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Crisis and Renewal: The Era of the Reformations (Westminster History of Christian Thought) (Westminster Histories of Christian Thought) (The Westminster History of Christian Thought) Paperback – January 27, 2009

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

R. Ward Holder is Associate Professor of Theology at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. He is the author of John Calvin and the Grounding of Biblical Interpretation: Calvin's First Commentaries.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Westminster History of Christian Thought
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox (January 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664229905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664229900
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Bottom line up front: a chronologically accurate, if oversimplified and unbalanced, overview of the Reformation era. At pains to represent itself as "non-confessional", it also injures its subject in its clumsy attempts to "simplify academic jargon". The Kindle edition lacks a functioning TOC in the navigation bar, which greatly hampers usability.

Crisis and Renewal does provide a correct timeline consisting of events that actually happened, but that is about all I can say in its favor. The author claims in the first chapter that: "this volume will attempt to avoid the confessionalism that has marred some of the past efforts to understand the time of reform. It has been rather well documented that one of the most significant keys to reading histories of the Reformation in prior times has been knowing the confessional placement of the author... There were 'good guys' and 'bad guys' for such an approach to the history of the time." Without going a page further, the astute reader will ask why, at the very outset, the author is at such pains to disclaim any confessional affiliation? The answer is that he protests too much: knowing that Professor Holder is a Calvin scholar will give readers from diverse theological traditions a much better understanding of this book, and will bring clarity at the moments when the author skirts dangerously close to some of the more egregious Sunday School romanticisms about the era. I would have given this book a much more favorable review (although I probably would not have read it) if its author had stated forthrightly that it was written from a distinctly Calvinist viewpoint. Its false insistence that it is confessionally unbiased leaves a bad taste.
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By Me on February 2, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Easy read for academic writting
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