The Institutes of the Christian Religion

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By 1534 Calvin had converted to Protestantism, left Paris, and gave up his financial support. In 1535 he published the initial version of the Institutes. The importance of the Institutes lies not with any original thinking it contains but with its inclusive and systematic explication of Protestant doctrine. It forcefully presents the Protestants’ claim to teach the original doctrine of the church before it was corrupted by the popes in Rome. Further, the Institutes provides instructions for the practical organization of the reformed church and its relations to a political state.

The Institutes of the Christian Religion, trans. Henry Beveridge (Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1846). 2 volumes in 1.

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