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Friends of Calvin

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2009 / Paperback

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Product Description

See Calvin through the eyes of those who knew him best! From aristocrats and students to doctors and theologians, these insightful writings focus on who Calvin was instead of what he did. Includes essays by Claude d'Hangest, Nicolas Cop, William Farel, Idelette van Buren, Lord and Lady de Falais, John Knox, Theodore Beza, and others.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0802862276
ISBN-13: 9780802862273
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

In two dozen short, readable biographies of John Calvin’s friends — including some who turned into enemies — Machiel A. van den Berg paints an intimate portrait of the great Reformer’s life and circle that most of us have never seen. 
Here we accompany Calvin from his early boyhood in Noyon to his student days in Paris and Orleans, to his pastorate in and exile from Geneva, all the way to his deathbed. We meet his famous Reformer friends — William Farel, Martin Bucer, Philip Melanchthon, Heinrich Bullinger, John Knox, Theodore Beza — and friends whose names are more obscure: his cousin Pierre Robert Olivétan, the first translator of the Bible into French; Renée de France of French royalty; Laurent de Normandie, the mayor of Noyon who later escaped to Geneva; Pierre Viret, his "best friend of all"; and Idelette van Buren, his beloved wife during their brief but happy marriage.
 Calvin may be known as a scholar who preferred his study to imperial and ecclesiastical politics, but he was also a rebel of faith against the papacy, which controlled most of the empires of Europe and had a price on the heads of all "reform-minded" citizens, especially their leaders. Peppered with quotations from Calvin’s voluminous letters, Friends of Calvin abounds with secret court relationships, love affairs, death threats, poisonings, and narrow midnight escapes from the pursuing authorities — showing a full-blooded and dangerous side of the bookish Reformer’s life. Readers of these colorful narratives will come to see how much Calvin’s friends influenced his life and thought.

Author Bio

Machiel A. van den Berg is a Reformed preacher living in the Netherlands. He regularly publishes articles about the history of the Reformation and about Calvin in particular.

Author Bio

Machiel A. van den Berg is a reformed preacher. He regularly publishes articles about the history of the Reformation and about Calvin in particular.

Publisher Description

Most biographical studies take a more direct approach to their subject, painting the picture of a man in broad strokes. In Calvin and His Friend, the approach is rather indirect, seeing John Calvin through the perspective of his friends. Yet the shape of the man that emerges in the negative space between their accounts is remarkably full and balanced.

Through the eyes of a cross-section of Calvin’s friends — from aristocrats to students to doctors, French to Dutch to Italian to Scottish — Machiel A. van den Berg brings together a selection of writings that describe what kind of human being Calvin was, rather than focusing on the things he did.

Calvin’s 24 friends herein: Claude d’Hangest, François Daniel, Nicolas Cop, Louis du Tillet, Pierre Robert Olivétan, Renée de France, John Sinapius, Simon Grynaeus, William Farel, Pierre Viret, Martin Bucer, Idelette van Buren, Benoit Textor, Antoine Cauvin, Laurent de Normandie, Ami Perrin, Nicolas des Gallars, Lord and Lady De Falais, Galeazzo Caracciolo, The Budé family, Heinrich Bullinger, John Knox, Theodore Beza.

Editorial Reviews

Karin Maag
— H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies, Calvin College and Seminary
 "This work provides fresh and accessible insights into John Calvin’s inner circle. The highly readable translation offers vignettes that show the Reformer’s capacity for deep and enduring relationships with friends and family members."

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