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This book is about pretty much the beginning of Calvinism and how it played a major role in the reforming of mid to late fifteenth century Europe. Franklin Charles Palm tries to exam the role in which John Calvin used his love for the sacred scriptures and religion to reform the way he lived, and the rest of the world. Concentrating mostly on Europe at that time period. Palm breaks down the life of Calvin at first, and then as he proceeds through this book he leads up to actual formation of the religion.
And ultimately then how this newly formed religion affected or may off even caused some of the religious war. I unfortunately could not find any info on Franklin Charles Palm, though I even had one the librarians look for me to.
I feel that Franklin Charles Palm was really not trying to answer any certain question while he was attempting to write this informative novel at all.
In fact I think that his true purpose for writing this was to give an accurate account of what role Calvinism played in that time period, because from what I can understand he did not feel that there was enough information readily available. His work in my own opinion is very relevant to the study of history, and he has added another great resource to the reference area for history in any library. I feel that his work does not offer any resonably new information for students to learn, but it may present an easier way of learning for those who are tired of reading the same old reference books.
This book does though coincide with most of the notes that we have taken during class periods. This helps out greatly when writing papers and reviews for essays and reports.
Palm starts the novel out by explaining the early the early life of John Calvin and explains his life with his family. It talks about his father Gerad Calvin and his working as the secretary for the bishop of Nylon and as the fiscal agent for his district in England. It states how this made it possible for Calvin to meet some very influential people in his early life and made it possible for him to start to develop ideas about religion and other political views early on in life. When Calvin was at the age of entering college it made it hard for him to do so with the death of his father, and his mother having to support six children in the family. His father was able to set aside some money before he passed on for Calvin which in turn allowed him to attend the College at Montiaigu, at Paris for four years. This is where John developed a love for the bible and a tremendous understanding for the scriptures, which would in turn play a major role in his ideas for changing and for his reforming of the Catholic Church.
After discussing Calvins early life Palm went on to talk about the Roman Catholic Church and how they developed a keen sense of hated for Calvin. It stated what they were going to do with his writings and how they were going to go about dealing with him. Which evidently lead to Calvins exile from the country. Some of Calvins works, cited the problems that pretty much most of the reformers saw wrong with the church. Such as, the sale of indulgences which Luther and Erasmus displayed ever so prominently in their attempts for reform.
Gradually the book moves on to the more important issues of the book. Certain things like the Religious wars. Also it talks about things like his oppositions and the struggles he faced with Greut, Servetus, and his triumph over all of them. It shows the certain economic importance this new religion played in France at the time and the political and intellectual importance of the new religion of Calvinism. When the religious wars broke out in France and Francis the 1st proclaimed his development of absolutism it shows how Calvinism was one of the major elements opposed to it.
Once that Calvinism was starting to take hold it displayed the spread of it throughout most of Eastern Europe. Like when it started in Italy and Spain, and began to work its way through Western Germany. Once the religion hit those sections it began its spread throughout the vast regions of Western Europe too. Last but not least it explains The Spread of Calvinism into the new world with the Huguenots, the Pilgrims, and the Puritans.
If there was any case that Franklin Charles Palm was trying to prove in this book; it was the fact that Calvinism was an important part in the reform of the way people would eventually go about their religions. Also providing us a look into the future at the reform of the Roman Catholic Church. In my opinion he did not really display a major argument with anything thing in the text, but it was more or less an informative piece based about Calvinism. If in deed you go with that argument then I guess you could say that he indeed did provide excellent information and plenty of back round information to prove his point. I was convinced buy his argument because of the fact that I knew only what I had learned through out my studies in school and that this was really the first time someone went into any kind of in depth study of the situation. So in a way I was over whelmed with the amount off info and the resources he used to discuss it.
His resources included some valuable works of history, like the Encyclopedia Britanica. It was quite confusing when I first read the bibliography. He mentions that for a good basis on writing something on this topic you should begin with certain books that he started off with. He states that there was few books written on this topic and it may be tough for someone without the knowledge of the subject to even begin to write on theses situations.
Now for the part I have been waiting for, the time I get to give my opinion of the book. Well let me start of by saying that I personally thought that it was going to be a very boring book but I was indeed surprised after reading it. I have always thought to consider myself a sort off history buff so I can see why in turn did enjoy learning about Calvins subject matter. I am quite able to say now that I would probably consider reading other works of Franklin Charles Palm or just books on some of the same subject matter. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest for these subjects, or just plan flat out needs to do a report on this topic.
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