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A Biography
POD; Published: 10/4/2000
ISBN: 978-0-8028-3159-0
Price: $ 35.50
396 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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This is a print on demand book and is therefore non- returnable.

One of the most influential religious thinkers of the Reformation period, John Calvin was the father of a major sector of modern-day Protestantism. It is only natural that his life has generated no paucity of biographies and related studies.

Bernard Cottret’s contribution, a sterling biography of John Calvin that was widely acclaimed in its French edition, sheds new light on the great Reformer’s personality by concentrating on the milieu in which he did his life’s work.

In the largest part of the book, Cottret develops a chronological examination of Calvin’s life, from his birth in Noyon to his ministry and administration in Geneva. In the final chapters Cottret explores thematic aspects of Calvin’s persona—Calvin the polemicist, the preacher, and the writer—and looks with greater depth at Calvin’s foremost work, the Institutes of the Christian Religion.

Unlike many previous Calvin biographies, this book is written by an academic who is not a theologian nor a man of the church. It will be useful to all readers interested in Calvin’s life, work, and lasting influence.

"Calling this book `a history of faith,' Cottret says that `the history of a particular man is also a history of the hope he entertained as much as a history of what actually happened.' That this is a history of John Calvin's hope as much as a biography of him helps account for the careful attention to political developments in Switzerland and France, making it also a history of ideas that pivots on the sixteenth century's religious controversies. Readers will encounter Calvin at that pivot point..�
—Le Monde
(for French edition)
"A tour de force.... Cottret has avoided the trap of painting a character who would have had, from the beginning, all of the traits of his last years, and endeavors to show how Calvin became Calvin.... Brilliant."
—Le Figaro
(for French edition)
"Bernard Cottret succeeds in painting a balanced portrait of Calvin."
—Les Livres du Mois
(for French edition)
"This excellent bok regards the French Reformer with new eyes.... Cottret mixes seriousness and welcome humor. For the public interested in a history of Protestantism, this book is full of reflections of the spirit of the Reformation."