By Bruce Gordon
In the course of the glory days of the French Renaissance, younger John Calvin (1509-1564) skilled a profound conversion to the religion of the Reformation. For the remainder of his days he lived out the consequences of that transformation—as exile, encouraged reformer, and eventually the dominant determine of the Protestant Reformation. Calvin’s imaginative and prescient of the Christian faith has encouraged many volumes of research, yet this attractive biography examines a notable lifestyles. Bruce Gordon provides Calvin as a man or woman, a guy instantly extraordinary, conceited, charismatic, unforgiving, beneficiant, and shrewd.The e-book explores with specific perception Calvin’s self-conscious view of himself as prophet and apostle for his age and his fight to tame a feeling of his personal superiority, perceived through others as vanity. Gordon appears at Calvin’s personality, his maturing imaginative and prescient of God and humanity, his own tragedies and screw ups, his broad relationships with others, and the context in which he wrote and taught. What emerges is a guy who dedicated himself to the Church, inspiring and reworking the lives of others, in particular those that suffered persecution for his or her spiritual ideals.
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Extra info for Calvin
During his stay in his native city in the summer of 1531 he worked on a commentary on Seneca’s De clementia which he had probably started before his departure from Bourges. While still a law student Calvin expressed his ambition to enter the lists of French humanism by taking on the great Erasmus on his home ground: he sought to improve upon the Dutchman’s 1529 edition of Seneca’s De clementia. The dedication of Calvin’s commentary to Claude de Hangest, Abbot of Saint-Eloi, offers an Am o n g t h e P r i n c e s o f L a w 23 illuminating portrait of the young man undertaking an audacious project while his father lay close to death.
It is entirely possible that Calvin’s emotional bonds lay more with the friends with whom he lived, studied and travelled than with a family he had hardly seen. We cannot dismiss the influence 32 Calvin of the Stoic philosophy of Seneca with which he was engaged; the letter may speak to a stylized role of impassivity as a means of dealing with his loss. What is certainly misleading is any suggestion that he was unaffected by death and grief. The raw emotions that poured forth later at the loss of his infant son and wife, as well as at the death of close friends, counter any sense of a Calvin hewn from stone.
63 Such publications circulated in France as the authorities struggled to find an effective response. We cannot attach the adolescent Calvin to any of these movements in the 1520s and we know nothing of his religious disposition. On the great events that took place he has left no commentary, but even the college walls would not have shielded him from the vicissitudes in the capital. And in his own life an important change had taken place. He left Paris for Orléans intending to study law. 2 The best-known story, and from Calvin’s own hand, is that his father opted for a career in the law for his son on the grounds that it was more lucrative.
Calvin by Bruce Gordon