The religious reformations of the sixteenth century were the crucible
of modern Western civilization, profoundly reshaping the identity of Europe’s
emerging nation-states. In The Reformation, one of the preeminent
historians of the period, Patrick Collinson, offers a concise yet thorough overview
of the drastic ecumenical revolution of the late medieval and Renaissance eras.
In looking at the sum effect of such disparate elements as the humanist
philosophy of Desiderius Erasmus and the impact on civilization of movable-type
printing and “vulgate” scriptures, or in defining the differences between the
evangelical (Lutheran) and reformed (Calvinist) churches, Collinson makes clear
how the battles for mens’ lives were often hatched in the battles for mens’
Collinson also examines the interplay of spiritual and temporal matters
in the spread of religious reform to all corners of Europe, and at how the
Catholic Counter-Reformation used both coercion and institutional reform to
retain its ecclesiastical control of Christendom. Powerful and remarkably well
written, The Reformation is possibly the finest available introduction
to this hugely important chapter in religious and political history. Download and start listening now!