Adultery and Divorce in Calvin's Geneva

Overview

In Calvin's Geneva, the changes associated with the Reformation were particularly abrupt and far-reaching, in large part owing to John Calvin himself. Adultery and Divorce in Calvin's Geneva makes two major contributions to our understanding of this time. The first is to the history of divorce. The second is in illustrating the operations of the Consistory of Geneva—an institution designed to control in all its variety the behavior of the entire population—which was established at Calvin's insistence in 1541. ...

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Overview

In Calvin's Geneva, the changes associated with the Reformation were particularly abrupt and far-reaching, in large part owing to John Calvin himself. Adultery and Divorce in Calvin's Geneva makes two major contributions to our understanding of this time. The first is to the history of divorce. The second is in illustrating the operations of the Consistory of Geneva—an institution designed to control in all its variety the behavior of the entire population—which was established at Calvin's insistence in 1541. This mandate came shortly after the city officially adopted Protestantism in 1536, a time when divorce became legally possible for the first time in centuries.

Robert Kingdon illustrates the changes that accompanied the earliest Calvinist divorces by examining in depth a few of the most dramatic cases and showing how divorce affected real individuals. He considers first, and in the most detail, divorce for adultery, the best-known grounds for divorce and the best documented. He also covers the only other generally accepted grounds for these early divorces—desertion.

The second contribution of the book, to show the work of the Consistory of Geneva, is a first step toward a fuller study of the institution. Kingdon has supervised the first accurate and complete transcription of the twenty-one volumes of registers of the Consistory and has made the first extended use of these materials, as well as other documents that have never before been so fully utilized.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674005204
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1995
  • Series: Harvard Historical Studies
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert M. Kingdon was Hilldale Professor of History at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. The Institutional Matrix

2. The Pierre Ameaux Case: Divorce for Adultery and Blasphemy

3. The Antoine Calvin Case: Divorce for Adultery

4. The Jean Bietrix Case: Forced Reconciliation

5. Death for Adultery

6. The Galeazzo Caracciolo Case: Divorce for Religious Desertion

7. The Rationale for Divorce: Theodore Beza's Treatise

Conclusion

Abbreviations

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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