The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century

The Reformation of the sixteenth century was a movement which divided Christendom, destroyed the old medieval conception of society and laid the foundations of modern Europe. This book tells the story of that shattering upheaval in a unique way, by means of extracts from a large variety of contemporary writings – memoirs and diaries, songs and prayers, laws and reports, trials and confessions.

It begins with some of the weaknesses within the Medieval Church which prepared the way for the disaster it suffered. It tells of the two main branches of Protestantism on the Continent – Lutheranism and Calvinism – which were both deeply indebted to the personal experiences and beliefs of their founders and grew in different ways, and also of the Counter-reformation which halted the spread of the new ideas.

finally, a large part of the book is devoted to the English Reformation, which was inspired by events from abroad and yet contributed its own principles and developments to bring about one of the greatest revolutions in the country’s history, one which did much to produce present-day English society.

  1. Before the Reformation
  2. Luther: The Pope Defied
  3. Luther: The New Church Established
  4. Calvinism in Switzerland
  5. Calvinism in France and the Netherlands
  6. The Counter-Reformation
  7. England: The Beginnings of Protestantism
  8. England: The Henrician Reformation
  9. England: Protestantism, Reaction and Puritanism