Original Research - Special Collection: Synod of Dordrecht (1618-1619) - Synod's meaning and influence in South Africa

Impact amid absence: The Synod of Dordt and the French Huguenots

Karin Maag
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 52, No 2 | a2340 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v52i2.2340 | © 2018 Karin Maag | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 December 2017 | Published: 18 July 2018

About the author(s)

Karin Maag, H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies, Calvin Theological Seminary, United States


This contribution investigates the reasons behind the absence of delegates from the French Reformed (Huguenot) churches at the Synod of Dordt, setting the reasons for their absence in the broader political and religious context of the times. I argue that the connections between the French Reformed church and the Synod of Dordt were significant both before and after the synod met, but that the Huguenots had a rather different project in mind (religious reconciliation among Reformed Protestants and even possibly between Reformed and Lutheran Christians) when they considered the possibility of an international gathering of Reformed theologians. Although the Huguenot delegates were not present at Dordt and therefore could not directly affect the course of the synod’s meeting, their alternate vision for the meeting still persisted even via correspondence during the gathering. At the same time, the synod itself had an impact on the Huguenot church, given that the Canons of Dordt were ratified by the French national synods already by 1620.


Daniel Chamier; Jean Chauve; French delegates to synod of Dordt, absence of James I


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