John Calvin was called a heretic, a schismatic interested only in his own power, a prophet, and a religious fanatic who made God out to be the author of sin. He has been credited (or blamed for) the rise of capitalism, democratic government, and the spread of rebellion. One of his recent biographers named him “the greatest Protestant reformer of the sixteenth century, brilliant, visionary, and iconic.” But that same biographer also stated, “He was also ruthless and an outstanding hater.” Calvin has been lauded and derided throughout the centuries; he is a man whose thought and legacy engenders either praise or abhorrence. Naturally, the quincentennial of his birth was marked by several publications that took up his thought and presented his work. In November, at almost the end of the Calvin Jubilee year, it is appropriate to look back and see what 2009 has brought in Calvin studies. Certainly, the fruits of this year will not be fully harvested yet; books and conference papers that were in some way attached to the relative storm of Calviniana in 2009 will continue to appear for years to come. But the publishing impact in this long year can give one sort of gauge of the interest in Calvin and of the present direction of Calvin studies.
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