated with John Calvin, French-born founder of the Reformed tradition followed by more than 40,000,000 Christians over the world.

Among highlights:—The World Presbyterian Alliance dedicated in Geneva the newly-restored Calvin Auditorium, historic church where Calvin and other Reformation leaders preached and taught.

—Summer-long nightly performances of a “Festival of Sound and Light” were inaugurated at the site of Geneva’s Reformation Monument.

—Pilgrimages were made to the Noyon, France, birthplace of Calvin, and to his home in Paris.

—The French Reformed Church commemorated its fourth centenary at a synod in Paris.

—A Roman Catholic newspaper in Geneva published a special supplement to help celebrate the occasion.

This year marks the 450th anniversary of Calvin’s birth and the 400th anniversary of the final edition of his Institutes of the Christian Religion, a now-famous work which represented a thorough, organized compilation of Calvinistic convictions. Geneva University also is observing its fourth centennial this year, having had its beginnings with the Calvin Auditorium.

The Geneva celebrations drew thousands of people from many countries. Some 5,000 gathered for a May 31 rally in front of the Reformation Monument, a wall set off by statues of Calvin and such other Reformation leaders as John Knox and Theodore Beza.

The service was followed by a mass picnic for hundreds of Protestant families in a giant exhibit hall.

Proceedings were relayed over Eurovision, a network of national television systems, to five European countries.

The “Festival of Sound and Light” was inaugurated the same evening. Concealed spotlights illuminated the ...

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