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Publisher's Summary

Reformation Thought, 4th edition offers an ideal introduction to the central ideas of the European reformations for students of theology and history. Written by the bestselling author and renowned theologian, Alister McGrath, this engaging guide is accessible to students with no prior knowledge of Christian theology.

This new edition of a classic text has been updated throughout with the very latest scholarship.

Includes greater coverage of the Catholic reformation, the counter-reformation, and the impact of women on the reformation.

Explores the core ideas and issues of the reformation in terms that can be easily understood by those new to the field.

Student-friendly features include images, updated bibliographies, a glossary, and a chronology of political and historical ideas.

This latest edition retains all the features which made the previous editions so popular with readers, while McGrath's revisions have ensured it remains the essential student guide to the subject.

©2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd (P)2013 Audible Ltd

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More Than Introduction

I surveyed Reformation history under one of McGrath's doctoral students, so I was nominally familiar with his narrative construction and outline of this pivotal period of Western culture. Still, McGrath managed to cram so much excellent information in this relatively small volume, I felt like the read was worth a credit in a graduate seminar. Sympathetic to the Protestant cause, McGrath is ever the scholar, elucidating not only the development of Protestant convictions, but also historical causes--theological, personal and political--as far as they may be confidently distilled from the evidence. Where confidence is lacking, appropriate skepticism is acknowledged, arresting romantic legends that fact might liberate a more truthful account of sixteenth century "reformations."

Still, Reformation Thought does not obscure the massive ideas covered and recovered by Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, etc. The "solas" are not given short shrift. Justification by faith alone is clearly stated and explained, as are the Protestant doctrines of scripture, church, sacraments and predestination, even if the latter is insufficiently untangled. Helpfully, McGrath's introduction takes the reader past the sixteenth century to survey the historical trajectory of Reformation thought as it diffused in Europe and influenced the New World.

Tony Craine's narration was unforced, well-paced and clear, if lacking only in style. Personally, I would have preferred a British narrator, perhaps the author himself. Overall, Reformation Thought is a thorough and inviting work for both students of history and generally interested readers.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Marcus
  • Brasília, Brazil
  • 07-01-16

The Meaning of the Reformation

The reformation in Europe produced a major change in the way christian beliefs were understand and social life experienced. Alister E. McGrath wrote a clear and readable book about the period and theological ideas it produced. Drawing from the main theses of Luther, Zwingli and Calvin, the author explain the thought and the controversies occurred. The main doctrines of reformed theology are presented with special attention to the distinct emphasis gave by the reformers. After all one gets a clear view of the reformation's ideas and the context in with they were generated.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Introduction to the Reformation

Alister McGrath wrote an excellent introduction to the Reformation. He provided very helpful insights into the dissatisfaction of the Roman Catholic Church, its impotence on settling doctrine prior to the Reformation, the rising level of education of the laity, scholasticism, humanism, and the development of these ideas into the different Reformation communities. The weakest part of the book was the impact of the Reformation in history into thw modern era last chapter. I will have to think about that. McGrath mainly emphasized the offshoots of economics, governments, and science. He could have gone into religious impact more. He did mention how Protestantism led to a more entrepreneurial spirit where people would form their own churches and through aform of Darwinism, adapt to changing environments and culture. But I think this misses some of the major theological implications that reverberate to this day, such as justification by faith alone. Granted, I am a theologically conservative Reformed layperson who drinks in theology, so McGrath didn't scratch my partucular theological itch at that point.

Overall an excellent book. It kept me riveted to the end. The reader/narrator did a very good job. I highly recommend this book as part of a variety of books dealing with Reformation topics.

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Great content but...

I've read this book before but needed a refresher so I went for the audio version. The reader speaks clearly and concisely. However, he mispronounces at least half of the technical terms. In addition, he pronounces Latin phrases with the classical pronunciation though they should be read with the hard "v" of Church Latin. He gets the point across but the term pronunciation will distract those who know and misinform those new to the field.

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  • AN
  • 01-21-15

Concise and scholarly but accessible.

A concise, scholarly but accessible book on an important peeps of church and social history. Only slightly spoilt by the occasionally dodgy American pronunciation of words like schism!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful