Calvin, John

Calvin, John
(1509-64)
   A French Protestant theologian, Calvin, through his years of reform at Geneva, became the great systematiser of the Reformation while laying the foundations for the theology that would bear his name. While Calvin's background was renaissance humanism, he emphasised the comprehensive effect of the fall upon the human will and mind: though humans were created with a sensus divinitatis designed to produce belief about God within us, its proper function had been corrupted by the fall, leaving humans in ignorance and rebellion. Among Calvin's other themes are a deepened theology of the Trinity and an appreciation for sanctification that balanced out Luther's preoccupation with justification. Calvin is most remembered for his emphasis on divine sovereignty, particularly as expressed in the doctrine of double predestination. Calvin's great work, the Institutes of the Christian Religion, was expanded and revised in successive editions between 1536 and 1559. Many important theologians developed Calvinist themes including Theodore Beza, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards and Francis Turretin, thereby creating one of the great Christian intellectual traditions.
   Further reading: Calvin 1863-1900, 1960 and 1992-; Dowey 1994; Gamble 1992; Helm 2004; Muller 2000; Wendel 1987

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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  • Calvin, John — (1509–64)    Theologian and Denomination Founder.    Calvin was born in Noyon, Picardy and was trained as a lawyer. By 1533 he was an avowed Protestant and was compelled to leave Paris where he was pursuing literary studies. He spent the next… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Calvin, John — (1509 1564)    French religious reformer. Although identified mainly with the Protestant Reformation, Calvin began his intellectual development as a follower of humanism. Born at Noyon in northern France, he studied liberal arts at the University …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

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  • Calvin,John — Cal·vin (kălʹvĭn), John. 1509 1564. French born Swiss Protestant theologian who broke with the Roman Catholic Church (1533) and set forth the tenets of his theology, known today as Presbyterianism, in Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536).… …   Universalium

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