Reformation Myths: Five Centuries Of Misconceptions And (Some) Misfortunes

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SPCK, Aug 17, 2017 - Religion - 160 pages

What has the Reformation ever done for us?

A lot less than you might think, as Rodney Stark shows in this enlightening and entertaining antidote to recent books about the rise of Protestantism and its legacy.

‘Rodney Stark takes no prisoners as he charges through five hundred years of history, upsetting apple carts left and right. Almost everything you thought you knew about the Reformation turns out to be a false narrative. . . In future, anyone who makes sweeping claims about the benefits of Protestantism ought to check their assumptions against Stark’s research first.’ Clifford Longley, author and journalist

‘Stark brings the insights of a distinguished sociologist of religion to bear on a range of inherited assumptions about the impact of the Reformation . . . The result makes for salutary reading in this year of commemoration and (not always justified) celebration.’ Peter Marshall, Professor of History, University of Warwick

‘Stark changed the way we think about the early Church and this book may change the way you think about Protestantism . . . Reformation Myths cuts through pious certainties and challenges us to think again about our cultural history.’ Linda Woodhead MBE DD, Professor of Sociology of Religion, Lancaster University

 

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Contents

the mythical Protestant
The myths of full pews pious kings and limited monarchies
The misfortune of state churches forced piety and bigotry
The misfortune of nationalistic states
The myth of the Protestant Ethic
The myth of the Protestant scientific revolution
The myth of Protestant individualism and suicide
The myth of Protestant secularization
The myth of harmful Protestant effects on the Catholic Church
prejudice and persistence
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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About the author (2017)

Rodney Stark is Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences and Co-Director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University, Texas. He is also Honorary Professor of Sociology at Peking University in Beijing, China. His bestselling book, The Rise of Christianity, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and three of his other books have received prestigious book awards.

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