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Extended Audio Sample The Reformation: A History, by Patrick Collinson Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (87 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Patrick Collinson Narrator: John McDonough Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Modern Library Chronicles Release Date:
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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’ souls.

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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] splendid survey…on a period of enduring global significance.” 

    New York Times

  • “Both erudite and highly accessible.”


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Patricia | 7/26/2013

    " Humorous (to some extent). Erudite. A well-written survey of the Reformation for those who, like me, have no time to read through the details of the historical timeline. I'm not a fan of collecting names of bishops, kings, and popes so this book wasn't hard to chew, swallow, and digest. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Misty | 11/7/2012

    " I don't think that am I smart enough for this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Haven | 5/1/2011

    " Collinson's history of The Reformation is the first I read, he is greatly conciseness of both thought and event. I was trying to get as much early information on dates and characters before diving into a much longer book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Michael | 12/21/2010

    " Good intro. to the Reformation, especially the historical happenings. However, I would look to other sources for a more detailed look at the theology of Luther and Calvin. For an accessible guide to Luther's thinking, listen to Phillip Cary's lectures on Luther: Gospel, Law, Reformation. "

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About the Author
Author Patrick Collinson

Patrick Collinson, CBE (1929–2011), was Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity College and the British Academy. The leading historian of sixteenth-century religion and politics of his generation, he was the author of many important books, notably The Elizabethan Puritan Movement, The Religion of Protestants: The Church in English Society, 1559–1625, and The Birthpangs of Protestant England. He also published several collections of his essays, including Godly People, From Cranmer to Sancroft, and This England.