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The Reformation: A Brief History

Wiley-Blackwell / 2011 / Paperback

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Product Description

In 1517, the actions of a simple monk ushered in a period of unparalleled religious and political upheaval. The Reformation: A Brief History a succinct but comprehensive introduction to this extraordinary period, showing how and why the Protestant Reformation arose and unfolded.

In this rich account, the author skillfully blends social history, religious and theological ideas with economic and political factors. The description is well-rounded, drawing not just on the actions of the main characters, but also the experiences and ideas of ordinary people, and the conflicting approaches to Christianity. The events of the Reformation are placed in the context of Christian history to offer a fuller understanding of the period. The result is a engaging narrative that shows the reader exactly what was at stake, and why, as the events unfolded.

Accessible, lucid and based on the best current research, this book offers readers a wonderful overview of one of the most critical periods in western history.

Key Elements
  • A rich overview of the Reformation, skillfully blending social, political, religious and theological dimensions
  • A clearly and engagingly written narrative which draws on the latest and best scholarship
  • Includes the history of the Reformation in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, areas that are rarely covered in any detail
  • The Reformation is placed in the context of the entire history of Christianity to draw out its origins, impetus, and legacy

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Wiley-Blackwell
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 1405117508
ISBN-13: 9781405117500
Availability: In Stock
Series: Blackwell Brief Histories of Religion

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Author Bio

Kenneth G. Appold is the James Hastings Nichols Associate Professor of Reformation History at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of two books on early Lutheranism and numerous articles on a variety of historical and theological topics.

Endorsements

In clear and lively prose, Appold weaves the threads of a complex theological, economic, cultural, political and institutional story into a coherent narrative. Luther is clearly a central figure in the telling of his tale, but he is firmly located within the deep context of the medieval heritage, and other voices of the sixteenth century-perhaps most notably, the Anabaptists¬óget an ample and fair hearing as well. This deft, nuanced survey will serve general readers and classroom teachers alike as a reliable introduction to the Reformation era. I recommend it highly.
-John D. Roth,
Goshen College

A masterful synthesis of the latest scholarship, this well-written, clearly told account of the Reformation in central and northern continental Europe is both traditional and innovative. Those interested in a scholarly, up-to-date, and fresh study that privileges the perspectives of the Protestant reformers need look no further.
-Nelson H. Minnich,
The Catholic University of America

Editorial Reviews

"Appold has presented us with an introduction to Reformation history that is brief, clear, up-to-date, and blessedly free of exaggerations. […] Those who take up Reformation history today should begin here.” (Tom A Brady
jr., University of California, Berkley, 1 January 2013)
“Anyone interested in a brief history of Reformation theology would do well to read this book first to review the historical context of the debates surrounding [it] … I was sorry when it came to an end. Fascinated by the brief historical account it offered, I was left wanting more. I highly recommend it.” (Theology Today, 19 September 2012)

“This engaging book provides a fairly thorough synthesis of much of the historical writing on this period.” (Theology, 1 July 2012)

“A history of the reformation, even ‘a brief history’ in two hundred pages? In fact, because too much detail is impossible the author turns this to advantage and is able to stand back slightly and give an overview … A highlight is Appold’s description of the indulgence controversy – the clearest and most concise I have ever read … ‘Does exactly what it says on the tin’ has become rather a cliché, but a ‘brief history’ of the reformation is exactly what Appold provides.” (Evangelical Quarterly, 2 April 2012)

"Historian Appold (Princeton Theological Seminary) offers a clearly written overview of Christianity in the Reformation era that frames 16th-century events as outgrowths of a centuries-old reforming impulse, rather than a sudden religious convulsion. . . The book is unique in providing an extended discussion of the spread of Lutheranism to Scandinavia, filling in a notable gap in many accounts of the Reformation, but this comes at the expense of reforms in the British Isles. . . Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduate collections." (Choice, 1 November 2011)

“Anyone interested in a brief history of Reformation theology would do well to read this book first to review the historical context of the debates surrounding [it] … I was sorry when it came to an end. Fascinated by the brief historical account it offered, I was left wanting more. I highly recommend it.” Theology Today

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