The Age of Reformation
Publication Year: 2055
In The Age of Reformation, first published in 1955, E. Harris Harbison shows why sixteenth-century Europe was ripe for a catharsis. New political and social factors were at work-the growth of the middle classes, the monetary inflation resulting from an influx of gold from the New World, the invention of printing, the trend toward centralization of political power. Against these developments, Harbison places the church, nearly bankrupt because of the expense of defending the papal states, supporting an elaborate administrative organization and luxurious court, and financing the crusades. The Reformation, as he shows, was the result of "a long, slow shifting of social conditions and human values to which the church was not responding readily enough. The sheer inertia of an enormous and complex organization, the drag of powerful vested interests, the helplessness of individuals with intelligent schemes of reform-this is what strikes the historian in studying the church of the later Middle Ages."
Martin Luther, a devout and forceful monk, sought only to cleanse the church of its abuses and return to the spiritual guidance of the Scriptures. But, as it turned out, western Christendom split into two camps-a division as stirring, as fearful, as portentous to the sixteenth-century world as any in Europe's history. Offering an engaging and accessible introductory history of the Reformation, Harbison focuses on the age's key individuals, institutions, and ideas while at the same time addressing the slower, less obvious tides of social and political change. A classic and long out-of-print synthesis of earlier generations of historical scholarship on the Reformation told with clarity and drama, this book concisely traces the outlines, interlocked and interwoven as they were, of the various phases that comprised the "Age of Reformation."
Published by: Cornell University Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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Foreword, by Edward Whiting Fox
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...carefully and in more detail if it is to contribute effectively not have more time to invest in this part ·of their education. into rival sects, has become a field of history in itself. More tory in its effort to demonstrate that ideals and guiding prinfateful aspects, but that it should trace, in a single brief pat...
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...of all these factors in the history of the sixteenth century, the ...
I. The European World about 1500
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...half France's sixteen (the figures are, of course, very rough). regions, relatively far removed in either a material or spiritual leons, built for the Atlantic and relying exclusively on sails, its base into a rural middle class of gentry, whose titles were worse still, of sickness unrelieved by anything but the crudest ...
II. The Religious Upheaval
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...difficult as it is-to sketch briefly the inner struggles of this the rest might be left to God (as his spiritual advisers urged). and "The just shall live by faith." I began to :understand that man lives through the free gift of God, that is to say "by faith." 1 Preface to Luther's Collected Works 1545, trans. by E. Harris ...
III. The Struggle for Power
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...confusion of social, political, and ideological elements in its to have closed the iron ring about his life.;.long enemy France gious settlement at least laid the basis for realization of this filled. The nation in effect used its treasure to pay its armies Merriman, Rise of the Spanish Empire (New York, 1925), III, 49-50. ...
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Suggestions for Further Reading
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...et Civilisations series are particularly good: Henri Hauser and (Das Zeitalter der religiiisen Umwalzung, Berlin, 1930) and has mediterraneen a Npoque de Philippe II (Paris, 1949) is a splendid synthesis of the geographical, economic, and political aspects Liberty (Philadelphia, 1951), is a good introduction to several ...
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Page Count: 160
Publication Year: 2055
Series Title: The Development of Western Civilization