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John Calvin, born in 1509 and designated for the Catholic priesthood by his father, became the great French Protestant reformer famous for his doctrine of predestination and his theocratic view of the state. When he died in Geneva in 1564, he left both a city and a world transformed by the impact of his ideas and beliefs.
Marilynne Robinson is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Gilead. Her previous novel, Housekeeping, was nominated for the Pulitzer and has made numerous lists of the best novels of the twentieth century. She is also the author of a collection of essays, The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought, which deals with Calvin's legacy.
John F. Thornton is a literary agent, former book editor, and the coeditor of Dumbing Down: The Strip-Mining of American Culture and Tongues of Angels, Tongues of Men: A Book of Sermons. He lives in New York City.
Susan B. Varenne is a New York City high school teacher with a strong avocational interest in and wide experience of spiritual literature. She holds an M.A. from the University of Chicago Divinity School and a Ph.D. from Columbia University.