The Roots of the Reformation: Tradition, Emergence and Rupture

The Roots of the Reformation: Tradition, Emergence and Rupture

by G. R. Evans
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

J. I. Packer
"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."
Euan Cameron
"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."
Timothy George
"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."
Anthony N. S. Lane
"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."
David C. Steinmetz
"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."
Ian Hazlett
"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."
Irena Backus
"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."
Gwenfair Walters Adams
"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."
Denis R. Janz
"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."
John D. Hannah
"Evans has provided insight into that unfolding story, with the result that one is struck again by the realization that God directs the affairs of humankind in a way that does not reduce changemakers to mere puppets. . . . This book is a gem for provoking discussion."
Guenther H. Haas
"Evans' book is a good presentation of the Reformation through the perspective of the long-standing questions with which the church has wrestled from its beginnings. . . . I recommend it for those desiring a deeper and broader understanding of the Reformation."
Chris Castaldo
"This learned, humane, and vibrant book deserves a place among your favorite church history texts."
Kenneth J. Stewart
"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."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780830839964
Publisher:
InterVarsity Press
Publication date:
09/28/2012
Pages:
480
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

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 The Language and Logic of the Bible (Cambridge University Press) and Faith in the Medieval World (InterVarsity Press).

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