John Calvin


John Calvin (l. 1509-1564) was a French Reformer, pastor, and theologian considered among the greatest of the Protestant Reformation along with Martin Luther (l. 1483-1546) and Huldrych Zwingli (l. 1484-1531). Calvin synthesized the differing views of Protestant sects with his own in his Institutes of the Christian Religion, regarded as one of the most important works of Protestant theology.

More about: John Calvin


  • 1509 - 1564
    Life of Protestant theologian and Reformer John Calvin.
  • c. 1511
    John Calvin attends school in Paris, learns Latin.
  • 1525
    John Calvin's father encourages him to study law instead of pursuing the priesthood.
  • c. 1529 - c. 1533
    John Calvin converts from Roman Catholicism to the Reformed Protestant vision of Christianity.
  • 1532
    John Calvin receives his law license.
  • 1536
    John Calvin publishes the first version of The Institutes of the Christian Religion.
  • 1536 - 1538
    John Calvin and William Farel work to establish the Reformation in Geneva.
  • 1538 - 1541
    John Calvin writes and preaches in Strasbourg.
  • 1540
    John Calvin marries the widow Idelette de Bure.
  • 1541
    John Calvin returns to Geneva where he remains the rest of his life.
  • 1549
    John Calvin's wife, Idelette, dies of illness.
  • 1553
    John Calvin condemns Michael Servetus as a heretic; Servetus is burned.
  • 1555
    John Calvin's political opponents, the libertines, are ousted; Calvin becomes the most powerful authority in Geneva.
  • 27 May 1564
    John Calvin dies of illness at Geneva.