John Calvin (1509–1564) continues to fascinate us. The year 2009 marked the 500th anniversary of his birth and witnessed a remarkable outpouring of books and articles celebrating his pivotal role in the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, the enduring significance of his theology (especially as articulated in his Institutes of the Christian Religion), his commentaries and lectures on the Bible, and his sermons (his collected works comprise 59 volumes). He fascinates us because his influence is not limited to Reformed or even to Protestant theology and church life, but extends to many aspects of the contemporary world. Historians continue to debate his impact on Western culture—his role in the emergence of free-market capitalism, liberal democracy, the arts and education.


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