The Reformation: History in an Hour

REFORMATIONFrom the time of St. Peter to 1521 AD, the Roman Catholic Church was the only “official” Christian church in Western Europe. It provided the only means through which a person could expect to have access to God and gain entry into Heaven. The Church however was not immune to corruption, and there had been several attempts to rein in Church leaders who were often distracted from their pastoral duties with more earth-bound interests such as the gathering of power and wealth. Yet, the one Church remained intact and unchanged in its ways throughout the Middle Ages into the Renaissance and up to the Reformation.

In the sixteenth century, Martin Luther began his feverish quest for salvation and church reform, and started an evangelical movement which spread beyond the borders of sixteenth-century Germany. This movement is the first of three distinct developments of the Protestant Reformation.  Luther’s (and others’)  evangelical revolution evolved into personal causes for rulers and monarchs, who sought to impose their religious will upon their subjects, and signified a second phase, the reformation “from above”.  During the Reformation’s third, confessional (religious wars) period, in which princes, territories and national churches conducted wars of belief, Protestants migrated to and colonized new settlements, and created their own methods of preserving the faith.

The era of the Protestant Reformation begins in 1517 and, by 1648, becomes fully shaped in Europe as a movement embodying several new independent churches, revolutionized systems of belief, and geopolitical changes that affected monarchs and their subjects throughout the region.  By the mid-17th century, the original one Church had become several different churches without any hope of reuniting.

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Contents:

  • Origins of the Protestant Reformation
  • 131 Years of the Reformation
  • The Sacraments, Heaven and Hell
  • “The Third Place”: Purgatory
  • “Shortening a Stay in Purgatory”
  • Early Sixteenth-Century Efforts at Reform
  • Martin Luther
  • Luther’s Interpretation of St. Paul
  • The Renaissance Papacy
  • The Birth of Classical Protestantism
  • The Diet of Worms
  • One Man Alone
  • “Infallible Donkey” and “Upstart Heretics”
  • “Preaching God’s Word Purely”
  • Zwingli vs Luther on the Eucharist
  • Zwingli’s Death
  • The Creation of Sects
  • John Calvin and His “Reformed Church”
  • Anti-Tolerance of Anti-Trinitarianism
  • Hunted Heretic
  • The Spread of Protestantism
  • The End of Choices: The Territorial Churches
  • Protestantism on a European-Political Basis
  • The Reformation After 1550
  • The French Wars of Religion (1562-1593)
  • The Low Countries
  • The Calvinist Diaspora to New France
  • New England Diaspora
  • How the Protestant Reformation Ended

Readers’ reviews:

“This book offers a highly readable account of a confusing time. The author accomplished this by by giving a short synopsis in an understandable manner. He does not get involved in deep theological discussion, but instead focuses on the main points. This is a VERY good introduction to the Reformation. Money and time well spent.”

“This was an excellent synopsis of a complicated subject. There was information and people that I had not heard of before involved at various levels.”

I love the history in an hour series, they enable a quick overview and give basic relevant facts. It was sufficient for me to see areas that I might want to then further explore in more depth.”

Neat summary provides good background for further reading. I’ve seen and read so many versions of the period that, for me, it’s good to get some objective facts and proper historical context.”

I would recommend this to any reader who is trying to get some basic info without reading 300 pages.”

Well written and enlightening to those interested in the beginning of religion in as we know it today.”

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