Year: 1998 Source: Archiv fur Reformationsgeschichte, v.89, (1998), p.227-246 SIEC No: 20010368

This study examines whether residents of Reformation Geneva displayed either an unusual severity toward suicide or a certain proclivity for taking their lives. People who completed suicide for the most part were not those who had thoroughly internalized Reformed piety; rather, they were generally on the margins of society. There is nothing to suggest that Calvinist piety itself contributed to suicidal behaviour but on the contrary, evidence indicates through the mid-seventeenth century the religious convictions of Geneva’s Reformed Christians served as one of the most important restraints against suicide. It was only in the late eighteenth century when a much more secular atmosphere arose that large numbers of Genevans took their own lives. (53 notes)