Original Research

Teokrasie: beskouings oor Calvyn en die Nederlandse Geloofsbelydenis, art. 36 – ’n bydrae tot ’n noodsaaklike gesprek

P. Coertzen
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 44, No 2 | a150 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v44i2.150 | © 2010 P. Coertzen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 July 2010 | Published: 25 July 2010

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P. Coertzen, Fakulteit Teologie, Universiteit van Stellenbosch, South Africa

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Theocracy: views on Calvin and the Confessio Belgica, art. 36 – a contribution to an important debate
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 Nether-lands) at the time of the Reformation on the relationship be-tween church and state came from. As an answer to this ques-tion 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.


Calvin; Church And State; Constantinianism; Dutch Confession Of Faith Or Confessio Belgica; Papal Revolution; Theocracy


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1. Calvin’s interpretation of the first commandment and the implications for religious pluralism and equality of religion
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