The Documents

Religious Revolutions

Institution of Christian Religion

The Institution of Christian Religion

The Institution of Christian Religion

Short Description

A key document of the Protestant Reformation, the copy here represents the first English translation of the final edition of Calvin’s (d. 1564) fundamental ideas known as Reformed theology or Calvinism. Examples of these beliefs include the controversial doctrine of the absolute sovereignty of God and the depravity of man.

Remnant Trust Description

A key document of the Protestant Reformation, this copy represents an augmented edition of the first English translation of the final edition of the influential Protestant reformer John Calvin’s Institutio Christianæ religionis (1559). Originally published in London in 1561, this translation was completed by the noted English parliamentarian, pamphleteer, and playwright Thomas Norton (d. 1584), known in his lifetime as “Rackmaster Norton” on account of his use of torture in interrogating English Catholics suspected of treason, and by historians as the first great English “Parliament Man” on account of his noteworthy political career. In its systematic exposition of the fundamental ideas of what came to be known as Reformed theology, or Calvinism—such as the doctrines of the absolute sovereignty of God and the depravity of man—this book had a profound effect on the development of Protestant theology and is still widely studied to this very day. Many of its ideas informed the controversial social and political experiment of a Protestant theocracy at Geneva in the 16th century as well as influencing various Puritan communities in both Europe and the New World such as the famous Plymouth Colony established by the Pilgrims in 1620.