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The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology (Cambridge Companions to Religion)

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521776622
ISBN-10: 0521776627
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Editorial Reviews


"Like other books in the "Cambridge Companion" series, this is a compendium of brief essays; written by noted scholars of Reformation theology, they examine the thought of major figures and movements...a superb resource for college classes on the Reformation."

"This is an excellent volume and commendable for several reasons. First, the contributors are of the highest quality. Secondly, the choice of topics of intelligent.... A further commendatory attribute is the fine introductory and concluding remarks which precede and follow these contributions.... All in all ... this volume is a treasure, and very much worth commending to any wishing to find a well-written, intelligent, and informative overview of Reformation theology."
Sixteenth Century Journal

"Bagchi explores three phases of activity--polemical, politcal, and propagandistic--and then provides a discussion of nine important topics that is unique in English and, as such, an invaluable resource." - John M. Frymire, University of Missouri

"...Overall, it is an accomplishment in intellectual history. Not only will the reader acquire a great store of information, s/he will likely be stimulated to pursue additional reading on the thoughtbof the reformation. The editors encourage that pursuit in their concluding section, where they sketch out new sources for and fresh inquiries about Reformation thought....It is easy to be enthusiastic about this book. It is informative, contemporary, accessible to the ordinary reader, and about the ideal length. It concludes while the reader is still interested in the topic and anxious for pointers toward other sources in the field. It demonstrates that specialists can communicate with common readers and instill in them the passion of the scholars' pursuit of knowledge that matters. And all this comes at a price an ordinary person can afford!"
--Luke L. Keefer, Jr., Ashland Theological Journal

Book Description

The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology is a comprehensive guide to the theology and theologians of the Reformation period. Each chapter provides an up-to-date account and analysis of the thought associated with a major figure or movement and includes focus on lesser reformers such as Martin Bucer, and on the Catholic and Radical Reformations, as well as the major protestant reformers. This is an authoritative and accessible guide written by leading scholars and will appeal to students of history and literature as well as specialist theologians.

Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Companions to Religion
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (December 20, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521776627
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521776622
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #855,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jan Peczkis on April 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
Although the Reformation is often thought of in terms of Luther and Calvin, it was much broader than that. There were many reformers in many European lands at the time, and this book discusses quite a few of them. However, a major shortcoming of this book is its failure to do more than briefly mention Jan Laski, a Polish Reformer. Although this book focuses on the Reformation, it also discusses the Roman Catholic response to the Reformation, and not only in terms of the Council of Trent.

Even though Luther's initial conflict with the Catholic Church is often framed in terms of the manner of salvation of a Christian, this book argues that the actual conflict was primarily in terms of church authority. Otherwise, the Catholic-Protestant conflict is often seen in terms of the former promoting the authority of Tradition, and the latter promoting the authority of Scripture. But it was not as simple as that. There were some Catholic counter-reformers who sought to refute Protestant claims solely from Scripture. Conversely, some Protestant polemicists argued that the teachings of the post-apostolic Christian church (e. g., the Church fathers) actually reinforced and supported Protestant theological views. Soon, Protestants and Catholics each claimed to own the teachings of the primitive Christian church, and to accuse its opponents of heretical innovation.

Each sided often misrepresented the others' teachings. For example, Luther's teaching of "faith alone" for salvation was misrepresented as teaching that a Christian can live any way he wants. In actuality, Luther stressed good works, but as an outcome, not condition, for salvation. Conversely, the Catholic Mass was misrepresented as re-crucifying Christ every time it was offered. In fact, it did and does no such thing.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By L. Wolf on February 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is hard to review. It contains much that is good, but it also contains much that is bad. First, the good. The book has eighteen chapters, and sixteen of these are dedicated to particular theologians or theological movements. Three of these chapters discuss Catholic theology - there is a chapter on late medieval Catholic theology, a chapter on pre-Tridentine Catholic theology in the period after Luther, and a chapter on the Council of Trent. There are chapters on Lollardy, Hussitism, and Erasmus. And, of course, there are many chapters on theologians and theological movements of the Protestant Reformation. The majority of these chapters focus on the Lutheran and Reformed traditions - there are individual chapters on Luther, Melanchthon, Confessional Lutheranism, Zwingli, Bucer, Calvin, the Scottish Reformation, and Protestant Orthodoxy. There is one chapter on the Anabaptist movement. And, though there are chapters on Cranmer and the English Reformers, any reader who hopes to learn about Anglicanism will be disappointed. More on that later. The book is rounded out by an introductory chapter on the Reformation and a concluding chapter that discusses the future of scholarship on Reformation theology.

For the most part, these chapters are packed with useful information about Reformation theology, and some of them are exceptional. The chapters on Luther, Zwingli, Bucer, Calvin, Protestant Orthodoxy, and the Scottish Reformation are perhaps the best, and I would strongly recommend them to others. In particular, the chapters on Calvin and Protestant Orthodoxy correct many common misunderstandings of the Reformed tradition, and they also provide some great insights into the nature of that tradition.
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By Danny Vaden on August 21, 2014
Format: Paperback
Very interesting book.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ben J. Welch III on August 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Currently using it to teach early Christian theology at my church. This book helps to educate parishoners who are ignorant about their Christian history.
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