Calvinism: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780198753711

Jon Balserak
168 Pages
111 x 175 mm
Pub date
Dec 2016
Very Short Introductions


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  • Discusses the ideas and practices of Calvinism, and their influence on modern society
  • Traces the history of Calvinism and its global spread via migrating peoples such as the early American settlers
  • Examines the life of John Calvin and the origins of Calvinism

In this Very Short Introduction, Jon Balserak explores major ideas associated with the Calvinist system of thought. Beginning during the Protestant Reformation in cities like Zurich, Geneva, and Basel, Calvinismaalso known as Reformed Theologyaspread rapidly throughout Europe and the New World, eventually making its way to the African Continent and the East. Balserak examines how Calvinist thought and practice spread and took root, helping shape church and society. Much of contemporary thought, especially western thought, on everything from theology to civil government, economics, the arts, work and leisure, education, and the family has been influenced by Calvinism. Balserak explores this influence. He also examines common misconceptions and objections to Calvinism, and sets forth a Calvinist understanding of God, the world, humankind, and the meaning of life.


1: Calvinism - What's in a name?
2: Conversion
3: Culture
4: Church
5: Knowledge
6: Covenant
7: Humanity and New Humanity
8: God and Hell
Further Reading

About the author: 

Jon Balserak is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Bristol. He has published numerous scholarly articles on John Calvin and the Calvinist and Reformed tradition. He has written or edited four books including Divinity Compromised; A Study of Divine Accommodation in the Thought of John Calvin (Springer, 2006), Calvinus Evangelii Propugnator; Calvin, Champion of the Gospel (ed., Calvin Studies Society, 2006), Establishing the Remnant Church in France; John Calvin's Lectures on the Minor Prophets, 1556-1559 (Brill, 2001), and John Calvin as Sixteenth Century Prophet (OUP, 2014).

"[T]his book achieves its goal to introduce readers to the topics of Calvinism in a stimulating and accessible way." - Eundeuk Kim, Reading Religion

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