Calvinism: A Very Short Introduction [#499]
Calvinism: A Very Short Introduction [#499]


  • 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, Calvinism also known as Reformed Theology spread 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


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

"The task of writing a "very short introduction" to such a disputed phenomenon, then, is a tall order, if not next to impossible. Jon Balserak, however, has forged a concise and admirable overview of a phenomenon that resists simple description, and with an impressive breadth and depth, given the limitations of the series format. ... Balserak's concise, learned, and insightful treatment of other themes in this diminutive introduction is impressive. ... Especially given that writing a very short introduction to this faith tradition is an impossible task, Balserak's success in doing just that has resulted in one that is also very helpful." - Raymond Blacketer, Church History and Religious Culture 98/1 (April, 2018)

"Jon Balserak's study appears in a series which has the aim of providing readers with an accessible way into a new subject. He certainly achieves this objective, through a thematic analysis of Calvinist ideas that will also be of interest to those already familiar with Calvinist thought." - Graeme Murdock, Journal of Ecclesiastical History 68 (2018)

"Jon Balserak's volume on Calvinism in the Very Short Introduction series offers a profoundly accessible and well-written introduction to the 'living body of doctrines' (p. xvi) that is the Reformed faith. This 'family resemblance' approach to Calvinism is extremely salutary insofar as it gives Balserak the ability not to overemphasize any particular architectonic feature of Reformed culture as the sine qua non of the movement." - Jonathan Warren, Bunyan studies 21 (Jan, 2017)

"This very small volume introduces and entices, familiarizes and complicates all at once. Those pairings are hard to pull off, but this little gem does so...this reviewer can imagine it being of much use to young undergraduates, especially those seeking to get a feel for how neo-Calvinism or Kuyperianism with all its entanglements in varied fields and disciplines relates to the wider world, deeper history, and ongoing debates about Calvinism or Reformed theology. In that regard, Balserak proves to be a particularly helpful guide."


ISBN : 9780198753711

Jon Balserak
168 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Calvinism: A Very Short Introduction [#499]

Calvinism: A Very Short Introduction [#499]

Calvinism: A Very Short Introduction [#499]