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The Renaissance began long before Calvinism existed. A form of Protestantism dating back to Wycliffe emphasizing Bible reading existed in France during the Renaissance. A man named Hugo had a monastery and trained followers in Wycliffe's teaching. His followers called Huguenots, went out from that monastery spreading Bibles bringing them to the people. Wycliffe's movement, while Protestant, stayed in the Roman Catholic Church. It differed it that it gave The Bible to the people, it opposed transubstantiation, and it taught justification by faith. In other respects, it remained Roman Catholic.

As a result during the Renaissance, French Roman Catholicism was a much softer form of the faith than it was in other countries. The abuses by the church in Spain or Germany were impossible in France. That did not stop abuses by the government as in the case of the Cathari and other groups.

After Luther rose to prominence France briefly became Protestant. Then Charles V became Emperor and France again became Roman Catholic. At that point Protestant influence began declining. At that point Calvin began writing in Geneva. Many Protestants remained in France.

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Q: What was the role of Calvinism in France during the Renaissance?
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