Farel, William
(1489-1565)
   Protestant preacher and Reformed church pioneer in Switzerland
   Though somewhat overshadowed by his friend and colleague John Calvin, William Farel was a pioneer of the Reformation in Geneva and all of French-speaking Switzerland. He was born into a noble family near Gap, Dauphiné. He studied in Paris with Jacobus Faber (Jacques Lèfevre d'Éta-ples), the reform-minded scholar and champion of biblical authority. in 1521, Lefevre's former student Bishop Briçonnet invited Farel to Meaux to assist his initial efforts at reform. Briçonnet wanted to keep reform within Catholic boundaries, and in 1523 instituted a ban on all Lutheran literature. Farel decided to leave the increasingly hostile atmosphere of France; he settled briefly in Basel, where Erasmus lived and where Johannes Oecolampadius was leading a reform effort. His welcome wore thin when in 1524 he promulgated 13 theses contra Catholic doctrine.
   After a term as an unordained preacher in Montbélard in eastern France, Farel settled at Aigle (near Bern) in 1525; in 1528, he was granted a license to preach anywhere in the canton of Bern; he worked in the neighboring cantons of Neuchâtel and Vaud as well. in 1532, he visited Waldensian leaders in Italy, and on his return to Switzerland fatefully stopped in Geneva. He found a city divided, with secular authorities issuing reform decrees while the church leadership resisted.
   Farel stayed on to support reform, but was expelled by church leaders, only to return when the reformists were granted liberty in March 1533. Over the next two years, he helped win over the great majority of Genevans to the reform cause. When the bishop of Geneva tried to halt his preaching, public debates were scheduled, giving him an even broader audience. On August 27, 1535, the Catholic Mass was officially suppressed and the Reformed faith established.
   John Calvin was just visiting Geneva at that time, and Farel convinced him to take over the leadership of the Reformed movement. Over the next two years, the pair imposed a set of stringent reform measures that brought a sharp reaction, but after two years in exile they were invited back in 1541. Farel stayed for only a few months, moving on to Metz in 1542 and to Neuchâtel in 1544. He continued to work for the Reformed cause in Switzerland for the rest of his life. He remained in close contact with Calvin and mourned his passing in 1564. Farel died at Metz on September 13, 1565.
   Further reading:
   ■ Francis Bevan, The Life of William Farel (Edinburgh: Pickering & Inglis, n.d.)
   ■ Wm. M. Blackburn, William Farel and the Story of the Swiss Reform (Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publications, 1865)
   ■ Bruce Gordon, The Swiss Reformation (Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 2002)
   ■ William G. Naphy, Calvin and the Consolidation of the Genevan Reformation (Manchester, U.K.: Manchester University Press, 1994).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • FAREL, WILLIAM —    a Swiss reformer, born at Dauphiné; introduced, in 1534, after two futile attempts, the reformed faith into Geneva, where he was succeeded in the management of affairs by John Calvin; he has been called the pioneer of the Reformation in… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • William Farel — William ( Guillaume ) Farel (1489 ndash; 13 September 1565) was a French evangelist, and a founder of the Reformed Church in the cantons of Neuchâtel, Berne, Geneva, and Vaud in Switzerland. He is most often remembered for having persuaded John… …   Wikipedia

  • Farel Reformed Theological Seminary — is a bilingual (French/English) Reformed, university level theological school in Montreal, Quebec for the training of pastors, evangelists, teachers and those simply interested in studying theology. History The Evangelical Reformed Alliance (… …   Wikipedia

  • Farel — (spr. rell), Guillaume, Reformator der romanischen Schweiz, geb. 1489 zu Gap im Dauphiné, gest. 13. Sept. 1565 in Neuenburg, Vor und Mitarbeiter Calvins, wandte sich während seiner Studienzeit in Paris dem Evangelium zu und ging 1521 nach Meaux,… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Guillaume Farel — Guillaume Farel. Guillaume Farel (Gap, Delfinado, Francia, 1489 Neuchâtel, Suiza, 1565), reformador y predicador francés, que desempeñó un importante papel en la introducción de la Reforma en Suiza …   Wikipedia Español

  • John Calvin — Barcelona, Spain (1554) Born Jean Cauvin 10 July 1509(1509 07 10) Noyon, Picardy, Kingdom of France …   Wikipedia

  • Michael Servetus — Not to be confused with Servatius (disambiguation). Michael Servetus Era Renaissance Born 29 September 1511(1511 09 29) …   Wikipedia

  • Protestantism — /prot euh steuhn tiz euhm/, n. 1. the religion of Protestants. 2. the Protestant churches collectively. 3. adherence to Protestant principles. [1640 50; PROTESTANT + ISM] * * * One of the three major branches of Christianity, originating in the… …   Universalium

  • Antoine Froment — Infobox Person name = Antoine Froment birth date = 1508 birth place = Mens, Isère death date = 1581 death place = Geneva occupation = Preacher, reformer spouse = Marie Dentière religion = Protestant nationality = FrenchAntoine Froment (1508 1581) …   Wikipedia

  • Marie Dentière — Inscription sur le Mur des réformateurs, sur le côté de la stèle dédiée à Zwingli Marie Dentière, ou d’Ennetières, née en 1495 à Tournai en Belgique et morte en 1561 à Genève[1] …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”