Customer Review

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magisterial, 28 April 2009
This review is from: The Penguin History of the Church: The Reformation: Reformation v. 3 (Hist of the Church) (Paperback)
This book is part of a series of the history of the Church and covers all the important events of the Reformation. The book has been criticised for its lofty tone and for the amount of background knowledge the reader needs to have to understand; certainly, a knowledge of ecclesiastical terms and a mental map of the geography of Europe in the 16th Century would help. But the book will reward dedication. Chadwick outlines the early developments and the 'cry' for reform in the face of the absurdities, scholasticism and abuses of the Church at that time. He also discusses the personality and character of the major actors, putting flesh on Luther (and bone on the austere Calvin). The dark events of England are treated particularly well, not a good time for the monastaries of course, and the Catholic 'counter-reformation' and the radical 'anabaptists' receive good treatment. The Reformation will never be an 'easy' subject to study and technical language will always be inevitable. With this in mind, Chadwick's history is a great achievement and I certainly recommend it.
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