Reformed churches in Europe

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Laura

Puritan Board Junior
So it's a bit of a broad topic, but I'm looking at studying abroad sometime in the near future, and I would like my decision to be guided by the possibility of worshipping someplace that has upheld its Reformation heritage. I went to southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland this summer and fell in love, but was dismayed to find the Catholic tradition very strong in all three places. Does anybody know if there are any solidly Reformed denominations over there?
 

Puritanhead

Puritan Board Professor
This might be helpful

Bavaria is predominantly Roman Catholic as are many Swiss cantons. The Hapsburg dominated Austria is Roman Catholic as well. Ticino and the Italian cantons are almost entirely Catholic. The German and French cantons are a mixed bag. Geneva has gone back to its liberal ways before Calvin, and historically has been a wavering city. Unfortunately, Reformed Protestantism and Protestantism in general has been declining in Switzerland. The average Protestant is up in years too. Bern and its vicinity are probably your Protestant hotbeds... Look at Bern and its surrounding cities.
 

rgrove

Puritan Board Freshman
I lived in Augsburg, Germany for almost four years in the Army and their Catholicism is skin deep... Much of the outward appearence is, quite honestly, for show and helps tourism so don't let it fool you. Get to know the majority of the people, and they're secular huminists. As in the United States, many people continue to culturally identify themselves with the religion of the families past even though they personally have no connection to it.
 

Steve Owen

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by Laura
Hehe, answering my own question: http://www.reformiert-online.net/weltweit/kontinent_eu_eng.php

Go very carefully with this information, Laura. If the section on Britain is anything to go by, the vast majority of the churches listed are not reformed as we would understand the term. There are also no Reformed Baptist churches listed, which in Britain, are the large majority of reformed churches.

Martin
 

Laura

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Puritanhead
This might be helpful

Bavaria is predominantly Roman Catholic as are many Swiss cantons. The Hapsburg dominated Austria is Roman Catholic as well. Ticino and the Italian cantons are almost entirely Catholic. The German and French cantons are a mixed bag. Geneva has gone back to its liberal ways before Calvin, and historically has been a wavering city. Unfortunately, Reformed Protestantism and Protestantism in general has been declining in Switzerland. The average Protestant is up in years too. Bern and its vicinity are probably your Protestant hotbeds... Look at Bern and its surrounding cities.
Yeah, I was disappointed to find Catholicism everywhere when I was there this summer. Thanks for the link.

Originally posted by rgrove
I lived in Augsburg, Germany for almost four years in the Army and their Catholicism is skin deep... Much of the outward appearence is, quite honestly, for show and helps tourism so don't let it fool you. Get to know the majority of the people, and they're secular huminists. As in the United States, many people continue to culturally identify themselves with the religion of the families past even though they personally have no connection to it.
I see. :(

Originally posted by Martin Marprelate
Go very carefully with this information, Laura. If the section on Britain is anything to go by, the vast majority of the churches listed are not reformed as we would understand the term. There are also no Reformed Baptist churches listed, which in Britain, are the large majority of reformed churches.
Ah, well that's no good. Thanks for the heads-up...
 

Canadian _Shawn

Puritan Board Freshman
Amsterdam

Sorry, I accidentally posted this as a new topic elsewhere. But I meant to reply to your inquiry.

Hey,

Well, I'm in Amsterdam at the moment and there's slim pickings as far as Reformed churches are concerned... unless you speak Dutch and then there's a Reformed church on most any corner, covering a wide variety of social and theological conservatism and liberalism. There's an English Reformed Church here that is probably on the liberal side of things... its run by the Church of Scotland, but because the congregation is mostly made up of tourists and newbies the preaching is more or less general in scope and not particulalry Reformed. However, most of the Universities here offer English Master's degrees in most any subject so you might want to look it up, especially if you want to study philosophy. The Free University has an amazing english MA in Christian Studies of Science and Society. The classes are distinctly taught from a Christian (Reformational) perspective and they are not afraid to criticize and denounce secular philosophy! Its really great - I'm enjoying it a lot. You might also want to check out Leiden, Utrecht, and the seminary at Kampen for other english programs.

In Christ,
Shawn
 

Laura

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Scott
Laura: Contact David and Eowyn Stoddard, who are doing church planting for the PCA's Mission to the World in Germany. They should be able to give you the low-down.

Eowyn?!? Haha, that is awesome. If I have the guts and a compliant husband, that will be one of my daughters' name, or at least middle name. ;) I will be sure to get in contact with them. Thanks, Scott.

Originally posted by Shawn
Sorry, I accidentally posted this as a new topic elsewhere. But I meant to reply to your inquiry.

Hey,

Well, I'm in Amsterdam at the moment and there's slim pickings as far as Reformed churches are concerned... unless you speak Dutch and then there's a Reformed church on most any corner, covering a wide variety of social and theological conservatism and liberalism. There's an English Reformed Church here that is probably on the liberal side of things... its run by the Church of Scotland, but because the congregation is mostly made up of tourists and newbies the preaching is more or less general in scope and not particulalry Reformed. However, most of the Universities here offer English Master's degrees in most any subject so you might want to look it up, especially if you want to study philosophy. The Free University has an amazing english MA in Christian Studies of Science and Society. The classes are distinctly taught from a Christian (Reformational) perspective and they are not afraid to criticize and denounce secular philosophy! Its really great - I'm enjoying it a lot. You might also want to check out Leiden, Utrecht, and the seminary at Kampen for other english programs.

In Christ,
Shawn

Wow, that MA does sound fantastic. You're the second person to recommend me the Free Uni, but the first had a little less credibility. Thanks for the info.


[Edited on 10-4-2005 by Laura]
 

Steve Owen

Puritan Board Sophomore
There's an English Reformed Church here that is probably on the liberal side of things... its run by the Church of Scotland

The Church of Scotland is 'reformed' only in the sense that it is Presbyterian. In general, its liberalism would make PCUSA look positively orthodox.

And before an irate Scotsman beats you over the head with a claymore, the CoS is not an English church, but a British one :D

Martin
 

Canadian _Shawn

Puritan Board Freshman
Clarification

Hi Martin,

Actually the term "English" refers to the language they use during worship, and not to the nationality of the church, which is largely international . So the church is actually called the "English Reformed Church." It was donated by the dutch civil government (after having been confiscated or stolen from Roman Catholics) to be used by the english-speaking Puritans in Amsterdam, sometime during the 17th century. Today it still serves the English-speaking, and largely ex-pat British, community, and just happens to be served by the Church of Scotland which, I assume, has fraternal relations with whatever Dutch Reformed denomination owns the church. And regarding the orthodoxy of the Church of Scotland... well, I wouldn't know... I hesitate to write off an entire denomination, especially when I don't have first hand knoweldge. It seems to depend on the minister and the congregation, really, as in the Church of England.

Cheers,
Shawn
 
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