The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society

Brad S. Gregory. Harvard/Belknap, $39.95 (552p) ISBN 978-0-674-04563-7
The Protestant Reformation is considered by many to be one of the pivotal events in the history of the Western world. No one can doubt the central role that Luther, Calvin, and other reformers have played in the lives of Christians through the years. The author, who is Dorothy G. Griffin associate professor of history at the University of Notre Dame, approaches the continuing impact of the Reformation in what he terms a “genealogical” approach—one that sees the Reformation as the root of a tree whose branches reach into every aspect of modern life. Rejecting the “supersessionist” view, that contemporary Christendom constitutes a radically new understanding of God and of the world itself, Gregory insists that our views, even our presuppositions, must be reimagined and re-evaluated in ways that demonstrate how the Reformation continues to reach into our theologies, our laws, our lives. Written by an academic for academics, this is a dense but rewarding look at the long reach of history, and how we are the poorer for ignoring it. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/14/2011
Release date: 01/01/2012
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