The Reformation: A History

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9780143035381: The Reformation: A History

The National Book Critics Circle Award–winning history of the Reformation—from the New York Times bestselling author of Christianity 

At a time when men and women were prepared to kill—and be killed—for their faith, the Protestant Reformation tore the Western world apart. Acclaimed as the definitive account of these epochal events, Diarmaid MacCulloch's award-winning history brilliantly re-creates the religious battles of priests, monarchs, scholars, and politicians—from the zealous Martin Luther and his Ninety-Five Theses to the polemical John Calvin to the radical Igantius Loyola, from the tortured Thomas Cranmer to the ambitious Philip II.

 

Drawing together the many strands of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, and ranging widely across Europe and the New World, MacCulloch reveals as never before how these dramatic upheavals affected everyday lives—overturning ideas of love, sex, death, and the supernatural, and shaping the modern age.

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Review:

Diarmaid MacCulloch wrote what is widely considered to be the authoritative account of the Reformation—a critical juncture in the history of Christianity. "It is impossible to understand modern Europe without understanding these sixteenth-century upheavals in Latin Christianity," he writes. "They represented the greatest fault line to appear in Christian culture since the Latin and Greek halves of the Roman Empire went their separate ways a thousand years before; they produced a house divided." The resulting split between the Catholics and Protestants still divides Christians throughout the Western world. It affects interpretations of the Bible, beliefs about baptisms, and event how much authority is given to religious leaders. The division even fuels an ongoing war. What makes MacCulloch's account rise above previous attempts to interpret the Reformation is the breadth of his research. Rather than limit his narrative to the actions of key theologians and leaders of the era—Luther, Zingli, Calvin, Loyola, Cranmer, Henry VIII and numerous popes—MacCulloch sweeps his narrative across the culture, politics and lay people of Renaissance Western Europe. This broad brush approach touches upon many fascinating discussions surrounding the Reformation, including his belief that the Latin Church was probably not as "corrupt and ineffective" as Protestants tend to portray it. In fact, he asserts that it "generally satisfied the spiritual needs of the late medieval people." As a historical document, this 750-page narrative has all the key ingredients. MacCulloch, a professor of history as the Church of Oxford University, is an articulate and vibrant writer with a strong guiding intelligence. The structure is sensible—starting with the main characters who influenced reforms, then spreading out to the regional concerns, and social intellectual themes of the era. He even fast forwards into American Christianity—showing how this historical era influences modern times. MacCulloch is a topnotch historian—uncovering material and theories that will seem fresh and inspired to Reformation scholars as well as lay readers. --Gail Hudson

About the Author:

Diarmaid MacCulloch is Professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University. He is the author of Thomas Cranmer, winner of the Whitbread Prize, the James Tait Black Prize, and the Duff Cooper Prize; Christianity, a New York Times bestseller that won the Cundill Prize in History and was chosen by The New Yorker and The New York Times as a Best Book of the Year; and Silence: A Christian History. The Reformation won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Wolfson Prize, and the British Academy Prize A Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Historical Society, he was knighted by the Queen for his services to scholarship.

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The National Book Critics Circle Award-winning history of the Reformation--from the New York Times bestselling author of Christianity At a time when men and women were prepared to kill--and be killed--for their faith, the Protestant Reformation tore the Western world apart. Acclaimed as the definitive account of these epochal events, Diarmaid MacCulloch s award-winning history brilliantly re-creates the religious battles of priests, monarchs, scholars, and politicians--from the zealous Martin Luther and his Ninety-Five Theses to the polemical John Calvin to the radical Igantius Loyola, from the tortured Thomas Cranmer to the ambitious Philip II. Drawing together the many strands of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, and ranging widely across Europe and the New World, MacCulloch reveals as never before how these dramatic upheavals affected everyday lives--overturning ideas of love, sex, death, and the supernatural, and shaping the modern age. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780143035381

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