The Protestant Reformation (Torchbooks)

ISBN 13: 9780061388408

The Protestant Reformation (Torchbooks)

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9780061388408: The Protestant Reformation (Torchbooks)

"Many basic questions surround the Reformation. What were its causes? Was it precipitated by the Zeitgeist prevailing in Europe, so that there would have been a religious upheaval even if Luther or Zwingli had died in their cradles? Was the Reformation an authentically religious phenomenon, or the result of certain political, social, or economic developments? Was it 'medievil' or 'modern' in its orientation? What was the teaching of the Reformers? What was the significance of the Reformation? The measure of scholarly agreement with respect to these questions differs; far from offering definitive answers, we can here only call attention to their persistent presence....

"When the reformers who had first ventured a new interpretation of the gospel had passed from the scene, the question which had haunted the Reformation from its very inception--where is truth?--was still contested by the proponents of the old and the new faith. But one fact was beyond dispute: Western Christendom was tragically divided...into no less than five [religious factions]....Though these divisions were the result of intense religious conviction, they could not help but lessen the intensity of religious belief in Europe. The Reformation of the sixteenth century was the last period in the history of Western civilization when men were preoccupied with religion, argued it, fought and even died for it. Its consequences are still with us." --Hans J. Hillerbrand

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From the Back Cover:

This collection of important primary sources pertaining to the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century has had an amazingly persistent history. Originally published some 40 years ago, it still enjoys the confidence of students of the Reformation. In contrast to most other source collections, The Protestant Reformation offered lengthy excerpts from important primary sources, rather than short snippets, so as to provide the reader with an understanding of the broader cogency and dynamic of an author's arguments. However, since the time of the original publication, the study of the Reformation of the sixteenth century has taken several important turns that have revised or changed the traditional understanding. Accordingly, these new perspectives need to be noted. This new edition seeks to accommodate these new trends and perspectives while retaining the basic orientation of the original edition. It includes texts written by women as well as texts dealing with popular religion. Its basic assumption, however, continues to be that religion - no matter how variously dependent on societal forces--must be seen as the pivotal element in the story of the sixteenth century.

About the Author:

Hans J. Hillerbrand is the former chair of the department of religion at Duke University. A recognized expert on the Reformation and the history of modern Christianity, he has published many articles and books on the period and was the editor in chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation. He is the former president of both the American Academy of Religion and the American Society of Church History, and he lives in Durham, North Carolina.

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