Book

The Early Reformation on the Continent

Owen Chadwick

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780198269021
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600470 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198269021.001.0001

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

The Early Reformation on the Continent

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This study offers a fresh look at the formative years of the Reformation in Europe, centred on Germany and Switzerland in the 1520s and 30s, and the origins of Protestant faith and practice. Eschewing a traditional narrative, the material is arranged thematically, allowing each topic to be placed in a broad perspective. Recent work on such leading figures as Erasmus, Martin Luther, and Philip Melanchthon is integrated into this context, which also pays due attention to social and political factors. A thematic emphasis allows a balanced picture of the changes that reforming communities sought to introduce and the difficulties and disagreements concerning these. Practical and intellectual concerns are considered together, showing the problems in putting new ideas into practice. The origins and development of each individual topic in the history of the western Church places the early Reformation in its proper place in the history of Christianity and religious practice. The intellectual origins of Reformed thought are first considered through discussion of the invention of printing, the Bible, and religious scholarship, and its place in the wider world is decided by examination of the doctrines surrounding death, purgatory, and indulgences, the urban context in the free cities, and the question of conversion. The putting into practice of reformed ideas is illustrated in chapters on the marriage of the clergy, the fate of monks and nuns, the new services, church organization, the creed, education, and issues surrounding marriage and divorce. The difficult introduction of reformed religion in rural areas, ranging widely throughout Europe, is considered along with the controversies over the justification of resistance to state power. The book concludes with chapters on radicals, i.e., the wide variety of Anabaptist thought and practice; toleration, with sections on Jews and witchcraft; and unbelief.

Keywords: anabaptism; atheism; church order; clergy; Desiderii; Erasmus; Germany; history; Martin Luther; Protestant; Reformation; religious scholarship; religious toleration; resistance theory; Switzerland; theology

Book.  452 pages. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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Table of Contents

The Book in The Early Reformation on the Continent

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The Bible in The Early Reformation on the Continent

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Scholarship and Religion in The Early Reformation on the Continent

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Death in The Early Reformation on the Continent

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The City in The Early Reformation on the Continent

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Conversion in The Early Reformation on the Continent

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Marriage of the Clergy in The Early Reformation on the Continent

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Monks and Nuns in The Early Reformation on the Continent

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The New Services in The Early Reformation on the Continent

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Church Order in The Early Reformation on the Continent

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