Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution--A History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-First

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9780061436864: Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution--A History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-First

A New Interpretation of Protestantism and Its Impact on the World

The radical idea that individuals could interpret the Bible for themselves spawned a revolution that is still being played out on the world stage today. This innovation lies at the heart of Protestantism's remarkable instability and adaptability. World-renowned scholar Alister McGrath sheds new light on the fascinating figures and movements that continue to inspire debate and division across the full spectrum of Protestant churches and communities worldwide.

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In the Protestant tradition, all individuals have direct access to God without the mediation of priests or institutions to establish boundaries. The 'dangerous idea' is that there is no authority apart from the Bible--yet the Bible is open to many diverse interpretations. The result is a colorful five hundred year history of remarkable innovation and adaptability marked by seeming incoherence and instability. At a time when Protestants will cease to be the predominant faith tradition in the United States, McGrath's landmark reassessment of the movement's core identity and future is very well timed. Organized thematically in three parts-Origination, Consolidation, and Transformation-and replete with helpful modern-day examples that explain the past, McGrath brings to life the movements and personalities that shaped history and continue to shape world events today.

About the Author:

Alister E. McGrath is a historian, biochemist, and Christian theologian born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. A longtime professor at Oxford University, he now holds the chair in theology, ministry, and education at the University of London. He is the author of several books on theology and history, including Christianity's Dangerous Idea, In the Beginning, and The Twilight of Atheism. He lives in Oxford, England, and lectures regularly in the United States.

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