John Calvin: A Sixteenth-Century Portrait

Paperback | November 1, 1995

byWilliam J. Bouwsma

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Historians have credited--or blamed--Calvinism for many developments in the modern world, including capitalism, modern science, secularization, democracy, individualism, and unitarianism. These same historians, however, have largely ignored John Calvin the man. When people consider himat all, they tend to view him as little more than the joyless tyrant of Geneva who created an abstract theology as forbidding as himself. This volume, written by the eminent historian William J. Bouwsma, who has devoted his career to exploring the larger patterns of early modern European history, seeks to redress these common misconceptions of Calvin by placing him back in the proper historical context of his time. Eloquently depicting Calvin's life as a French exile, a humanist in the tradition of Erasmus, and a man unusually sensitive to the complexities and contradictions of later Renaissance culture, Bouwsma reveals a surprisingly human, plausible, ecumenical, and often sympathetic Calvin. JohnCalvin offers a brilliant reassessment not only of Calvin but also of the Reformation and its relationship to the movements of the Renaissance.

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From Our Editors

Bousma sketches a deeply psychological portrait of the great reformer.

From the Publisher

Historians have credited--or blamed--Calvinism for many developments in the modern world, including capitalism, modern science, secularization, democracy, individualism, and unitarianism. These same historians, however, have largely ignored John Calvin the man. When people consider himat all, they tend to view him as little more...

William J. Bouwsma is Sather Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the author of the highly-acclaimed Venice and the Defense of Republican Liberty: Renaissance Values in the Age of the Counter-Reformation.

other books by William J. Bouwsma

Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 6.18 × 9.17 × 0.94 inPublished:November 1, 1995Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195059514

ISBN - 13:9780195059519

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From Our Editors

Bousma sketches a deeply psychological portrait of the great reformer.

Editorial Reviews

"A clear and brilliantly argued analysis of Calvin's place in sixteenth-century European intellectual history, focusing on his thought rather than his life."--Library Journal