Posted by: Michael Dewalt | April 20, 2009


Calvin500 is an international, interdenominational, and interdisciplinary commemoration of the life and work of John Calvin (b. 1509). Climaxing with conferences in multiple locations in 2009, this celebration combines history, spirituality, and culture to recall appropriately the life and work of the Genevan Reformer.

Dr. David W. Hall, Executive Director of Calvin500, stated its four purposeful aims as: (1) to encourage Reformed institutions, groups, and councils to have their own autonomous celebration of Calvin’s legacy during 2009; (2) to publish a commemorative series of books (below) highlighting Calvin’s work and life; (3) to host a historical tour of the major French and Swiss sites of Calvinistic heritage in 2009; and (4) to sponsor two conferences in historic Geneva in July 2009, one academic and one for expository preaching.

This multi-faceted approach seeks to introduce many people to one of the most important thinkers in history. Participants may find information about or register for the tour/conferences online at our website. We are seeking to inform a new generation about the positive contributions of Calvin. Since many people have heard only or primarily negative assessments of Calvin, in some respects we will be re-telling parts of the narrative that have been ignored or forgotten by a modernity that has often been venomous toward Calvin.

Hundreds of people will gather at St. Pierre Cathedral in Geneva, July 5-10, to commemorate this occasion. Leading up to that and in Geneva, tour participants will visit historic sites for themselves and see the major sites of Calvinistic heritage. We invite all to join us. You may register for the conference with 38 sessions

Among our speakers are: Anthony N. S. Lane (England), Herman Selderhuis (Holland), Joel Beeke (USA), Sinclair Ferguson (Scotland), W. Robert Godfrey (USA), Henri Blocher (France), Geoffrey Thomas (Wales), Ted Donnelly (Ireland), John Witte, Jr (Canada), Martin Holdt (South Africa), Jae Sung Kim (Korea), and Henry Orombi (Uganda),

A complete program for the conference is posted on our “Speakers” page. Free downloads are available here.

We also sponsor an up-to-date blog with posts, reviews, comments, and information here.

Eight volumes will be published between 2008 and 2010 by Presbyterian &Reformed to commemorate John Calvin.

Those eight volumes are:

1. The Legacy of John Calvin (which begins by highlighting ways that Calvin impacted the world, followed by a brief biography and tributes). This is a short, non-technical introduction to Calvin.

2. A Theological Guide to Calvin’s Institutes: Essays and Analysis (Co-edited with Peter Lillback); this volume contains essays, each of which focuses on a section from Calvin’s Institutes by 20 top Calvin scholars. This will serve as a natural companion to Calvin studies.

3. Calvinism and Political Ideas. This volume traces the ideas and impact of Calvin and his disciples on political and governmental concepts.

4. The Commemorating Calvin Conference will contain 18 expository sermons delivered from Calvin’s pulpit in Geneva July 5-9, 2009, by some of the finest Calvinist preachers today.

5. The Tribute Conference will contain 20 research essays by leading Calvinist academics; delivered in the Auditoire (the original site of Calvin’s Academy) in Geneva, July 6-9, 2009.

6. The Capitalistic Ethic and the Spirit of Calvinism (with Matthew Burton) is a study of Calvin’s teachings on business, finance, charity, and economic matters.

7. Calvin and Culture: An Enduring Worldview (co-edited with Marvin Padgett) is a collection of essays by practitioners of various academic disciplines. Each chapter will focus on how Calvinism impacts an area of human life such as law, art, education, economics, history, medicine, etc.

8. The Piety of John Calvin, a reprint of an anthology originally collected by Ford Battles, which focuses on the practical albeit oft-ignored spirituality of the Reformer.

We cordially invite our friends to join us in Geneva for these historic conferences. We hope to celebrate the positive aspects of the Reformed faith and inspire future generations as well.

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