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All Things Made New: The Reformation and Its Legacy (2016)

af Diarmaid MacCulloch

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2043135,420 (4.15)2
The most profound characteristic of Western Europe in the Middle Ages was its cultural and religious unity, a unity secured by a common alignment with the Pope in Rome, and a common language--Latin--for worship and scholarship. The Reformation shattered that unity, and the consequences are still with us today. In this book, historian Diarmaid MacCulloch examines not only the Reformation's impact across Europe, but also the Catholic Counter-Reformation and the special evolution of religion in England, revealing how one of the most turbulent, bloody, and transformational events in Western history has shaped modern society. The Reformation may have launched a social revolution, MacCulloch argues, but it was not caused by social and economic forces, or even by a secular idea like nationalism; it sprang from a big idea about death, salvation, and the afterlife. This idea--that salvation was entirely in God's hands and there was nothing humans could do to alter his decision--ended the Catholic Church's monopoly in Europe and altered the trajectory of the entire future of the West. By turns passionate, funny, meditative, and subversive, All Things Made New takes readers onto fascinating new ground, exploring the original conflicts of the Reformation and cutting through prejudices that continue to distort popular conceptions of a religious divide still with us after five centuries. This monumental work, from one of the most distinguished scholars of Christianity writing today, explores the ways in which historians have told the tale of the Reformation, why their interpretations have changed so dramatically over time, and ultimately, how the contested legacy of this revolution continues to impact the world today.--From dust jacket.… (mere)
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https://fromtheheartofeurope.eu/all-things-made-new-by-diarmaid-macculloch/

I hugely enjoyed MacCulloch’s massive History of Christianity when I read it in 2012; this is a shorter collection of essays on different aspects of the Reformation. I found most of it very interesting, though I must admit I had not heard of Richard Hooker and am little the wiser now. But in general, it’s a set of please for English Reformation history to be understood as a specifically English historical experience, but also one that was linked to developments on the European continent and which also had reverberations in America. (I wish there had been more on Scotland and Ireland, or indeed Wales, but this is a collection of pieces mainly published elsewhere so it’s unreasonable to expect global coverage.)

MacCulloch comes back to the question of English religious texts several times, and explains why on the one hand the King James Version (and he unpacks that name) is used for most of the Anglican services, but on the other the Psalms are generally Myles Coverdale’s version. There’s also an interesting short piece on the Bay Psalm Book, the first book in English known to have been published in America (in Boston, in 1640). I like that sort of thing myself, though of course we have to be aware that we tend to focus on the artefacts that survive from history which can lead to a lack of perspective on less tangible things. ( )
  nwhyte | Jan 7, 2024 |
An interesting collection of essays on the Reformation, with a primary focus on England. They vary widely in length, focus, and tone. I found it fascinating to see what a top-notch historian thinks of the debates that shaped and continue to shape our prayer and worship. ( )
  poirotketchup | Mar 18, 2021 |
religion, Christianity, Reformation
  James.Larry.Deaton | Sep 4, 2019 |
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The most profound characteristic of Western Europe in the Middle Ages was its cultural and religious unity, a unity secured by a common alignment with the Pope in Rome, and a common language--Latin--for worship and scholarship. The Reformation shattered that unity, and the consequences are still with us today. In this book, historian Diarmaid MacCulloch examines not only the Reformation's impact across Europe, but also the Catholic Counter-Reformation and the special evolution of religion in England, revealing how one of the most turbulent, bloody, and transformational events in Western history has shaped modern society. The Reformation may have launched a social revolution, MacCulloch argues, but it was not caused by social and economic forces, or even by a secular idea like nationalism; it sprang from a big idea about death, salvation, and the afterlife. This idea--that salvation was entirely in God's hands and there was nothing humans could do to alter his decision--ended the Catholic Church's monopoly in Europe and altered the trajectory of the entire future of the West. By turns passionate, funny, meditative, and subversive, All Things Made New takes readers onto fascinating new ground, exploring the original conflicts of the Reformation and cutting through prejudices that continue to distort popular conceptions of a religious divide still with us after five centuries. This monumental work, from one of the most distinguished scholars of Christianity writing today, explores the ways in which historians have told the tale of the Reformation, why their interpretations have changed so dramatically over time, and ultimately, how the contested legacy of this revolution continues to impact the world today.--From dust jacket.

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