Calvin: A Brief Guide to His Life and Thoughts (Van't Spijker)

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Westminster John Knox Press

John Calvin (1509-1564) was one of the main Protestant Reformers of the sixteenth century. His thought spread worldwide, and today he is still looked to for theological insights and as a guide to Christian faith by millions of people. In this book, one of the world's leading Calvin scholars, Willem van 't Spijker, provides a compact guide to Calvin's life and the main elements of his thought. Van 't Spijker bases this work on the best contemporary scholarship. By tracing Calvin's influence, he shows both the development of Calvin's thought and the ways in which it was important in his time and later. This book will be an excellent introduction to Calvin's life and thought for both beginning students and those already acquainted with Calvin's work.

Table of Contents:

  1. France at the Beginning of the Sixteenth Century
  2. Calvin’s Early Development
  3. Calvin’s Conversion
  4. The Institutes of the Christian Religion
  5. Geneva, 1536-1538
  6. Strasbourg, 1538-1541
  7. Geneva, 1541-1546: Organization
  8. Geneva, 1546-1555: Crisis
  9. Geneva, 1555-1564: Consolidation
  10. Contours of Calvin’s Theology
  11. Calvin’s Influence



Willem van 't Spijker is one of today's leading John Calvin scholars. He is the author of many books and served as a theological professor at the University of Apeldoorn in the Netherlands.



"This brief guide is long on insight and information. In a very readable manner, it serves as a ready entry into the life of Calvin, fully embedding that life in the currents of sixteenth-century society and culture. The life and work of Calvin is on fully contextualized display here, as is the erudition of the author and the skill of the translator. Highly recommended" - Thomas J. Davis