The European Reformation(s)

The European Reformations I just noticed a clearance sale on a seminary textbook I’ve grown to love: The European Reformations by Carter Lindberg (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1996).  Note: this is the first edition of the textbook.  The second edition is out as well (check it out here).  The first edition would be good for those of you who enjoy Reformation history reading as a sort of hobby.  Probably if you’re doing academic work you’ll want to check out the second edition, but if you’re reading for “fun” I’d guess this first edition (which is half-price!) would be fine.  Here are the topics which Lindberg discusses (in this order):

1) The Late Middle Ages – culture, society, military, and values.
2) The Early years of the Reformations in Europe – Luther, politics, theology, and piety.
3) Luther’s contemporaries – Melanchthon, Karlstadt, and other reforms.
4) The ethical and social aspects of the Reformation (good works, vocation, and service).
5) The Reformations and the common European person.
6) The Swiss Reformation (Zwingli).
7) The Radical Reformations (the Anabaptist fanatics).
8) Later Lutheran situations and confessions (i.e. Augsburg).
9) The Genevan Reformation (Calvin).
10) The Reformation in France.
11) The Reformation in the Netherlands.
12) The Reformations in England and Scotland.
13) The Papal Counter-Reformation.
14) The many legacies of the Reformations.

This book is outstanding.  There are also several maps and genealogies to aid the reader in understanding the many aspects of the Reformation(s).  It is around 450 pages, but to me it read almost like a novel because I am interested in this history and because it was well written.  All in all, if you have around $27 that you want to invest in a Reformation history book, I’d recommend this one.

shane lems

sunnyside, wa

2 thoughts on “The European Reformation(s)”

  1. I would second the recommendation. I read this some years ago, and always recommend it as one of the better texts on the Reformation. As you said Shane, it is well written and very readable (something that academics don’t always accomplish). In addition, it avoids the hagiography that often accompanies reformation histories. This is partly because Lindberg is keen to emphasize the plurality of reformations. I am pleased to see that a second edition is out.


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