This book is acclaimed by reviewers to be the definitive account of one of the most dramatic upheavals in Christian European history. Not since the division of Christianity into the Latin and Greek halves a thousand years earlier, had such fault lines appeared in Christianity. To understand modern-day Europe, one has to understand the 16th century upheavals occurring within and against Latin Christianity (tied to Southern Europe). Drawing together the many strands of the Reformation (and Counter-Reformation), and ranging widely across Europe, the author reveals as never before how these dramatic upheavals affected everyday lives--overturning ideas of love, sex, death, and the supernatural, and shaping the modern age.
Some of the central issues championed by competing groups of reformers ranged from the role and authority of religious leaders, to beliefs about the Eucharist and baptism, and the use of the Bible in church. (includes 24-page photo insert)
"This isn't merely `a history' of the Reformation, but rather `the history.'" -Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
"A lasting work [and] one of the most magisterial and stylishly written historical works to be published in a decade." -The Atlantic Monthly.