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A History

D. G. Hart

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The first single-volume history of Reformed Protestantism from its sixteenth-century origins to the present

This briskly told history of Reformed Protestantism takes these churches through their entire 500-year history—from sixteenth-century Zurich and Geneva to modern locations as far flung as Seoul and São Paulo. D. G. Hart explores specifically the social and political developments that enabled Calvinism to establish a global presence.
Hart’s approach features significant episodes in the institutional history of Calvinism that are responsible for its contemporary profile. He traces the political and religious circumstances that first created space for Reformed churches in Europe and later contributed to Calvinism’s expansion around the world. He discusses the effects of the American and French Revolutions on ecclesiastical establishments as well as nineteenth- and twentieth-century communions, particularly in Scotland, the Netherlands, the United States, and Germany, that directly challenged church dependence on the state. Raising important questions about secularization, religious freedom, privatization of faith, and the place of religion in public life, this book will appeal not only to readers with interests in the history of religion but also in the role of religion in political and social life today.

D. G. Hart is visiting professor of history, Hillsdale College, and former director of the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals, Wheaton College. He is author of more than a dozen previous books, including most recently From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin. He lives in Hillsdale, MI.

'One of the best introductions to the history and ideas of Calvinism, packed with insight and wisdom.' - Alister McGrath, author of Christian Theology: An Introduction

'Brimming with insight and expansive in treatment, Darryl Hart's account of Calvinism briskly tells the story of a tradition that emerged in the Reformation, one with a distinctive vision of God, creation, and humanity. The pages are populated by reformers and refugees, Princeton professors and contemporary Asian congregations, offering a movingly human narrative of a branch of Christianity that transformed and was transformed by history while resolutely holding to cherished beliefs. A great read.' - Bruce Gordon, author of Calvin

'Darryl Hart has written a very useful book on a very big subject. For a religious tradition that has been both lionised and despised, Hart provides a nuanced sense of internal developments, internal differences, and (more recently) worldwide expansion. His ability to document the surprising adaptability of Calvinism - alongside the steady focus of Calvinists on divine sovereignty, salvation in Christ, and the transformation of creation - is the most striking of the book's many virtues.' - Mark Noll, author of Protestantism: A Very Short Introduction

'This sweeping overview of the spread of Calvinism in Europe and lands beyond is most welcome. Hart helpfully describes the ways this understanding of Christian faith, associated with John Calvin and others, spread internationally and since the sixteenth century has become the faith of millions. Succinct, clearly-written, and showing conversance with historical and theological developments, this book will be a valuable guide for students and scholars.' —Donald K. McKim, editor of The Cambridge Companion to John Calvin

“Hart is good at explaining how political factors as well as theological ideas influenced the spread of Calvinism [...] This is a good survey of the history of Calvinism but readers need to be aware that the same opinions that have made hart a trenchant commentator on American religion are on display here.”—Paul Richardson, Church of England Newspaper, 21st July 2013

Calvinism covers its imposingly diverse subject with scholarly precision and the kind of charity and balance one hopes for in any historian. […] In Calvinism, Mr. Hart skilfully combines political and institutional history, on the one hand, and theological developments and the ‘history of ideas,’ on the other.”—Barton Swaim, Wall Street Journal

“Hart does a wonderful job of tracing the faith’s journey beyond the well reported events of the 16th and 17th centuries . . . If you are after a reliable guide, then Darryl Hart is your man.”—Jonathan Wright, Catholic Herald

“For all readers whose love of church history is combined with a commitment to the doctrines of grave, this book will come as a delight. . .[and] provides an instructive and readable overview of the movement of God that changed the religious world.”—John Harris, Evangelical Times

“The great merit of this book is that it pulls so many threads together in a coherent tapestry. The writing is clear and efficient.”—James Bratt, Christian Century
ISBN: 9780300148794
Publication Date: July 30, 2013
352 pages, 6 x 9