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Protestants: A History from Wittenberg to Pennsylvania 1517-1740 Hardcover – 1 Oct 2010


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Review

In this thoughtful and highly original book, Scott Dixontakes a thematic approach to the process of building the newChristian communities Scott Dixon has done an admirablejob, given the constraints of space and the breadth of hiscoverage, in painting a broad–ranging and sophisticated picture ofa complex and expansive movement.   (EHR OxfordJournal Clippings, 6 June 2012)

"Dixon′s contribution lies, rather, in his fascinating and highlyoriginal thesis that the formative phase of Protestantism, as acreative social force, must be viewed as extending to therevivalist impulses of the 18th–century Great Awakening in the NewWorld...Dixon′s writing here is detailed, solid, and compelling.Summing Up: Highly recommended." (Choice, 1 May 2011)

"This is a remarkable work, for its striking originality, itspowerful and independent–minded synthesis, its sensitivity to theprimary and secondary material, its deployment of really grippingexamples and case studies, and its conjoining of the European andNorth American Protestant experience . MarkGreengrass, University of Sheffield

From the Back Cover

Protestants: A History from Wittenberg to Pennsylvania 1517–1740 presents a comprehensive historiography of the rise, reception, and ongoing global influence of the branches of Christianity that emerged out of the Protestant Reformation. Offering more than a chronological recounting of historic events, renowned religious scholar C. Scott Dixon reveals the role of Protestantism as a creative force in history. Dixon draws on new cultural history to explore the social and cultural dimension of the Reformation as he follows the path of the movement′s unfolding from its humble origins in a town in Saxony in sixteenth–century Germany to its bold re–fashioning and reconstitution during the dawn of the Enlightenment in Europe and colonial America. In a break from traditional scholarship, Dixon demonstrates how the formative phase of early modern Protestantism stretched far beyond the age of Luther and Calvin –– that the social, cultural, and political problematic created by the breach with Roman Catholicism was not historically resolved until it had become a transatlantic phenomenon. We are shown how the central dynamic of the Protestant movement was not, in fact, its struggle with Catholicism, but rather its own inner conflict; namely, the tension between established forms of Protestantism such as Lutheranism, Calvinism, and Anglicanism and the radical elements that had been suppressed and marginalised at the beginning of the Reformation. Protestants: A History from Wittenberg to Pennsylvania 1517–1740offers a startling new perspective on the complex strands of a 16th–century religious upheaval whose repercussions remain with us to the present day.

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