Original Research

Geloofsvorming tydens die Reformasie: ’n Historiese verkenning

Marthinus J. Havenga
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 56, No 1 | a2900 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v56i1.2900 | © 2022 Marthinus J. Havenga | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 August 2022 | Published: 13 December 2022

About the author(s)

Marthinus J. Havenga, Department of Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology, Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa


Faith formation during the Reformation: A historical exploration. This article investigates the way in which faith formation was seen and understood during the 16th-century Reformation. The emphasis falls especially on the insights of John Calvin, as someone to whom faith formation was of the utmost importance. The article begins by discussing, with the question of faith formation in mind, the run-up to the Reformation. Here it is seen how the church of the time, as a result of certain developments in the Middle Ages, paid less and less attention to the faith formation of ordinary believers. Next, how the Reformation in general, and Calvin in particular, responded to this situation, is viewed. Finally, the Reformation and Calvin’s legacy regarding faith formation, is briefly discussed. It is asked why, if faith formation was so important to Calvin and other Reformers, this focus was not always reflected in the history of different Reformed and Protestant churches.

Contribution: This article contributes to contemporary discussions on faith formation by exploring John Calvin’s theology and practice in this regard against the background of the 16th-century Reformation. By retrieving and contextualising insights from the tradition, it provides ideas that could help inform, invigorate and ground both scholarly and practical work that is currently being done on the topic.


faith formation; reformation; John Calvin; reformed theology; Geneva


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