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Reformation : Europe's house divided : 1490-1700 (2003)

av Diarmaid MacCulloch

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner / Omnämnanden
2,516345,875 (4.11)2 / 87
A history of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation examines the lasting implications of this period, providing profiles of the individuals involved and discussing the impact of the Reformation on everyday lives.
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Visa 1-5 av 34 (nästa | visa alla)
I first read this book when it was published. It is so full of insight that I am rereading it (actually listening to Audible version because of sight problems). MacCulloch’s book is excellent. If it has one fault, it is the level of detail and his organization that attempts to relate events, movements, and agents across Europe in more or less real historical time. This results in a back and forth between countries and regions that can become mind-boggling as the people being discussed are constantly changing. I don’t fault the organization per se, but I simply don’t have enough familiarity with the various actors in this drama: many are obscure though the author generally explains how they fit into the Reformation or Counter-Reformation. What I guess I will have to find is another book that supplements this one. I am not criticizing Macculloch. His work is magisterial. Rather my own ignorance of so much of this history is the bigger problem. ( )
1 rösta glennon1 | Feb 7, 2022 |
I've only read about a quarter of this (about up to the Council of Trent), but it is a fabulous book that I recommend at every possible opportunity. The author is Anglican, which gives him a reasonable claim to be in the /via media/ between Catholic and Protestant, and what I most appreciated about his perspective is that he gives the benefit of the doubt to all participants. He assumes that both sides were by and large acting in good faith -- an assumption which neither side made about the other at the time!

He also pauses periodically to wonder, "If something at this point had happened differently -- if a key player had chosen a different action -- might the schism of the Reformation have been avoided?" Which is a terrific question, because it's not like there weren't any disputes over doctrine or authority in the previous 1500 years of the Western church, so why did this one end up so differently?

A particular treat is the first chapter of the book, in which he gives a flavor of the late medieval Catholic church: basically the "Before" picture of the Reformation. ( )
  VictoriaGaile | Oct 16, 2021 |
Confronted with the challenge of writing about an era too well-known, Lytton Strachey advised how the explorer of the past would proceed: “He will row out over the great ocean of material, and lower down into it, here and there, a little bucket, which will bring up to the light of day some characteristic specimen, from the far depths, to be examined with a careful curiosity.” This magisterial history of the Reformation by Diarmaid MacCulloch is a prolonged exercise in doing just that.
This is a subject I know a thing or two about, yet his text is liberally sprinkled with facts, insights and interpretations new to me, all of it told in an off-hand style that makes it seem as if he’s just sitting and chatting with you in a diffident way. Yet never did I feel that his examples were mere curiosities; invariably they illuminated the topic under discussion.
The section of New Possibilities: Paper and Printing (70–76) is a case in point. Many have made the connection between the invention of movable type and the rapid spread of the ideas of Luther and other Reformers. But MacCulloch thinks further. The rapid proliferation of (affordable) books made it worthwhile to learn to read—this, before 1516. In turn, the proliferation of profitable printers created an opportunity for new texts. The modern concept of “author” had its birth then. And it surely wasn’t accidental that it was only then that the Index was created: an attempt to control which of the new flood of books should not be read.
I also found enlightening his assertion that the Reformation can be seen as a conflict within the legacy of Augustine, with Luther emphasizing the inability of a human to work toward his or her own salvation, making him or her utterly dependent on God’s grace, while his opponents oriented themselves on Augustine’s stress on the need for obedience to the church to attain salvation.
The author shows throughout how much can be gained by considering how social, economic and political aspects of life then factored into the Reformation yet at the same time maintains the centrality of theology. People then were in dead earnest about matters of belief.
One feature of the book is its continent-wide scale. Too often, an emphasis on German-speaking Europe obscures the interesting developments to the east. Another is that after 500 pages of roughly chronological treatment, the author adds a section entitled Patterns of Life dealing with a variety of topics such as the use of images, the frenzy with regard to witches, and matters related to family and sexuality, focusing both on aspects that remained the same despite the split in Western Christianity, as well as what changed.
This is a thick book: my paperback copy has 700 pages of text set in small type, supplemented by suggestions for further reading, notes and an index. It may be more than the casual reader cares to digest. But with the 500th anniversary of the outbreak of the Reformation rapidly approaching, I say with confidence that if you read only one book on the topic, this would be an excellent choice. ( )
1 rösta HenrySt123 | Jul 19, 2021 |
A rigorously fair, well-written account of the Reformation - starting well before Luther and ending well after him. It put me in the minds of the people of the time; taking their ideologies and arguments seriously and avoiding patronizing answers that might overly rely on sociology or psychology.

I'm planning to read his "All Things Made New" next. ( )
  poirotketchup | Mar 18, 2021 |
A thorough and readable history of the Protestant Reformation, both of the events and people but also, crucially, of the ideas. One will come out of this book knowing not just who Martin Luther and John Calvin were and what they did, but what beliefs animated them and fueled the tumultuous two centuries of conflict where men burned other men over disagreements about the manner in which bread was turned into wine during the Holy Eucharist. A long read, but accessible. ( )
  dhmontgomery | Dec 13, 2020 |
Visa 1-5 av 34 (nästa | visa alla)
‘Reformation’ is set to become a landmark for academic historians
 
In its field it is the best book ever written.
 

» Lägg till fler författare

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
MacCulloch, DiarmaidFörfattareprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Brooke, ChristoperFörordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Flosnik, Anne T.Berättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Hübner, JuliusOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Varga, BenjáminÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Voß-Becher, HelkeÜbersetzermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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A history of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation examines the lasting implications of this period, providing profiles of the individuals involved and discussing the impact of the Reformation on everyday lives.

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