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A Short History of the Reformation

A Short History of the Reformation
Helen L. Parish

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When, in October 1517, Martin Luther pinned his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg he shattered the foundations of western Christendom. The Reformation of doctrine and practice that followed Luther's seismic action, and protest against the sale of indulgences, fragmented the Church and overturned previously accepted certainties and priorities. But it did more, challenging the relationship between spiritual and secular authority, perceptions of the supernatural, the interpretation of the past, the role of women in society and church, and clerical attitudes towards marriage and sex. Drawing on the most recent historiography, Helen L Parish locates the Protestant Reformation in its many cultural, social and political contexts. She assesses the Reformers' impact on art and architecture; on notions of authority, scripture and tradition; and - reflecting on the extent to which the printing press helped spread Reformation ideas - on oral, print and written culture.

Author Info

Helen L Parish is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Reading. Her previous books include Monks, Miracles and Magic: Reformation Representations of the Medieval Church (2005) and Clerical Marriage and the English Reformation: Precedent, Policy and Practice (2000).


`This book is an excellent and up-to-date treatment of the Reformation. Helen Parish has produced a splendid summary, based on the latest research, of those major themes that characterized the Reformation in both its coherence and its diversity. Though underpinned by solid scholarship, it deserves a wide readership.'
Scott H. Hendrix, Emeritus Professor of Reformation History and Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary, author of Martin Luther: A Very Short Introduction

`This is much more than just another history of the Reformation. Helen Parish not only gives us Luther's story, she expertly traces its impact deep into ordinary life. We learn how a theologians' quarrel ended up reinventing the arts, family life, and even ghosts. And while she digests the best of recent scholarship for us, the book is also filled with vivid vignettes, from the inferno of a Dutch church torched by iconoclasts to an Anabaptist radical's letter to her infant son written as she went to her death.'
Alec Ryrie, Professor of the History of Christianity, Durham University, author of Protestants: The Radicals who Made the Modern World

`Brought out to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the nailing of Martin Luther's 95 Theses to the door of the cathedral in Wittenberg the event generally held to have set the Reformation in motion Helen Parish's exciting new book is a timely, assured, well-written and thoroughly engaging account of this key episode of early modern European history. Drawing on the most recent scholarship, and making extensive use of primary sources, it provides readers with an excellent introduction to the subject while at the same time offering something quite distinctive. Not only does this volume cover essential topics such as Reformation theology and the role of printing, but it also does a great job of drawing our attention to less conventional themes, such as the visual arts, women and marriage and the supernatural. It is a key contribution from one of our leading Reformation historians.'
Kenneth Austin, Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History, University of Bristol

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: I.B. Tauris Short Histories

Paperback / softback
ISBN: 9781780766102
Publication Date: 31 Jul 2018
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 216
Width: 134
Illustrations: 30 bw integrated, 5 maps

ISBN: 9781780766096
Publication Date: 29 Aug 2018
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 216
Width: 134
Illustrations: 30 bw integrated, 5 maps

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