Calvin: A Biography by Bernard Cottret

By Bernard Cottret

Broadly acclaimed in its French variation, this sterling biography of John Calvin sheds new gentle at the nice Reformer’s character through targeting the milieu during which he did his life’s paintings. within the biggest a part of the publication, Bernard Cottret develops a chronological exam of Calvin’s existence, from his delivery in Noyon to his ministry and management in Geneva. within the ultimate chapters Cottret explores thematic points of Calvin’s character— Calvin the polemicist, the preacher, and the writer—and appears to be like with better intensity at Calvin’s best paintings, the Institutes of the Christian faith. Balanced, cogent, and written with literary good looks, this biography will take its position one of the best—and so much enjoyable—portraits of Calvin’s existence, paintings, and lasting impression.

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5i This criticism of the medieval colleges was not devoid of polemical intent against the monasteries. 52 From the other side, pitying the masters and not the students, George Buchanan (1506-82) presented a report no less afflicting. A partisan of the rod in pedagogy and of the liberty of peoples in politics, this Scottish humanist taught in France for several years in the middle of the century. The poor teachers, he sighs, were obliged to wear themselves out beating the children for their own good, and then condemned to hear them whimpering all day long.

Or at least his power resided only in his knowledge and in the recognition his contemporaries accorded him. But although changes largely overshadow continuities, Calvin remained, like so many other Reformers, a prodigal son of humanism. Christianity having split, would the republic of letters27 succumb in turn? It was a curious solidarity, that of these intellectuals who passed from hyperbolic praise to denunciation as if to reassure themselves, wielding in turn the carrot of Christian love and the stick of anathema.

52 From the other side, pitying the masters and not the students, George Buchanan (1506-82) presented a report no less afflicting. A partisan of the rod in pedagogy and of the liberty of peoples in politics, this Scottish humanist taught in France for several years in the middle of the century. The poor teachers, he sighs, were obliged to wear themselves out beating the children for their own good, and then condemned to hear them whimpering all day long. This moving account does not fail to describe the sad condition of the penitential staff: "While the professor tires himself out, these parasitic children sleep or think about their pleasures.

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