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The Reformation Experience
Living Through the Turbulent 16th Century
by Eric Ives
Published:12 December 2012
An engrossing account of the Reformation, debunking the idea that it was all brought about by Martin Luther’s enlightenment in Europe and Henry VIII’s marital woes in England. Eric Ives explains how an accurate vernacular translation of the Scriptures led to widespread debate about faith and good works, indulgences, predestination and the nature of the Eucharist – and was fought every step of the way by the established church. Beginning with a description of the pre-Reformation status quo, we are shown the unfolding panorama of Christian belief against a backdrop of politics, power-broking, coercion and mixed motives. The influence of Henry and his wives and how the ‘fault line’ between Protestant and Roman Catholic thought came about is explored, along with the deadly denominational ping-pong that occurred as first one and then another of his children assumed the throne. The penalty for having the wrong convictions at the wrong time was, of course, death by burning, and we owe much of our present-day freedom of conscience to the courage of martyrs. Thoroughly recommended for anyone with an interest in the making of history and how it still shapes us hundreds of years later.
Reviewer: Diane Morrison (26/07/12)