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The Reformation [Paperback]

Prof Patrick Collinson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

21 April 2005

Although for generations the Reformation was regarded as a major turning point in European history, in recent years its significance has been downgraded. But in this book Professor Collinson sets out to restore a sense of the Reformation as a momentous historical event. He brilliantly explores the

complexities and corruption of the late-medieval Catholic Church - and the Europe-wide reform movement which produced Lutherans, Calvinists, Huguenots, Presbyterians and the Church of England, and which profoundly shaped the identity of the emerging nation-states of Europe.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New Ed edition (21 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753818639
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753818633
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 336,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Patrick Collinson has written a piece for BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE which will run in their July issue, out in June. Finished copies have come in, and an extensive mailing has gone out. Patrick Collinson will be interviewed on THE SUNDAY PROGRAMME (ITV), to be aired on 6 July. We've had some fantastic reviews... 'Over 40 years, the history of English Protestantism has been transformed -more by Patrick Collinson...than by anyone else...This brilliant, charged little a work of tough thinking, the late fruit of a working lifetime's reflection.'Blair Worden, THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH '[a] first 100 pages offer a series of brilliantly compressed narrative accountsof the main strands of the Reformation - Lutheran Germany, the radical "sects", the Swiss Reformation, the British Reformations. Each is admirably done, crystal clear, pacey and with a seasoned teacher's eye for telling anecdote or the rudest joke to ease down the diet of facts...If you have time for only one short account of the Reformation, you could hardly do better than this.'Eamon Duffy. SUNDAY TIMES '...excellent...he [Collinson] has packed his vast knowledge into little more than 50,000 words...For anyone interested in the evolution of the English way of life, this is a vital and informative book, andit will tell you about much else besides.'Simon Heffer, COUNTRY LIFE 'Collinson's story is slick and amusing. The light touches he employs bring the characters to life in a way that is convincing and subtle.'John Townsend, CATHOLIC HERALD 'An elegant survey of the movement an its effect across Europe, Professor Collinson's book also touches on some of the different interpretations to which the Reformation has been subjected in recent years.'Alastair Hamilton, TLS (5.9.03) 'Somehow, he has managed it, in 12 short chapters: definations; medieval issues; the vernacular Bible; Luther; the radicals; Calvin; Catholic reform and Counter Reformation; Britain; the politics of religious change; communities and families; iconoclasm; and the significance of the whole thing, It is crisp, clear, epigrammatic and memorable...It is great fun to read.'Christopher Haigh, THE TABLET '[an] absorbing, incisive study...A powerful book.'GOOD BOOK GUIDE There has also been a review in LIVING HISTORY magazine. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A short but powerful study of one of the great watersheds of European history

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short but oh, so sweet! 28 Dec 2007
Collinson's is the best one volume entry level guide to the reformation that there is. It fairly speeds along, and Collinson is a knowledgeable, entertaining companion on the ride. He manages to take a complex subject, make it readable and enjoyable, and does it in a fraction of the page count certain other historians would rack up, and with infinitely more style and aplomb.

This is a great book, whether your using it for undergrad background or simply reading it for pleasure.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A time of great change... 1 Dec 2004
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
As author Patrick Collinson writes, this is a book about Western Europe - a period in Western Europe's development that, when drawn on a map, rather interestingly parallels the shape and development of the European Union community. Collinson gives attention at the start to the area of Christendom beyond the Western Church, but makes the point that the evolutionary/revolutionary pattern in the greater Orthodox world is far different from the West, and that it never experienced the kind of events that the Reformation and Counter-Reformation caused in the West.
The Reformation was not a one-time event, but an ongoing process over many centuries. The timeline Collinson provides at the start begins at 1378, the start of the Great Schism, the era of popes and antipopes, which provided some fertile ground for later Reformation in fact if not in theology and ecclesiology. This is of course 150 years prior to Martin Luther's grand pronouncements, followed quickly by John Calvin and others. Collinson's time frame continues up to the Glorious Revolution of 1688 in Britain, which finally established the Protestant rule in Britain.
Collinson's explorations show interesting sides to this tumultuous period of history. Luther's conversion story, often retold by Luther himself, changes periodically into not-always-consistent versions. This is part of the tension Collinson describes, the tension between Reformation as a process and Reformation as an historical event. Collinson also develops the idea of Reformation as something not necessarily tremendously radical - Martin Luther, according to many historians quoted by Collinson, can be seen as a medieval rather than a modern man - he `...offered new answers to old questions. He asked no new ones.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magesterial 29 Dec 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Patrick Collinson is one of a handful of the world's leading authorities on the European Reformation and this shortish book is a distillation of more than thirty years of research and writing in the field. Together with Eamonn Duffy,Diarmaid MacCulloch and Nicholas Tyacke,Collinson is in the heart of British/Irish expertise in this interesting and still contentious area.Anybody as deeply interested in this field as I am should really investigate Patrick's earlier more focussed studies which have extended investigations of more particular areas of the discussions and controversies, however this is an excellent overview which still raises some interesting questions based on Collinson's recent(ish) research. At the current low paperback price it is great value for money, my only criticism would be the size of the print, which is not good for older eyes unless one wears reading glasses all the time. All round a great buy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Plugging gaps 14 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One of joys of being retired is plugging gaps in knowledge. The Reformation as part of the history which has made us what we are in Western Europe was one such gap. A complicated book, very well written, very interesting and I will be reading it again soon.
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