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We recently found out about John Glass' new book. His Calvin Tours, walking tours around the city of Geneva, sparked the obvious next step and to publish a book with all the amazing knowlege his has accumulated over the years. He has kindly offered a signed copy of his book to one lucky knowitall.ch reader: John Calvin’s Geneva - A Walking Guide.

Why did you start? What has been the inspiration?

I started the Calvin Tours project because I have lived in Geneva for almost 48 years and became passionate about Geneva’s astounding history that I felt should be told in a modern-day way, as many people don’t realize that the Geneva Reformer John Calvin actually changed the world in many ways! Let me explain.

I was born in Paris of American parents and raised in Geneva. My Dad was a businessman and my Mom a journalist at the UN and a radio talk show host on Radio 74 in a show called Freely Speaking with Ginna Lewis. As a kid in Geneva attending the International School, like most, I knew nothing of John Calvin and Geneva’s rich Reformation history and wasn’t even interested.

John Calvins Geneva inside

In 1976, when I was just 19, I took a 6-month solo trip that literally changed my life and redirected my interest to pastoral ministry. I first went to Israel where, through the many biblical sites, I was exposed to the person and work of Jesus-Christ. From there I backpacked overland through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. It is in India that I embraced Jesus-Christ as my Lord and Savior. My life would never be the same again. Upon my return to the US, I ended up attending seminary in California with goals of coming back to Geneva as a pastor. I have been pastoring Bible churches in Paris and now Geneva for the last 34 years.

Image 16 04 2020 ME WITH BIBLE

Once we moved to Geneva, I found out that many people around the world are very passionate about John Calvin. I began getting requests for Reformation Tours. This was a challenge since I know nothing of John Calvin and the Reformation, yet it was clear that Geneva had played a key role in the Reformation and that some significant events took place in Geneva which has world-wide impacts.

For example, I did not know that schooling was for the first time ever made compulsory for children in Geneva in 1536! This historical fact is actually written on the Reformation Wall! How intriguing! So, I began to do some research, and ended up doing my doctoral thesis at the Master’s Seminary in California on John Calvin in Geneva. My thesis eventually turned into a book titled A Walking Guide to John Calvin’s Geneva. Groups from around the world contact me for Reformation tours of Geneva. I have since founded Calvin Tours, a company that specializes in giving exciting and informative Reformation tours of Geneva. 

Have you been working on this idea forever, or was it something that came to you recently?
I have now lived in Geneva for 24 years but have been working on this project since 2009, which is the date I received my doctorate.

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?
The time it has taken to realize my project and dream. Many hurdles had to be overcome. Few publishers wanted to take on the project as the book is what they call a “niche” book, as it is of interest only for people of Geneva and those interested in coming to Geneva who are Calvin buffs. So, I ended up self-publishing on Amazon, but that has turned out to be a really good move. The book is in full color with incredible photos and easy to use and charts. It is fun book to look through.

In front of wall TATLOCK GOOD

What are your plans for the future?
As the tourist industry picks up after the COVID-19 pandemic, my goal is to hire guides so as to be able to offer more tours. I also sell beautiful ancient Bible pages from the famous Geneva Bible, pages that are salvaged from damaged Geneva Bibles and want to make these more readily available to history buffs.

What is your favorite part of the book?
It is really a comprehensive travel book, complete with detailed graphs, charts and maps and packed with incredible pictures. The book transports the reader, as each site related to John Calvin in Geneva’s majestic old town is examined and explained. The French version of the book will be out this summer!


Do you have a few clients that can give a quote?

  • John Glass lives in Geneva, preaches in Geneva, and has studied about Calvin’s Geneva. You could hardly find a better guide to make Geneva’s old city come alive. - Dr. Daniel Arnold. Former Professor of Emmaus Bible Institute, St-Légier, Switzerland
  • John Glass is a man of God whose passion makes us relive - not only in the history of the Reformation, but also in its spiritual, religious and societal imprints on the world. His research, analysis, and communicative skills make a Reformation tour not only recommended, but unavoidable during a future visit to the city of Calvin. John Glass’ work is aimed at men and women from all over the world who will not regret the discoveries they will make... Welcome to Geneva!” - Laurent Favre. Works in the world of finance in Geneva.
  • Dr. Glass led my 10 year-old students through the streets of Geneva several times to learn about Calvin’s life and work in this amazing city. What a thrill to see the children totally engaged in what they were hearing and seeing! Dr. Glass’ A Walking Guide to John Calvin’s Geneva, provides an engaging, educational overview for students, educators, and inquisitive minds alike. It gives a visual and thorough introduction for all levels of learners. An essential experience and invaluable resource for teachers of this subject. A recommended guide to see Geneva with eyes from the past. - Felicia De Lucia. Teacher at the Institut International de Lancy in Geneva, and Apple Distinguished Educator

Image 16 04 2020ON BENCH WITH MEG

button competition150Thanks to John Glass for offering a signed copy of John Calvin’s Geneva - A Walking Guide (value Fr. 27.-) to one lucky knowitall.ch reader. Just fill out this form and answer this question: What is Calvin's first name?

Only one entry per email is allowed. The competition closes at midnight on Thursday, 17 June 2021. The names of all those submitting correct answers will be placed into the digital hat and the winner's name drawn at random on Friday, 18 June 2021. The winner will be notified by email and their first name will be added to this article after the competition closes. The book will only be delivered to a Swiss or French address.

John Calvin’s Geneva - A Walking Guide
By John Glass
Fr. 27.-/copy
Published date: 5 October 2020
160 pages
Soft Cover
ISBN-13: 979-8649298254

John Calvins GenevaAvailable for purchase at:

Calvin Tours