London: Printed by the widowe of Reginalde Wolffe, 1574. Third English language edition, revised. Hardcover. Quarto (9 x 6 3/4"). , 472,  leaves. Errors in foliation: Fol. 32, Fol. 46, Fol. 80, Fol. 95, Fol. 102, Fol. 115, Fol. 155, Fol. 159, Fol. 173, Fol. 254, Fol. 336, Fol. 339, Fol. 341, Fol. 375, Fol. 399, Fol. 406, Fol. 407, Fol. 421, Fol. 422, Fol. 425, Fol. 429, Fol. 450, Fol. 465 wrongly numbered Fol 31, Fol. 48, Fol. 89, Fol. 87, Fol. 104, Fol. 151, Fol. 147, Fol. 150, Fol. 166, Fol. 253, Fol. 335, Fol. 341, Fol. 343, Fol. 373, Fol. 407, Fol. 40, Fol. 40, Fol. 420, Fol. 224, Fol. 418, Fol. 229, Fol. 440, Fol. 473. Later blind-stamped full calf, with gold lettered leather title label to spine. Raised bands. Two metal clasps. Decorative woodcut initials. Book housed in a modern custom-made orange cloth covered clamshell box, with gold lettering to spine.
Originally published in 1536, Jean Calvin's seminal work of Protestant systematic theology "Institutio Christianae Religionis" was highly influential in the Western World.
The book was first published in Latin in 1536, and in its original French language in 1541, with the definitive editions appearing in 1559 (Latin) and in 1560 (French).
The first English language edition of Calvin's "Institutio Christianae Religionis" appeared in London in 1561, and was prepared by Thomas Norton, the son-in-law of Thomas Cramner. The book was reprinted in 1562. In 1574, a new edition of Norton’ s translation appeared, with three hundred errors corrected and various other revisions and updates. The 1574 Norton translation remained the standard English translation of Calvin’s Institutes for two centuries, until its final printing in Glasgow in 1762.
"The Institution of Christian Religion" was written as "an introductory textbook on the Protestant faith for those with some previous knowledge of theology and covered a broad range of theological topics from the doctrines of church and sacraments to justification by faith alone and Christian liberty. It vigorously attacked the teachings of those Calvin considered unorthodox, particularly Roman Catholicism, to which Calvin says he had been "strongly devoted" before his conversion to Protestantism." (For more information, see: Bruce Gordon's "John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion: A Biography" (2016), Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press).
Binding partly soiled and discolored. Closed tear along front joint. Head and tail of spine chipped. One decorative metal clasp detached but present. Ex-library bookplate on inside of front cover, and stamp along fore-edge of first leaf (not affecting lettering). Previous owner's name and address dated 1817 at upper margin of fly leaf. Missing title page and last leaf of the Table mentionning parts of I. Peter, as well as I. John and II. John. Contemporary previous owner's marginalia throughout (not affecting lettering). Burn hole at lower part of leaves 179 to 187 (partly affecting lettering). Clamshell box in overall very good, binding in fair, interior in good to very good condition. f to vg. Item #43234
About the author: Jean Calvin (1509-1564) was a French theologian, pastor and reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism, aspects of which include the doctrines of predestination and of the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation of the human soul from death and eternal damnation, in which doctrines Calvin was influenced by and elaborated upon the Augustinian and other Christian traditions. Various Congregational, Reformed, Reformed Baptists and Presbyterian churches, which look to Calvin as the chief expositor of their beliefs, have spread throughout the world. (From Wikipedia).