The Reformation: A Brief History
March 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
- A rich overview of the Reformation, skillfully blending social, political, religious and theological dimensions
- A clearly and engagingly written narrative which draws on the latest and best scholarship
- Includes the history of the Reformation in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, areas that are rarely covered in any detail
- The Reformation is placed in the context of the entire history of Christianity to draw out its origins, impetus, and legacy
1. The Different Paths of Medieval Christianization.
Christianity Among the Rural Poor.
Two Sides of Medieval Christianization.
The Rise of the Papacy: Centralization and Reform.
The Papacy's Decline.
The Mendicant Critique of Wealth and Property.
2. The Luther Phenomenon.
Luther's "Ninety-Five Theses".
Luther the Reformer.
3. Reformation Reforms.
The Politics of Reform.
Zurich, Zwingli, and the Cities.
Rural Revolution of the 'Common Man'.
The Anabaptist Alternative.
4. The Reformation's Establishment.
The Princes Take Charge.
Reformation Beyond the Empire.
Calvin and Geneva.
Catholic Reform and Counter-Reformation.
Epilogue: The Reformation's Legacy.
"Appold has presented us with an introduction to
Reformation history that is brief, clear, up-to-date, and blessedly
free of exaggerations. […] Those who take up Reformation
history today should begin here.” (Tom A Brady
jr., University of California, Berkley, 1 January 2013)
“Anyone interested in a brief history of Reformation theology would do well to read this book first to review the historical context of the debates surrounding [it] … I was sorry when it came to an end. Fascinated by the brief historical account it offered, I was left wanting more. I highly recommend it.” (Theology Today, 19 September 2012)
“This engaging book provides a fairly thorough synthesis of much of the historical writing on this period.” (Theology, 1 July 2012)
“A history of the reformation, even ‘a brief history’ in two hundred pages? In fact, because too much detail is impossible the author turns this to advantage and is able to stand back slightly and give an overview … A highlight is Appold’s description of the indulgence controversy – the clearest and most concise I have ever read … ‘Does exactly what it says on the tin’ has become rather a cliché, but a ‘brief history’ of the reformation is exactly what Appold provides.” (Evangelical Quarterly, 2 April 2012)
"Historian Appold (Princeton Theological Seminary) offers a clearly written overview of Christianity in the Reformation era that frames 16th-century events as outgrowths of a centuries-old reforming impulse, rather than a sudden religious convulsion. . . The book is unique in providing an extended discussion of the spread of Lutheranism to Scandinavia, filling in a notable gap in many accounts of the Reformation, but this comes at the expense of reforms in the British Isles. . . Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduate collections." (Choice, 1 November 2011)
“Anyone interested in a brief history of Reformation theology would do well to read this book first to review the historical context of the debates surrounding [it] … I was sorry when it came to an end. Fascinated by the brief historical account it offered, I was left wanting more. I highly recommend it.” Theology Today"In clear and lively prose, Appold weaves the threads of a complex theological, economic, cultural, political and institutional story into a coherent narrative. Luther is clearly a central figure in the telling of his tale, but he is firmly located within the deep context of the medieval heritage, and other voices of the sixteenth century—perhaps most notably, the Anabaptists—get an ample and fair hearing as well. This deft, nuanced survey will serve general readers and classroom teachers alike as a reliable introduction to the Reformation era. I recommend it highly."—John D. Roth, Goshen College
"A masterful synthesis of the latest scholarship, this well-written, clearly told account of the Reformation in central and northern continental Europe is both traditional and innovative. Those interested in a scholarly, up-to-date, and fresh study that privileges the perspectives of the Protestant reformers need look no further."—Nelson H. Minnich, The Catholic University of America