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."
Subjects: History, Religion
You do not have access to this book on JSTOR. Try logging in through your institution for access.
Log in to your personal account or through your institution.
Table of Contents
Export Selected Citations
Export to NoodleTools
Export to RefWorks
Export to EasyBib
Export a RIS file
(For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...)
Export a Text file