Le synode de Dordrecht (1618-1619) : théologie et confessionalisation

Organized during the Truce between the Northern Netherlands and Spain, the National Synod of Dordrecht (1618-19) became a major event for the Reformed communities in Europe as a whole. Though the French delegates were forbidden by their king to attend the Synod, virtually all Calvinist churches of Europe were represented. In the Canons of Dordrecht the Synod defined Calvinist orthodoxy, in particular with regard to double predestination. It revised the main confessional texts, stabilized the text of the church order, and ordered a new translation of the Bible from the original languages (the so-called States Bible, published in 1637). Finally, the Synod secured the division between the followers of the late Professor Arminius, more liberal, and Professor Gomarus, orthodox, who were called respectively Remonstrants and Counter-Remonstrants after the Remonstrantie which the Arminians had presented to the States in 1610. From the very start, the Synod’s initiative to settle the theological conflict obtained a political dimension within the Dutch Republic achieved by the defeat of the Arminians, the execution of the political leader Oldenbarnevelt, and the exile of the jurist Grotius. Finally, this article examines the role the Synod played in the confessionalization process of Dutch society.