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By: Bruce Gordon
Number of Pages: 416
Vendor: Yale University Press
Publication Date: 2011
|Weight: 14 ounces
Stock No: WW170849
A revealing new portrait of John Calvin that captures his human complexity and the sixteenth-century world in which he fought his personal and theological battles
During the glory days of the French Renaissance, young John Calvin (1509-1564) experienced a profound conversion to the faith of the Reformation. For the rest of his days he lived out the implications of that transformationas exile, inspired reformer, and ultimately the dominant figure of the Protestant Reformation. Calvins vision of the Christian religion has inspired many volumes of analysis, but this engaging biography examines a remarkable life. Bruce Gordon presents Calvin as a human being, a man at once brilliant, arrogant, charismatic, unforgiving, generous, and shrewd.
The book explores with particular insight Calvins self-conscious view of himself as prophet and apostle for his age and his struggle to tame a sense of his own superiority, perceived by others as arrogance. Gordon looks at Calvins character, his maturing vision of God and humanity, his personal tragedies and failures, his extensive relationships with others, and the context within which he wrote and taught. What emerges is a man who devoted himself to the Church, inspiring and transforming the lives of others, especially those who suffered persecution for their religious beliefs.
"This biography excels in providing a scrupulous, detailed narrative from the ground up . . . [Gordon] always, across 340 pages of detailed narrative, gives us the story in its full complexity."James Simpson, Times Literary Supplement
"Bruce Gordon's magisterial biography . . . sets the theologian in his 16th-century context and portrays Calvin as a prophet and an apostle whose genius lay in his ability to interpret the Bible and express a coherent, penetrating and lucid vision of God's abiding love."Henry Carrigan, Publishers Weekly
"A magnificent biography . . . [Bruce Gordon] liberates Calvin from the many stereotypes to which he has too long been captive and turns him into a flesh-and-blood human being."George Stroup, Christian Century
"It is here at last . . . a great biography of Calvin . . . the best biography of John Calvin to date."Christianity.com
"Exceptional . . . lucid . . . masterful."Matthew J. Pereira, Religious Studies Review
"A very stimulating bookextensive, detailed, in many respects brilliant."Euan Cameron, Union Theological Seminary
"Bruce Gordons lively new biography presents Calvin embedded in his surroundings, developing his ideas as events unfolded."Merry Wiesner-Hanks, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
"At last, a balanced biography of Calvin: Bruce Gordon's unblinking and unblinkered book brings a searching light to bear on one of the most private of the sixteenth century's most influential public figures."Richard Rex
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