Always Reforming: A History of Christianity Since 1300

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Mercer University Press, 2001 - Religion - 375 pages
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One of the most important slogans of the Protestant Reformation was the Latin phrase Ecclesia semper reformanda -- "the Church is always reforming". This theological principle, so central to the work of the Reformers, is the unifying theme of Craig D. Atwood's history of Christianity in the modern era.

Surveying Christianity's development over the past seven hundred years, Atwood tells the story of the demise of a unified Christendom in the face of change and division. In highly readable prose, the author spotlights Christian thinkers' repeated efforts to reform the church, as well as the divisions and frequent warfare sparked by these efforts.

The idea of reforming the church has a two-fold thrust. It means rectifying abuses or errors in the institutional church and bringing the church back into line with its original purpose. As Atwood unfolds the story, each century brought more splintering of the institutional church and more diversity within the various denominations. Reforming the church also meant reshaping the Christian religion itself to meet the demands and challenges of a new day. Christianity had to adapt or become a relic of a bygone era. For the modern period in particular, Christianity has been continually reforming and adapting to new social situations. In the process, thousands of different Christian churches have developed. Always Reforming explains the origins and development of a bewildering array of churches that have arisen since Martin Luther's reformation first tore the "seamless robe of Christ".

Arising out of the author's college teaching of modern Western religious history, the book gives special attention to women and other long-silenced voices in thehistory of Christianity. It is a vivid narrative of men and women of faith who have tried to make sense of the Christian gospel in a complex and ever-changing world.

  

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Contents

13001500
5
The Character of the Medieval Church
7
The Fourteenth Century Papacy
16
The Modern Way in Theology
27
Mysticism and Piety in the Late Middle Ages
32
Radical Reformers
42
Christianity in the East
56
The Spanish Reformation
62
Creating a Christian Society in the Old World and the New
161
The Enlightenment
175
Religion of the Heart
197
Methodism and the Great Awakening
215
The Nineteenth Century
229
Catholicism Eastern Orthodoxy and Nationalism
231
NineteenthCentury American Evangelicalism
242
Liberalism
254

Renaissance Humanism
68
The Protestant Reformation
79
The Reformation in Germany
81
The Swiss Reformation
92
The Radical Reformation
104
The Spread of the Reformation and the Wars of Religion
113
The Reformation in England
124
The Catholic and CounterReformations
143
The Final Wars of Religion
153
Religion of the Heart in the Age of Reason
159
New Sects and Secularism
269
Missions to the World
280
The Twentieth Century
299
Christianity and Two World Wars
301
Modernism Ecumenism and Fundamentalism
315
Vatican II and the Modern Catholic Church 338
350
Suggested Readings
355
Index
363
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Mercer University Press: Always Reforming
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Also atwoodcd@wfu.edu

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