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A small book printed long ago is making a big impact at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Mich.

The college’s H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies recently purchased a copy of Congrégation sur l’élection éternelle de Dieu. The book was printed in Geneva in 1562 by Vincent Bres. Only five libraries in Europe are known to own it, and until now no U.S. libraries owned a copy.

The tiny book measures just 3" x 4¾" (7.6 x 12 cm). That’s slightly bigger than a deck of cards. But the content of the book’s 118 pages is invaluable to scholars interested in the mind of theologian John Calvin.

The work, written in French, presents Calvin’s teaching on election, particularly on the issue of universal salvation versus particular election. (Calvin came down on the side of particular election.)

The Meeter Center, which houses rare items, books, articles, literature, and bibliographies, is acclaimed worldwide as one of the most extensive and user-friendly of all Calvin and Calvinism collections.

This summer the center will host a National Endowment for the Humanities summer institute for college and university professors called “Teaching the Reformation in a Pluralist Age.”

For more on the Meeter Center’s rare books see

—Calvin College news

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