Protestantism has been credited with restoring essential Christian truths as well as causing disastrous church divisions; it has been blamed for the rise of modern science, liberalism, capitalism, democracy, individualism, secularism, and more. Fifteen eminent authorities weigh in on its far-reaching consequences. 384 pages, softcover. Oxford University.
The world stands before a landmark date: October 31, 2017, the quincentennial of the Protestant Reformation. Countries, social movements, churches, universities, seminaries, and other institutions shaped by Protestantism face a daunting question: how should the Reformation be commemorated 500 years after the fact? In this volume, leading historians and theologians, Protestant and Catholic, come together to grapple with this question and examine the historical significance of the Reformation.
Protestantism has been credited for restoring essential Christian truth, blamed for disastrous church divisions, and invoked as the cause of modern liberalism, capitalism, democracy, individualism, modern science, secularism, and so much else. This book examines the historical significance of the Reformation and considers how we might expand and enrich the ongoing conversation about Protestantism's impact. The contributors conclude that we must remember the Reformation not only because of the enduring, sometimes painful religious divisions that emerged from this era, but also because a historical understanding of the Reformation is necessary for promoting ecumenical understanding and thinking wisely about the future of Christianity.
Thomas Albert Howard is Professor of History and the Humanities and Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics at Valparaiso University.
Mark A. Noll is Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.
"The essays are well-written and accessible, though intended for an audience of primarily ministers and professors. The former will benefit by discovering the historical context that produced much of their theology, while the latter will profit by realizing that studying the Reformation has implications beyond scholarship, as it continues to affect the lives of millions of believers around the globe. This book is iteself a worthy commemoration of the quincentenary of the Reformation."--Lutheran Quarterly
"Even if the Reformation cannot be praised or blamed for everything that has happened since, it is vital for understanding a great many things. The illuminating essays in this volume will provide both scholars and non-specialists with an excellent and balanced overview of how to understand the ongoing impact of Protestantism in helping to shape the modern world." -George Marsden, author of C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity: A Life
"Fifteen leading Christian scholars from four continents, several traditions, and several disciplines address questions regarding the on-going significance of the Protestant Reformation and what the observance of its five hundred years should lead fellow believers to think and do with its many legacies. These essays pose questions for the necessary, vital, and lively conversations evoked by this anniversary. They provide stimulating answers and directions for the continuing debate." - Robert Kolb, Professor of Systematic Theology Emeritus, Concordia Seminary
"The volume will provide an excellent and insightful overview of the Reformation s long legacies for the formation of Western modernity and I highly recommend it."--Reading Religion