chapter  5
23 Pages

Calvinism and Democracy: The Growth of Oppositional Politics

While Luther never had any doubt but that all creation belonged to God and remained under his sway, the clear separation of the two regiments had deadened any impact ‘godly rule’ might have in the temporal world. The democratic implications of Luther’s spiritual realm were powerful but indirect. The link between Protestant understandings of the spirit and the real world of politics was forged by the tradition known as Calvinism. Because of its restless activism and its determination to engage with the world in a less tolerant fashion than Luther’s way, Calvinism became, through its missionary zeal, the more widespread Protestant influence.