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The European Reformation / Edition 2

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Since its first appearance in 1991, The European Reformation has offered a clear, integrated, and coherent analysis and explanation of how Christianity in Western and Central Europe from Iceland to Hungary, from the Baltic to the Pyrenees splintered into separate Protestant and Catholic identities and movements.

Catholic Christianity at the end of the Middle Ages was not at all a uniformly 'decadent' or corrupt institution: it showed clear signs of cultural vigour and inventiveness. However, it was vulnerable to a particular kind of criticism, if ever its claims to mediate the grace of God to believers were challenged. Martin Luther proposed a radically new insight into how God forgives human sin. In this new theological vision, rituals did not 'purify' people; priests did not need to be set apart from the ordinary community; the church needed no longer to be an international body.

For a critical 'Reformation moment', this idea caught fire in the spiritual, political, and community life of much of Europe. Lay people seized hold of the instruments of spiritual authority, and transformed religion into something simpler, more local, more rooted in their own community. So were born the many cultures, liturgies, musical traditions and prayer lives of the countries of Protestant Europe.

This new edition embraces and responds to developments in scholarship over the past twenty years. Substantially re-written and updated, with both a thorough revision of the text and fully updated references and bibliography, it nevertheless preserves the distinctive features of the original, including its clearly thought-out integration of theological ideas and political cultures, helping to bridge the gap between theological and social history, and the use of helpful charts and tables that made the original so easy to use.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A remarkably rich and successful survey textbook of the Reformation period....He has quite literally broken the mold of the traditional textbook layout for this topic; it deserves serious consideration by anyone interested in focusing a course on the religious issues of the Reformation....It is stimulating and suggestive, and is based on a truly amazing range of scholarship."--Sixteenth Century Journal

"This is the first comprehensive textbook on the Reformation to take popular religion seriously. Moreover, it is not dominated by Luther and Calvin, as the radical groups and smaller sects get equal treatment. Above all, it is refreshing to find a text that does not start from the premise that protestantism was inevitable or even desired by the laity."--Mack P. Holt, George Mason University

"First impressions of this book are very good. It seems to combine a thorough grounding in both traditional and modern approaches to the Reformation. The writing is clear and straightforward....I predict that this book...will be around for a long time."--Mark Noll, Wheaton College

"A thorough, well-researched text. It should prove to be highly valuable as a required text in junior colleges and universities. One of the best available works."--Rev. Dr. Michael B. Simmons, Auburn University at Montgomery

"Clear, decisive, scholarly, readable--this is a splendid summary of recent scholarship about the Reformation. Cameron warns that he will deal with the Reformation movements, not Europe in the age of Reform, and he does exceptionally well what he has indicated."--Philip L. Kintner, Grinell College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199547852
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/4/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 1,272,164
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Euan Cameron is Henry Luce III Professor of Reformation Church History, Union Theological Seminary, New York, and has taught previously at the University of Oxford and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He is the author of a number of other works on late medieval and early modern religious history, including The Reformation of the Heretics (1984), Waldenses: Rejections of Holy Church in Medieval Europe (2000), and Enchanted Europe: Superstition, Reason and Religion 1250-1750 (2010). He is the editor of Early Modern Europe: An Oxford History (1999) and the sixteenth century volume in the Short Oxford History of Europe series (2006).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Reformation and Europe
Part I: The Background
1. The Religion of the People of Europe
2. The Vulnerability of the Church
3. 'Reform' from Within and its Limits
4. Challenges from Outside and their Limits
5. Heresy: An Alternative Church?
6. The Church and the Christian Soul
Part II: The Reformers and Their Message
7. The 'Luther-Affair' and its Context
8. The Conversions of the Reformers
9. Rejections of Reform
10. The Reformers' Message: Salvation
11. The Reformers' Message: Scripture
12. The Reformers' Message: The Church
13. The Reformers' Message: Sacraments
Part III: Establishing the Reformed Churches
14. Unsuccessful 'Affiliations' to the Reformed Cause
15. Self-Governing Towns and Cities
16. Principalities and Kingdoms
17. Motives for Establishing the Reformation?
Part IV: Beyond the 'Reformation Moment': from Temporary Coalitions to Growing Communities
18. Voluntary, Gathered Movements Reject the 'Coalition'
19. Crisis, Survival, and Compromise in Politics
20. Reformers at Odds: The 'Confessional' Reformation
21. Reformers and Laypeople: Building a Religious Culture
22. Conclusion
Abbreviations Used in the Notes
Suggestions for Further Reading

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