Calvin, A Biography

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Bloomsbury Academic, May 22, 2003 - 394 pages
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A major new authoritative and comprehensive biography, shedding new light on the life and personality of the great Reformer - and the milieu in which he lived and worked. Cottret's Calvin is not the static' theologian of earlier biographies, but a man of enormous vigour, constantly on the move in his thinking as well as in his life.


Professor Cottret introduces the reader to the world into which Calvin was born, and follows him from childhood to humanistic and literary pursuits in Basel, to ministry in Geneva, to the halcyon Strasbourg years and finally back to Geneva. The vital issues of the day are encountered as it were through Calvin's eyes, as the author leads the reader through the dramatic upheavals of sixteenth-century Europe.



A classic biography which will be an indispensable resource for students and scholars for years to come.

Praise for Calvin:
'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 later years, and endeavours to show how Calvin became Calvin. . . Brilliant.'
--Le Monde
'This excellent book regards the French Reformer with new eyes. . . Cottret mixes seriousness and welcome humour. For the public interested in a history of Protestanism, this book is full of reflections of the spirit of the Reformation.'
--Les Livres du Mois

"Bernard Cottret is an accomplished and successful writer . . . He has an idiosyncratic style that mixes narrative and professional bon mots of a cold philosophical nature . . . Cottret is also the first of recent biographers [. . .] to make extensive use of Calvin's sermons, many of which languished unpublished until recently. Calvin had grave doubts about the publication of such works and thought them fit only for a local and transitory audience; but it is here, in this less guarded medium, that Calvin's skill as a teacher and expositor shines forth with greatest clarity."
--English Historical Review>

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