By Bernard Cottret

Largely acclaimed in its French variation, this sterling biography of John Calvin sheds new mild at the nice Reformer’s character by way of targeting the milieu within which he did his life’s paintings. within the biggest a part of the e-book, Bernard Cottret develops a chronological exam of Calvin’s existence, from his beginning in Noyon to his ministry and management in Geneva. within the ultimate chapters Cottret explores thematic facets of Calvin’s personality— Calvin the polemicist, the preacher, and the writer—and seems to be with better intensity at Calvin’s leading 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 such a lot enjoyable—portraits of Calvin’s lifestyles, paintings, and lasting effect.

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Massaut, Josse Clichtove. L'humanisme et la reforme du clerge, 2 vols. (Paris: Belles Lettres, 1968), 1:311. 9. N. Lemaitre, Le Rouergue flamboyant. Clerge et paroisses du diocese de Rodez (1417-1563) (Paris: Le Cerf, 1988), pp. 65ff. 10. M. Venard, Reforme protestante, Reforme catholique dans la province d'Avignon, xvie siecle (Paris: Le Cerf, 1993), p. 245. 11. The tension between lay reformatio and monasticism preceded the Protestant Reformation. -P. Massaut notes, had varying relations with the monks.

But was Erasmus, the grand diva of humanism, impious? Such foolishness was born of a vain polemic between the two men; "Du bist nicht fromm," exclaimed the former German monk, on reading the Dutchman. " The corridors of history still echo with this denunciation. Like "Renaissance" and so many other terms we use today, the word "humanism" did not exist in the sixteenth century. 15 The humanists were devoted to the "humanities," those "humaniores litterae" that were recovering their interest in ancient languages and classical authors.

Another figure of the university microcosm enjoyed at this time a solid reputation, arduously earned by means of thrashing students. Directing the College de Montaigu from 1514 to 1528, the dreadful Pierre Tempete terrorized all the stunned little children. This frightful being appeared to be drawn from one of those stories with which one fills children's anguished imaginations to help them fall asleep. Sadly celebrated, Tempete ruled the institution with a hand of iron, meriting without doubt that tyrannical renown of which an echo is found in Rabelais.

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