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Personal profile

Research interests

Jon Balserak studies the history of Christianity in the Renaissance and Early Modern period, especially:  the Reformations in France and Geneva, Calvin and Calvinism, dissimulation and lying, the history of prophecy, and the interpretation of the Bible.  

Research Supervision

He is happy to supervise postgraduate studies in any of the above fields, as well as:  Erasmian humanism, the Scottish and English Reformations, Post Reformation orthodoxy, and the American Reformed tradition.

PhD/MPhil Supervision

Steve Parks

David Gordon

Iain McGee

Matthew Miller

Stéphane Simonnin


Jon teaches units in Patristic, Medieval, Renaissance, and Reformation history and thought, sex, marriage and social issues, alchemy and science, church and state, history of interpretation of the Bible, manuscripts and textual criticism, Calvin and the Reformed tradition, Islam and comparative religions. He is happy to supervise MA and UG dissertations in these areas. 

Other information

Jon Balserak has taught at University of Bristol since 2008. He was born in Washington D.C. and completed his doctoral work at University of Edinburgh with David F. Wright as his PhD supervisor. He was a research fellow at Birmingham University before moving to Bristol. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society since 2016.

Selected Publications, media, and presentations (in five sections)

(for a fuller list click on the 'Research Outputs' tab) 


2017                 Calvinism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    - Chinese translation (2018), Stephen Chan. Virtue and Wisdom Link Books, Ltd.

2014                 John Calvin as Sixteenth-Century Prophet. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2011                 Establishing the Remnant Church in France; Calvin’s Lectures on the Minor Prophets, 1556-1559. Leiden and Boston: Brill.

2006                 Divinity Compromised; A Study of Divine Accommodation in the Thought of John Calvin. Dordrecht: Springer.


2021                 Brill’s Companion to the Reformation in Geneva. Ed. Jon Balserak. Leiden and Boston:  Brill. 

2017                 Zwingli to Amyraut: Exploring the Growth of European Reformed Traditions. Eds Jon Balserak and Jim West. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

2015                 Learning from the Past: Essays on Reception, Catholicity, and Dialogue in Honour of Anthony N. S. Lane. Eds Jon Balserak and Richard Snoddy. London: Bloomsbury / T & T Clark.

2006                 Calvinus Evangelii Propugnator. Eds J. Balserak, A.N.S. Lane, D.F. Wright. Grand Rapids:  Calvin Studies Society.


2020                 “‘The church that cannot err.’ Early Reformed Thinking on the Church” in ‘Church’ at the Time of the Reformation; Invisible Community, Visible Parish, Confession, Building…? Ed. Anna Vind. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 53-66.

2019                 “Geneva’s Use of Lies, Deceit, and Simulation in their Efforts to Reform France, 1536-1563” in Harvard Theological Review 112/1, 76-100.

2017                 “The Renaissance Impulses that drove Theodore Bibliander to Publish Machumetis Saracenorum” in The Muslim World; special issue: Islam and the Protestant Reformation 107/4 (Oct), 684-697.

2014                 “Science in Early Modern Calvinist Countries; Considering one of the Sources for its Flourishing” in Spurenlese. Wirkungen der Reformation auf Wissenschaft und Bildung, Universitaet und Schule. Ed. E. J Waschke. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 91-103.


2020               Interview with Jane Whyatt on (www.resonancefm.com) to discuss predestinationand decision-making on Password. Date: Sept 9.  

2019               “The Meaux Circle Meaux Circle and the Holy Triumvirate” in Christian History, issue 132, 19-21.  

2018               Interview on “Voice of Islam Radio” (www.voiceofislam.co.uk) to discuss predestination, Calvinism, and divine accommodation. Date: Feb 7.  

2017               Interview published as “Reformation publications to celebrate the 1517 anniversary” in Ministry & Leadership Magazine, Reformed Theological Seminary. http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/rts/ml_2017fall/index.php#/35 


2019              Commentor on panel: "Recent Trends in the Study of Calvin and Calvinism," Marking the SCSC’s 50th Anniversary. Invited by Amy Nelson Burnett. Panel for Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, October 17-20. (panel included Bruce Gordon, Karin Maag, Rebekah Earnshaw)

2019              "Theodore Beza on Prophets and Prophecy." Sessions entitled, Beza at 500, organized by Scott Manetsch and Kirk Summers. It honoured the 500th year anniversary of the birth of Theodore Beza at Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, October 17-20.

2019              "Comparing Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin’s calling as Prophets," the Congress on the Zurich Reformation, Zurich, Switzerland, February 6-9.

2018              "The Difficulty of Patristic Reception during the Reformation," University of Alabama, Classics Department. Invited by Kirk Summers, September 20.



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