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Famous Calvinists

Related pages:
- Famous Dutch Reformed and Reformed Church members

Related websites:
- Wiki: Category: Calvinists
Calvinism is a theological religion more than it is a "religious affiliation." The pages in the "Famous Adherents" section list people not by general theological position, but by religion affiliation (typically meaning which denomination or denominational family they belong to). For this reason, we prefer to list "Calvinists" (i.e., believers in Calvinism) on denomination specific pages. Many Calvinists are listed, for example, on the Famous Dutch Reformed and members of the Reformed Church page.

Where a person's specific denominational affiliation is as yet uncertain in our research, but it is known that the person was a Calvinist, they are listed below.

Calvinists Among
the Founding Fathers

It is likely that many of the Founding Fathers of the United States were at least partially Calvinist in their theological beliefs. The Pilgrims and the Puritans - two important early groups of settlers - were Calvinists. The Reformed, Presbyterian and Congregationalist churches -- all of which were significant Colonial denominations at the time of the American Revolution - were Calvinist.

Despite the prevalence of Calvinism among Colonials, most most Founding Fathers were apparently not identified primarily by the label "Calvinist." Among all of the people who were signers of the Declaration of Independence, signers of the U.S. Constitution, and members of the very first U.S. Congress and Senate, there is only one man whose religious affiliation is identified as "Calvinist": Fisher Ames.

(Virtually all of these signers and original congressmen and senators were Christians, but all others were identified as members of specific denominations, such as Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Congregationalist, etc.)

Name: Fisher Ames
Religious affiliation: Calvinist
State: Massachusetts

Another Founding Father who was certainly a Calvinist was William Livingston, a delegate from New Jersey to the Constitutional Convention and a signer of the U.S. Constitution. William Livingston was a Presbyterian, but he strongly identified with Calvinism and an important part of his career involved his representing Calvinist causes (often in opposition to Anglicans) in New Jersey politics.

How many of the other Founding Fathers could probably be classified as Calvinists, based on their denominational affiliation? A lot. Of the 165 different men who were signers of Declaration of Independence, signers of the U.S. Constitution, or who were Senators or Representatives in the First Federal Congress, 21 were Congregationalists (13%), 20 were Presbyterians (12%), 5 were Dutch Reformed or German Reformed (3%) and 1 was a Huguenot. If these individuals whose denominations were officially Calvinist are added to Fisher Ames, then one can count at least 48 (29%) of the Founding Fathers as Calvinists.

It was not until the 1800s that Calvinism began to be more fully expunged from Christian thought in America. Numerous influential American religious founders and theologians soundly rejected Calvinism, including Barton W. Stone, John Mulkey, Alexander Campbell, Joseph Smith Jr., Walter Scott, Sydney Rigdon, James Relly, and Neal Punt. Today Calvinism remains an influential part of many Protestant denominations, but its significance has waned. Most Americans of all denominations are solidly non-Calvinist in their religious beliefs and general outlook.

Sources: "Representatives Elected to the United States Congress: The 1st Federal Congress of the United States of America (1789-1791)" in "Religion in the United States Government" section of "World Information" website (http://www.bizforum.org/FFR-Congress.htm); "Signers of the Declaration of Independence - July 4th, 1776" in "Religion in the United States Government" section of "World Information" website (http://www.bizforum.org/FFR-DoI.htm); "Signers of the Constitution of the United States of America" in "Religion in the United States Government" section of "World Information" website (http://www.bizforum.org/FFR.htm); "Senators Elected to the United States Senate: The 1st Federal Congress of the United States of America (1789-1791)" in "Religion in the United States Government" section of "World Information" website (http://www.bizforum.org/FFR-Senate.htm); viewed 8 July 2005

Additional lists of Famous Calvinists, from various sources, are shown below:

Category: Calvinists

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Calvinists (viewed 12 August 2005)
C. J. Mahaney
Carl F. H. Henry
Charles Spurgeon
Don Carson
James Petigru Boyce
James White (theologian)
John F. MacArthur
John Gill (theologian)
John L. Dagg
John Piper (theologian)
Joshua Harris
Leonhard Euler
Martyn Lloyd-Jones
R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
Wayne Grudem
William Carey

Calvinists in Scientific Community 16th and 17th Centuries

Search of Galileo Project's database of "Catalog of the Scientific Community in the 16th and 17th Centuries"
http://galileo.rice.edu/lib/catalog.html (27 September 2005)
Choose: "Calvinist" for "Religion" field:
Adriaan Anthonisz
Gaspard Bauhin
Jean Bauhin
Isaac Beeckman
Govard Bidloo
Willem Janszoon Blaeu
Hermann Boerhaave
Pierre Borel
Abraham Bosse
Ismael Boulliau
Louis Bourguet
Henry Briggs
Franco Burgersdijk
Ludolphvan Ceulen
Jacob Christmann
Volcher Coiter
Oswald Crollius
Jean-Pierre de Crousaz
Cunradus Dasypodius
JanCornets De Groot
Joseph Duchesne
Thomas Erastus
Henry Gellibrand
Konrad Gesner
Albert Girard
Johann Heinrich Glaser
Johannes Goedaert
John Graunt
Nehemiah Grew
Theodore Haak
Samuel Hartlib
Nicolaas Hartsoeker
Clopton Havers
Denis Henrion
Jakob Hermann
Hendrikvan Heuraet
Janvan Heurne
Wilhelm Homberg
Johannesvan Horne
Jeremiah Horrocks
Martinus Hortensius
Jan Hudde
Christiaan Huygens
John Jonston
Bartholomew Keckermann
Emanuel Koenig
Guy de LaBrosse
Philipvan Lansberge
Antonivan Leeuwenhoek
Nicaise LeFebvre
Nicolas Lemery
Pierre Magnol
Georg Markgraf
Jacob Metius
Adriaan Metius
Abraham De Moivre
Robert Moray
Samuel Morland
Sebastian Muenster
Johannes von Muralt
John Napier
Bernard Nieuwentijt
Richard Norwood
Henry Oldenburg
Bernard Palissy
Denis Papin
John Pell
William Petty
Johann Conrad Peyer
Willem Piso
Bartholomeo Pitiscus
Felix Platter
Peter Ramus
John Ray
Guillaume Rondelet
Frederik Ruysch
Angelo Sala
Joseph Saurin
Johann Jakob Scheuchzer
Franzvan Schooten
Olivier de Serres
Robert Sharrock
Hans Sloane
Willebrord Snel
Adriaanvanden Spiegel
Jan J. de J. Stampioen
George Starkey
Simon Stevin
Jan Swammerdam
Thomas Sydenham
Franc. de le Boe Sylvius
Willem Ten Rhyne
Nicolaas Tulp
William Turner
Theod. Turquet de Mayerne
Adriaan Vlacq
John Wallis
John Webster
Johann-Jakob Wepfer
Thomas Wharton
John Wilkins
John Winthrop
Jan de Witt

Religion: Calvinist

Source: NNDB.com (http://www.nndb.com/lists/872/000071659/; viewed 5 July 2005)

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Howard Ahmanson, Jr.Business1950 Reclusive fundamentalist-Christian philanthropist
John CalvinReligion10-Jul-150927-May-1564French Protestant Reformation
David LivingstoneExplorer19-Mar-18131-May-1873Dr. Livingston, I presume?
RembrandtPainter15-Jul-16064-Oct-1669Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp
R. J. RushdoonyReligion25-Apr-19168-Feb-2001Institutes of Biblical Law

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Web page created 21 October 2005. Last modified 19 April 2007.

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