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69 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional achievement, January 10, 2012
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This review is from: The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society (Hardcover)
This book is a tour de force by a distinguished historian of the Reformation. The thesis is that many of the significant challenges we face today in terms of politics, culture, economics, and our ability deliberate together reasonably can be traced back to the unintended consequences of the Reformation. This fact is obscured by the assumption among many contemporary historians that we have moved beyond a pre-modern past in ways that mean we no longer need to understand the world of the Middle Ages and Reformation in order to understand ourselves. The book achieves that ambitious goal because the author has mastered an astonishing variety of different approaches to knowing -- history (of course), but also theology, moral and political philosophy, and metaphysics. The erudition and scope of the book is deeply impressive and inspiring. I hope that this work will become for a new generation of grad students what McIntyre's work was for me when I started grad school in the late eighties, or what Millbank's was to many grad students in the last decade -- a book that reorients students away from conventional grad school limitations on what they should learn and how they should learn it. I hope that it will become for everyone an occasion to reflect more deeply on the ways the past has influenced our current situation.
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