Religion: The Great Reformer

Geneva last week was a blaze of flags; trumpets sounded in the sun-drenched parks, and fireworks sprayed the night sky. Many a tourist assumed that the celebrations had something to do with the Big Four conference. But, at least to Genevans, this was something just as important: it was the 450th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin, in Picardy, and the 400th of Geneva University, which he founded.

To the city that Calvin had made "the Protestant Rome" flocked church leaders from 75 Reformed and Presbyterian churches, representing 45 million Protestants who acknowledge...

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