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  #1  
Old Oct 26, '08, 6:42 pm
GrahamCE GrahamCE is offline
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Default History of Protestant Reformation?

Hi All,

I had the (dis)pleasure of attending services at my inlaws Methodist church this morning - during which they celebrated Reformation Sunday. As soon as it was mentioned in the announcements at the beginning of the service - I was bristling on the inside and really wanted to get out of there. I will say though that it was a decent experience where I could hear first-hand the potential untruths that people believe.

Anyway, I'm looking for a good book on the history of the Protestant Reformation - one that hopefully isn't extremely biased or dishonest on the Catholic position or the Church's action/inaction at the time. Any ideas?

Thanks,
GrahamCE
  #2  
Old Nov 17, '08, 8:06 pm
Stratiotes Stratiotes is offline
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Default Re: History of Protestant Reformation?

The most balanced I have read is Durant's volume The Story of Civilization: The Reformation : A History of European Civilization from Wyclif to Calvin : 1300-1564. I think Durant does a wonderful job of getting to the roots of the reformation in the centuries preceding it.

I like HW Crocker's Triumph as well but it is, admittedly, very anti-Protestant with the fervor of a convert. And it is a broader study not so focused on the reformation either.
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  #3  
Old Dec 8, '08, 12:21 pm
Stratiotes Stratiotes is offline
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Default Re: History of Protestant Reformation?

I would be interested in others that people have found to be good or not so good as well. This is a bit of history that seems it ought to be of special interest to us.

One I am reading now that I would *not* recommend is The Reformation by Diarmaid MacCulloch (ISBN 014303538X). It appears to have gotten decent reviews from most on Amazon but I am not impressed. MacCulloch seems to be a "secular" Anglican, for lack of a better term. His slant does not seem to be in favor of Anglicanism - it seems more of a cynical secular slant where he sees only political motivations behind the various players. I will write more when I'm farther along but after the first few chapters I am not impressed. It is not horrible, just not as well-balanced as Durant's in my opinion.
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  #4  
Old Dec 9, '08, 3:52 am
Stratiotes Stratiotes is offline
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Default Re: History of Protestant Reformation?

Another less intimidating work (under 300 pages) is The Reformation: A History (Modern Library Chronicles) by Patrick Collinson (ISBN 0812972953). My amazon review follows:
----------
The reformation is a rather broad swipe at a broad spectrum of events and people at one of those great turns in history. It is not likely that any single volume could cover the topic in sufficient detail. Yet, such a book would escape the notice of all but the most technical of historians. Prof Collinson has given us an history that is accessible to the wider audience wishing an unbiased raw historical tale. Toward the first chapters there seemed to be a slant toward justifying the Protestant position but with the balance of the remainder, whatever slant might have been supposed seemed to disappear.

A well-written and organized summary of these great events still shaping the western world. An important work for the more casual historian or as an introduction for the serious historian just launching out to learn more. This may very well give you that desire to seek out even more detailed works on this important topic.
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  #5  
Old Dec 9, '08, 5:35 am
GrahamCE GrahamCE is offline
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Default Re: History of Protestant Reformation?

Thank you Stratiotes for your ideas! I will have to look into these books. There is so much I want and need to learn - what a wonderful neverending process.
 

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