Looking for good book on the Reformation


#1

Hi -

I’m looking for a good book on the Reformation that has a balanced perspective - neither strongly Protestant-biased nor strongly Catholic-biased. I appreciate any recommendations.

Thanks!


#2

Historians are human so I am not sure you are going to get a history on the reformation that does not reflect the views of its historian. I suppose it is possible though :shrug: Best to study the historian before you read the history.

With that being said I liked Hilaire Belloc’s How the Reformation Happened. He also has another titled Characters of the Reformation that was also worth the read.

God bless


#3

I just borrowed Roots of the Reformation by Cecily Hastings from a friend. It was recommended at our homeschool conference.


#4

The Reformation by Will Durant

Its part of The Story of Civilization.

If you are lacking in humility about the Catholic Church, this book will give it to you.


#5

I would recommend **“The Cleaving of Christendom” **by Warren Carroll. It is a masterful work.


#6

By a non-Catholic (Anglican), try…

The Stripping of the Altars by Eamon Duffy. He recently updated to a 2nd edition, 2005. It is considered a standard work from Yale Univ Press on the English Reformation, and what happened to the Catholic Church in England from c. 1400 - 1580. He critiques previous work done by Protestant historians, and writes in the preface to the second edition:

“The first and larger part of The Stripping of the Altars was an attempt to place the debate about the Reformation in a longer perspective, to grapple with the evident inability of many Reformation historians to take medieval religion seriously, and to help modern readers recover a sense of the power, integrity and internal logic of that distinctive religious culture. In particular it seemed important to contest the widely shared perception that by 1500 this was a failing religion that had already alienated or lost the commitment of the more intelligent and forward-looking of its lay audience. I sought to show that, on the contrary, medieval English Catholicism was, up to the very moment of its dissolution, a highly successful enterprise, the achievement by the official church of a quite remarkable degree of lay involvement and investment, and of a corresponding degree of doctrinal orthodoxy.” (Duffy, Stripping of the Altars, preface to 2nd edition)

A standard Catholic source is by Fr. Philip Hughes A Popular History of the Reformation for a short treatise, or The Reformation in England (3 volumes) for a detailed account. Of course the latter is the English Reformation only.

Phil P


closed #7

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