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The Protestant Reformation

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Originally published more than forty years ago, this important collection brings together the works and writings of the revolutionary minds behind the Protestant Reformation. It remains a major resource for teachers, students and history buffs alike. Over the decades, however, modern scholarship has shed new light on this tumultuous period, raising probing questions and pr Originally published more than forty years ago, this important collection brings together the works and writings of the revolutionary minds behind the Protestant Reformation. It remains a major resource for teachers, students and history buffs alike. Over the decades, however, modern scholarship has shed new light on this tumultuous period, raising probing questions and providing new connections that have radically changed our understanding and outlook. With this newly revised and updated edition of this essential work--now including texts written by women as well as entries dealing with popular religion--modern viewpoints are cogently addressed, while the scholarly integrity that has made this book a revered classic has been scrupulously maintained. Throughout, Hans J. Hillerbrand's basic assumption remains consistent: religion, no matter how dependent on societal forces, must be seen as the pivotal element in the story of the sixteenth century.


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Originally published more than forty years ago, this important collection brings together the works and writings of the revolutionary minds behind the Protestant Reformation. It remains a major resource for teachers, students and history buffs alike. Over the decades, however, modern scholarship has shed new light on this tumultuous period, raising probing questions and pr Originally published more than forty years ago, this important collection brings together the works and writings of the revolutionary minds behind the Protestant Reformation. It remains a major resource for teachers, students and history buffs alike. Over the decades, however, modern scholarship has shed new light on this tumultuous period, raising probing questions and providing new connections that have radically changed our understanding and outlook. With this newly revised and updated edition of this essential work--now including texts written by women as well as entries dealing with popular religion--modern viewpoints are cogently addressed, while the scholarly integrity that has made this book a revered classic has been scrupulously maintained. Throughout, Hans J. Hillerbrand's basic assumption remains consistent: religion, no matter how dependent on societal forces, must be seen as the pivotal element in the story of the sixteenth century.

30 review for The Protestant Reformation

  1. 5 out of 5

    Seth Little

    I picked up this volume for seminary and was assigned most of the materials from both Luther and Calvin. I found the Hillerbrand translations very readable and the editorial introductions helpful. I recommend this one to anyone interested in an accessible introduction to these giants of the Reformation.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rob Shurmer

    Fairly standard collection of documents, with brief and pedestrian introductions. The selection of documents for the English Reformation is odd and somewhat less than representative of the event. What, for example, is the point of including, in this collection at least, a selection from the Tyndale Bible? No insight into the Reformation is gained by reading it, unless collated with a Catholic version. And contrary to Hillerbrand's assertion, the Tyndale Bible of 1525 DID NOT serve as the foundat Fairly standard collection of documents, with brief and pedestrian introductions. The selection of documents for the English Reformation is odd and somewhat less than representative of the event. What, for example, is the point of including, in this collection at least, a selection from the Tyndale Bible? No insight into the Reformation is gained by reading it, unless collated with a Catholic version. And contrary to Hillerbrand's assertion, the Tyndale Bible of 1525 DID NOT serve as the foundation of the King James translation; that was was the Bishops' Bible of 1568. Also, Part V, entitled 'Towards a New Age', consists of a single document. I wouldn't spend the money to purchase this book, as all of these sources may be found elsewhere in the public domain and the accompanying commentaries hardly merit attention.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shelby Stafford

    It wets your appetite for more. I especially enjoyed Calvin's Institutes but was dissapointed that they had only two excerpts form it. I enjoyed reading the examination of Anne Askew, having read a historical novel about her that had word for word her examination. Luther was good. you could probably find all these documents on the internet but I can't read good on the computer. I wish that the book gave the full documents.

  4. 4 out of 5

    William West

    There are more correlations between the histories of Christian and Marxist discourse than subscribers to either would want to admit. As an (I like to think) unconventional adherent of the latter, I must say that reading these selections of writings from the Protestant Reformation made me think of the turbulence in the Marxist world created by Maoism. Mao was not the first commie revolutionary to break with the Soviet monolith. Tito did his thing in Yugoslavia and the Trotskyist movement made noi There are more correlations between the histories of Christian and Marxist discourse than subscribers to either would want to admit. As an (I like to think) unconventional adherent of the latter, I must say that reading these selections of writings from the Protestant Reformation made me think of the turbulence in the Marxist world created by Maoism. Mao was not the first commie revolutionary to break with the Soviet monolith. Tito did his thing in Yugoslavia and the Trotskyist movement made noise here and there. But Mao was the first to give rebellion from within the Communist sphere global-historical significance. Christianity was never as united as the Popes tried to present it as being, but Orthodoxy never presented itself as an insurrection against Catholicism, as much as an alternative that distance in the medieval world necessitated. The movement that Luther began was almost trying to found a new religion to destroy the old. Reading the pieces by Luther collected in this volume, one has a sense of an individual who had lost control of the phenomenon he inspired. I had a terribly unfavorable impression of him. He seemed to want a radical break with the Church in so far as doing so granted him fame and significance. But as soon as that radicality showed the potential to win people freedoms, or put himself at risk, he disowned it. It is unsurprising, then, that so many micro-reformations took place, rejecting both the Church and Luther, and proclaiming themselves the one truly liberational tendency. One doubts as much blood was spilled between communist tendencies even in the context of twentieth century murderous efficiency than was spilled not merely between Protestants and Catholics but between warring Protestant sects in the 16th century. One of this volume's most memorable passages is a letter sent by an Annapatist mother to her infant child before her execution by fellow Protestants for deciding to be rebaptized as an adult. Although she agonizes over the thought of not seeing her baby grow up, she assures her child that she is happy to die for worshipping in the one true way. One wonders if Mao did not study the history of the Reformation, and its sectarian brutality. For it was such violence that he intentionally set forth within the revolutionary process that he initiated, hoping that the most radical tendency would win out, thereby making the very Catholic-esque Soviet Monotholism that had taken root in earlier Communist societies impossible in his own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carl

    Great collection of primary sources with some useful introductions. Other reviewers have noted that the material here is all available in the public domain, and that the commentary is slight. True, though there are some documents of Luther's here that I have had trouble finding in translation otherwise. I have used this text multiple times over the past three years, both for study and for personal edification. Great access to these documents, regardless of other avenues for access.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chelsey Ortega

    This is a set of primary documents put together in order to give a general insight into the thinking of those involved in the Reformation. There are many excerpts from Martin Luther and John Calvin, along with a few others. This is my area of study so of course I loved it and found it fascinating. But if this is not your are, it will probably be boring.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Martha Smith

    History/Religion. This book is the authoritative guide to the Protestant Reformation. Inside are brilliant primary source documents for the reader to digest and contemplate on their journey to understanding the reformers political, social, and economic motivations.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elise

    This contains some deep stuff, but it was incredibly helpful in coming to an understanding of why the reformation occurred and on what principles it was founded. Martin Luther shines in this text and made me understand why he caused such a (much needed) stir in the Catholic church.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Reising

    Primary source documents are fascinating to read. Much different to read Luther and Zwick's (and others) own writing than to read commentaries on their views.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Justin White

    This is a good overview of the Reformers.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tom Schulte

    Blessed and published, basically, by the Catholic Church, this analysis of the Church's spiritual and administrative weaknesses is surprisingly candid.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    A collection of select writings from several reformers from the 16th Century. Not very explanatory or far reaching of a novel.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Irby

    This is a solid collection of Reformation-era literature. The introductions and notes are very helpful... especially for someone who is new to the history and theology of the Reformers.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

  15. 4 out of 5

    Seth

  16. 4 out of 5

    Louis

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brad

  18. 5 out of 5

    David Oliveros

  19. 4 out of 5

    Fattylinebacker backerbackerbacker

  20. 5 out of 5

    Richard Bowles

  21. 4 out of 5

    James Jones

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Pillay

  23. 4 out of 5

    Renata Castilho

  24. 5 out of 5

    cheryl miller

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emily Taylor

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sondra Faye

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

  29. 5 out of 5

    Allie

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alex Wright

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