Contemporaries of Calvin were less preoccupied with the Servetus-affair than modern researchers. Calvin is known to have taken care of the formal complaint and legal proceeding against Servetus. The evaluation of his person and role in Servetus’ death caused long-standing debates among the prominent representatives of the Hungarian Calvin researchers.
The consolidation of the entire law system of Hungary during the 19th century (e. g. laws of 38/1868, 34/1874, 43/1895, and 33/1896) created a brand-new alliance between Austria (ruled by the Habsburg-house) and Hungary, which paved the way for the practical fulfillment of the Kiegyezés (Compromise / Ausgleich) in 1867. This special legal situation influenced not only the everyday life but also the higher educated levels of the so-called “Reformed Church of Hungary”.
The aim of our study is to examine the designation “Calvinist” in the works of Hungarian Reformed theologians of the early modern age. Theologians mostly formulated their views on this subject within disputes with Roman Catholics. The Roman Catholics accused the Protestants of following the teachings of the reformers rather than those of Christ. The Calvinists consistently brought their church in connection with Christ. They rejected to call the church Calvinist mainly because of dogmatic considerations, claiming the primary place to Christ’s role in the redemption.
This paper deals with two letters, dedicated by the Hungarian Protestant noblemen to Paul Eber, professor of the University of Wittenberg. The first letter was dated to the 3rd of April, 1561, its author being baron John Balassi, father of the great Hungarian renaissance poet, Bálint (Valentine) Balassi. John Balassi expresses his gratitude for Eber’s letter, dedicated to him and informed him about the earthquake which took place in the Danubian district, at the beginning of March.