1560s, "religious doctrines and theology of John Calvin" (1509-1564), French Protestant reformer and theologian. With -ism. Alternative form Calvinian was in use in 1566. Later extended broadly to positions he did not hold. Generalized association with stern moral codes and predestination is attested at least since 1853. Related: Calvinist; Calvinistic.
The peculiar characteristics of his system, as derived from his "Institutes," are his doctrines of original sin, namely, that we derive from Adam "not only the punishment, but also the pollution to which the punishment is justly due"; of freedom of the will, namely, that man "in his present state is despoiled of freedom of will and subject to a miserable slavery"; of grace, or that "the Lord both begins and completes the good work in us," and gives us "both will and power"; of predestination, or "the eternal decree of God, by which he has determined in himself what he would have become of every individual of mankind"; and of perseverance, or the doctrine that all the elect will certainly be saved. [Century Dictionary]
updated on September 25, 2018