The Roots of the Reformation by renowned historian G. R. Evans revisits the question of why the Reformation happened and how it changed Christendom.
Contravening traditional paradigms of interpretation, Evans charts the controversies and challenges that roiled the era of the Reformation and argues that these are really part of a much longer history of discussion and disputation with Christianity.
Evans takes up several issues critical to the leaders of the Reformation such as Scripture, ecclesiology, authority, sacraments and ecclesio-political relations, and traces the shape of the charged discussions that orbited around these through the patristic, medieval and Reformation eras. In this, she demonstrates that in many ways the Reformation was in considerable continuity with the periods that preceded it, though the consequential outcome of the debates in the sixteenth century was dramatically different.
Format: Paperback Number of Pages: 528 Vendor: IVP Academic Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 9.0 X 6.0 (inches) ISBN: 0830839968 ISBN-13: 9780830839964 Availability: In Stock
2012 Midwest Publishing Association Crystal Book Award honorable mention! Renowned historian G. R. Evans revisits the question of what happened at the Reformation. Contravening traditional paradigms of interpretation, Evans charts the controversies and challenges that roiled the era of the Reformation and argues that these are really part of a much longer history of discussion and disputation. Evans takes up several issues, such as Scripture, ecclesiology, authority, sacraments and ecclesio-political relations, and traces the shape of the charged discussions that orbited around these through the patristic, medieval and Reformation eras. In this, she demonstrates that in many ways the Reformation was in considerable continuity with the periods that preceded it, though the consequential outcome of the debates in the sixteenth century was dramatically different.
G. R. Evans is professor of medieval theology and intellectual history at the University of Cambridge and was British Academy Research Reader in Theology from 1986 to 1988. She has written on a wide range of medieval authors including Augustine, Gregory the Great, Anselm, Bernard of Clairvaux and Alan of Lille. She has also written (Cambridge University Press) and (InterVarsity Press).
I know of no other book which so effectively demonstrates that the crisis of the Reformation was a crisis addressing accumulated grievances and protests which Rome had done its best to stifle. Evans' The Roots of the Reformation deserves the widest reading.
-Kenneth J. Stewart, Credo Magazine, October 2012
What really changed in the Reformation, and what remained the same? To answer this question, Evans places each major controverted issue against its background of development and dispute in the Christian West, from the first to the sixteenth century. The result is a refreshingly new and judicious assessment of the Reformation's true disjunctions and continuities.
-Denis R. Janz, Provost Distinguished Professor of the History of Christianity, Loyola University, New Orleans
Erudite yet accessible, The Roots of the Reformation deftly navigates the waves of constancy and disruption in the medieval and early modern eras. G. R. Evans's command of the primary source material is breathtaking in its scope. She is an outstanding teacher and a superb storyteller, taking complex abstract concepts and making them understandable, fascinating and relevant. This is a book well worth reading for its rich exploration of the key themes of the sixteenth-century Reformation.
-Gwenfair Walters Adams, Associate Professor of Church History, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
As the introduction informs us, 'this book is written as an aid to understanding the way continuities have run through the changes of Christian history.' It is a lively and competent general survey of the chief problems and points of contention running through the history of Christian doctrine. The author, a specialist in late antiquity and the early medieval period, argues that the Reformation ought to be viewed as part of Christianity's age-old attempts to iron out these problems and smooth out the aporias. Accompanied by extensive quotations from primary sources and a handlist of chief Reformation issues in their wider context, this book will prove primarily useful as a manual for general courses in the history of Christianity. It also provides stimulating reading for more advanced scholars.
-Irena Backus, Professeur ordinaire of Reformation History and Ecclesiastical Latin, Institut d'histoire de la Réformation, Université de Genève
The very title of Gillian Evans's book intimates her perception of the Reformation as paradoxical--severed from the long past and yet still associated with and deeply rooted in it in such a way as to ensure its future, continuous existence in various forms. This book has the distinguishing hallmark of Evans's approach to the history of Christianity, one combining breadth of vision with deep specialist knowledge. Not only that, her writing finesse ensures that this book will enhance accessibility to a critical phase of church history that is in danger of becoming remote for the modern Christian consciousness. Furthermore, the pedagogic value of Evans's book will be appreciated with the appended 'Handlist of Reformation Concerns and Their History', plus 'Links'--an inspired innovation.
-Ian Hazlett, Emeritus Professor of Ecclesiastical History, University of Glasgow
Far too many students have tried for too long to understand the Reformation in isolation from the long history that preceded it. Cambridge medievalist G. R. Evans has attempted to correct that unfortunate shortsightedness by placing the history of the Reformation in the larger context of its place in the unfolding story of early and medieval Christianity. Her informative book illuminates what is traditional and what is genuinely new about early Protestantism and reintroduces Protestant Christians to their own roots. Essential reading for any student of the Reformation.
-David C. Steinmetz, Kearns Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity, Duke University
The Roots of the Reformation is a book which does not just give an account of the Reformation but sets it in the context of earlier church history, showing where there is continuity and where there is radical change. This will be a welcome addition to the textbooks available.
-Anthony N. S. Lane, Professor of Historical Theology, London School of Theology
G. R. Evans is one of our finest scholars, and she has written a superb book placing the story of the Reformation in the wider context of Christian history. Comprehensive, well researched and readable.
-Timothy George, general editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture
This remarkable book interprets the long history of the Christian Church in the light of the Reformation, and the Reformation in the light of Church history. Broad in its learning, scope, and vision, it will undoubtedly stimulate and enthrall those fascinated by the question of how Christianity came to be as it is.
-Euan Cameron, Henry Luce III Professor of Reformation Church History, Union Theological Seminary, New York
Briskly and breezily, but very efficiently, medievalist Gillian Evans here surveys Western Europe's changing and clashing views of Christianity from the fourteenth century through the seventeenth century. This large-scale introduction is certainly the best of its kind currently available.
-J. I. Packer, Regent College