On the 500th anniversary of Luther’s theses, a landmark history of the revolutionary faith that shaped the modern world. "Ryrie writes that his aim 'is to persuade you that we cannot understand the modern age without understanding the dynamic history of Protestant Christianity.' To which I reply: Mission accomplished." –Jon Meacham, author of American Lion and Thomas Jefferson Five hundred years ago a stubborn German monk challenged the Pope with a radical vision of what Christianity could be. The revolution he set in motion toppled governments, upended social norms and transformed millions of people's understanding of their relationship with God. In this dazzling history, Alec Ryrie makes the case that we owe many of the rights and freedoms we have cause to take for granted--from free speech to limited government--to our Protestant roots. Fired up by their faith, Protestants have embarked on courageous journeys into the unknown like many rebels and refugees who made their way to our shores. Protestants created America and defined its special brand of entrepreneurial diligence. Some turned to their bibles to justify bold acts of political opposition, others to spurn orthodoxies and insight on their God-given rights. Above all Protestants have fought for their beliefs, establishing a tradition of principled opposition and civil disobedience that is as alive today as it was 500 years ago. In this engrossing and magisterial work, Alec Ryrie makes the case that whether or not you are yourself a Protestant, you live in a world shaped by Protestants.
The Faith That Made the Modern World
Author: Alec Ryrie
On the 500th anniversary of Luther’s rebellion, this spectacular global history traces the revolutionary faith that shaped the modern world.
Author: Alec Ryrie
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
This fast-paced survey of Western civilization’s transition from the Middle Ages to modernity brings that tumultuous period vividly to life. Carlos Eire, popular professor and gifted writer, chronicles the two-hundred-year era of the Renaissance and Reformation with particular attention to issues that persist as concerns in the present day. Eire connects the Protestant and Catholic Reformations in new and profound ways, and he demonstrates convincingly that this crucial turning point in history not only affected people long gone, but continues to shape our world and define who we are today. The book focuses on the vast changes that took place in Western civilization between 1450 and 1650, from Gutenberg’s printing press and the subsequent revolution in the spread of ideas to the close of the Thirty Years’ War. Eire devotes equal attention to the various Protestant traditions and churches as well as to Catholicism, skepticism, and secularism, and he takes into account the expansion of European culture and religion into other lands, particularly the Americas and Asia. He also underscores how changes in religion transformed the Western secular world. A book created with students and nonspecialists in mind, Reformations is an inspiring, provocative volume for any reader who is curious about the role of ideas and beliefs in history.
The Early Modern World, 1450-1650
Author: Carlos M. N. Eire
Publisher: Yale University Press
Covering a vast geographical and chronological span, and bringing new and exciting material to light, The Reformation and the Visual Arts provides a unique overvie of religious images and iconoclasm, starting with the consequences of the Byzantine image controversy and ending with the Eastern Orthodox churches of the nineteenth century. The author argues that the image question played a large role in the divisions within European Protestantism and was intricately connected with the Eucharist controversy. He analyses the positions of the major Protestant reformers - Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and Karlstadt - on the legitimacy of religious paintings and investigates iconoclasm both as a form of religious and political protest and as a complex set of mock-revolutionary rites and denigration rituals. The book also contains new research on relations between Protestant iconoclasm and the extreme icon-worship of the Eastern Orthodox churches, and provides a brief discussion of Eastern protestantizing sects, especially in Russia.
The Protestant Image Question in Western and Eastern Europe
Author: Sergiusz Michalski
The King James Bible has often been called the “Book of Books,” both in itself and in what it stands for. Since its publication in 1611, it has been the best-selling book in the world, and many believe, it has had the greatest impact. The King James Bible has spread the Protestant faith. It has also been the greatest influence on the enrichment of the English language and its literature. It has been the Bible of wars from the British Civil War in the seventeenth century to the American Civil War two centuries later, and it has been carried into battle in innumerable conflicts since then. Its influence on social movements—particularly involving women in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—and politics was profound. It was crucial to the growth of democracy. It was integral to the abolition of slavery, and it defined attitudes to modern science, education, and sex. As Lord Melvyn Bragg’s The Adventure of English explored the history of our language, so The Book of Books reveals the extraordinary and still-felt impact of a work created 400 years ago.
The Radical Impact of the King James Bible 1611-2011
Author: Melvyn Bragg
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
With unflinching gaze and uncompromising intensity Julius Evola analyzes the spiritual and cultural malaise at the heart of Western civilization and all that passes for progress in the modern world. As a gadfly, Evola spares no one and nothing in his survey of what we have lost and where we are headed. At turns prophetic and provocative, Revolt against the Modern World outlines a profound metaphysics of history and demonstrates how and why we have lost contact with the transcendent dimension of being. The revolt advocated by Evola does not resemble the familiar protests of either liberals or conservatives. His criticisms are not limited to exposing the mindless nature of consumerism, the march of progress, the rise of technocracy, or the dominance of unalloyed individualism, although these and other subjects come under his scrutiny. Rather, he attempts to trace in space and time the remote causes and processes that have exercised corrosive influence on what he considers to be the higher values, ideals, beliefs, and codes of conduct--the world of Tradition--that are at the foundation of Western civilization and described in the myths and sacred literature of the Indo‑Europeans. Agreeing with the Hindu philosophers that history is the movement of huge cycles and that we are now in the Kali Yuga, the age of dissolution and decadence, Evola finds revolt to be the only logical response for those who oppose the materialism and ritualized meaninglessness of life in the twentieth century. Through a sweeping study of the structures, myths, beliefs, and spiritual traditions of the major Western civilizations, the author compares the characteristics of the modern world with those of traditional societies. The domains explored include politics, law, the rise and fall of empires, the history of the Church, the doctrine of the two natures, life and death, social institutions and the caste system, the limits of racial theories, capitalism and communism, relations between the sexes, and the meaning of warriorhood. At every turn Evola challenges the reader’s most cherished assumptions about fundamental aspects of modern life. A controversial scholar, philosopher, and social thinker, JULIUS EVOLA (1898-1974) has only recently become known to more than a handful of English‑speaking readers. An authority on the world’s esoteric traditions, Evola wrote extensively on ancient civilizations and the world of Tradition in both East and West. Other books by Evola published by Inner Traditions include Eros and the Mysteries of Love, The Yoga of Power, The Hermetic Tradition, and The Doctrine of Awakening.
Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga
Author: Julius Evola
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
Published to mark the 500th anniversary of the events of 1517, Reformation Divided explores the impact in England of the cataclysmic transformations of European Christianity in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The religious revolution initiated by Martin Luther is usually referred to as 'The Reformation', a tendentious description implying that the shattering of the medieval religious foundations of Europe was a single process, in which a defective form of Christianity was replaced by one that was unequivocally benign, 'the midwife of the modern world'. The book challenges these assumptions by tracing the ways in which the project of reforming Christendom from within, initiated by Christian 'humanists' like Erasmus and Thomas More, broke apart into conflicting and often murderous energies and ideologies, dividing not only Catholic from Protestant, but creating deep internal rifts within all the churches which emerged from Europe's religious conflicts. The book is in three parts: In 'Thomas More and Heresy', Duffy examines how and why England's greatest humanist apparently abandoned the tolerant humanism of his youthful masterpiece Utopia, and became the bitterest opponent of the early Protestant movement. 'Counter-Reformation England' explores the ways in which post-Reformation English Catholics accommodated themselves to a complex new identity as persecuted religious dissidents within their own country, but in a European context, active participants in the global renewal of the Catholic Church. The book's final section 'The Godly and the Conversion of England' considers the ideals and difficulties of radical reformers attempting to transform the conventional Protestantism of post-Reformation England into something more ardent and committed. In addressing these subjects, Duffy shines new light on the fratricidal ideological conflicts which lasted for more than a century, and whose legacy continues to shape the modern world.
Catholics, Protestants and the Conversion of England
Author: Eamon Duffy
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
This unconventional cultural history explores the lifecycle of the radical historical Jesus, a construct created by the freethinkers, feminists, socialists and anarchists who used the findings of biblical criticism to mount a serious challenge to the authority of elite liberal divines during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
Author: David Burns
Publisher: Oxford University Press
British politician Daniel Hannan's Inventing Freedom is an ambitious account of the historical origin and spread of the principles that have made America great, and their role in creating a sphere of economic and political liberty that is as crucial as it is imperiled. According to Hannan, the ideas and institutions we consider essential to maintaining and preserving our freedoms—individual rights, private property, the rule of law, and the institutions of representative government—are the legacy of a very specific tradition that was born in England and that we Americans, along with other former British colonies, inherited. By the tenth century, England was a nation-state whose people were already starting to define themselves with reference to inherited common-law rights. The story of liberty is the story of how that model triumphed. How it was enshrined in a series of landmark victories—the Magna Carta, the English Civil War, the Glorious Revolution, the U.S. Constitution—and how it came to defeat every international rival. Today we see those ideas abandoned and scorned in the places where they once went unchallenged. Inventing Freedom is a chronicle of the success of Anglosphere exceptionalism. And it is offered at a time that may turn out to be the end of the age of political freedom.
How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World
Author: Daniel Hannan
Publisher: Harper Collins
Category: Political Science
The story of Catholicism in Britain from the Reformation to the present day, from a master of popular history – 'A first-class storyteller' The Times Throughout the three hundred years that followed the Act of Supremacy – which, by making Henry VIII head of the Church, confirmed in law the breach with Rome – English Catholics were prosecuted, persecuted and penalised for the public expression of their faith. Even after the passing of the emancipation acts Catholics were still the victims of institutionalised discrimination. The first book to tell the story of the Catholics in Britain in a single volume, The Catholics includes much previously unpublished information. It focuses on the lives, and sometimes deaths, of individual Catholics – martyrs and apostates, priests and laymen, converts and recusants. It tells the story of the men and women who faced the dangers and difficulties of being what their enemies still call ‘Papists’. It describes the laws which circumscribed their lives, the political tensions which influenced their position within an essentially Anglican nation and the changes in dogma and liturgy by which Rome increasingly alienated their Protestant neighbours – and sometime even tested the loyalty of faithful Catholics. The survival of Catholicism in Britain is the triumph of more than simple faith. It is the victory of moral and spiritual unbending certainty. Catholicism survives because it does not compromise. It is a characteristic that excites admiration in even a hardened atheist.
The Church and its People in Britain and Ireland, from the Reformation to the Present Day
Author: Roy Hattersley
Publisher: Random House
The History and Character of Radical Protestantism
Author: Donald F. Durnbaugh
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
We live in a profoundly spiritual age, but not in any good way. Huge swaths of American culture are driven by manic spiritual anxiety and relentless supernatural worry. Radicals and traditionalists, liberals and conservatives, together with politicians, artists, environmentalists, followers of food fads, and the chattering classes of television commentators: America is filled with people frantically seeking confirmation of their own essential goodness. We are a nation desperate to stand of the side of morality--to know that we are righteous and dwell in the light. In An Anxious Age, Joseph Bottum offers an account of modern America, presented as a morality tale formed by a collision of spiritual disturbances. And the cause, he claims, is the most significant and least noticed historical fact of the last fifty years: the collapse of the mainline Protestant churches that were the source of social consensus and cultural unity. Our dangerous spiritual anxieties, broken loose from the churches that once contained them, now madden everything in American life. Updating The Protestant Ethic and the Sprit of Capitalism, Max Weber's sociological classic, An Anxious Age undertakes two case studies of contemporary social classes adrift in a nation without the religious understandings that gave them meaning. Looking at the college-educated elite he calls "the Poster Children," Bottum sees the post-Protestant heirs of the old mainline Protestant domination of culture: dutiful descendants who claim the high social position of their Christian ancestors even while they reject their ancestors' Christianity. Turning to the Swallows of Capistrano, the Catholics formed by the pontificate of John Paul II, Bottum evaluates the early victories--and later defeats--of the attempt to substitute Catholicism for the dying mainline voice in public life. Sweeping across American intellectual and cultural history, An Anxious Age traces the course of national religion and warns about the strange angels and even stranger demons with which we now wrestle. Insightful and contrarian, wise and unexpected, An Anxious Age ranks among the great modern accounts of American culture. From the Hardcover edition.
The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America
Author: Joseph Bottum
Against the Modern World is the first history of Traditionalism, an important yet surprisingly little-known twentieth-century anti-modern movement. Comprising a number of often secret but sometimes very influential religious groups in the West and in the Islamic world, it affected mainstream and radical politics in Europe and the development of the field of religious studies in the United States, touching the lives of many individuals. French writer Rene Guenon rejected modernity as a dark age and sought to reconstruct the Perennial Philosophy - the central truths behind all the major world religions. Guenon stressed the urgent need for the West's remaining spiritual and intellectual elite to find personal and collective salvation in the surviving vestiges of ancient religious traditions. A number of disenchanted intellectuals responded to his call. In Europe, America, and the Islamic world, Traditionalists founded institutes, Sufi brotherhoods, Masonic lodges, and secret societies. Some attempted unsuccessfully to guide Fascism and Nazism along Traditionalist lines; others later participated in political terror in Italy. Traditionalist ideas were the ideological cement for the alliance of anti-democratic forces in post-Soviet Russia, and in the Islamic world entered the debate about the relationship between Islam and modernity. Although its appeal in the West was ultimately limited, Traditionalism has wielded enormous influence in religious studies, through the work of such Traditionalists as Ananda Coomaraswamy, Huston Smith, Mircea Eliade, and Seyyed Hossein Nasr.
Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century
Author: Mark Sedgwick
Publisher: Oxford University Press
A stunningly insightful account of the global political and economic system, sustained first by Britain and now by America, that has created the modern world. The key to the two countries' predominance, Mead argues, lies in the individualistic ideology inherent in the Anglo-American religion. Over the years Britain and America's liberal democratic system has been repeatedly challeged—by Catholic Spain and Louis XIV, the Nazis, communists, and Al Qaeda—and for the most part, it has prevailed. But the current conflicts in the Middle East threaten to change that record unless we foster a deeper understanding of the conflicts between the liberal world system and its foes. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World
Author: Walter Russell Mead
Category: Business & Economics
When Martin Luther published his 95 Theses in October 1517, he had no intention of starting a revolution. But very quickly his criticism of indulgences became a rejection of the papacy and the Catholic Church emphasizing the Bible as the sole authority for Christian faith, radicalizing a continent, fracturing the Holy Roman Empire, and dividing Western civilization in ways Luther—a deeply devout professor and spiritually-anxious Augustinian friar—could have never foreseen, nor would he have ever endorsed. From Germany to England, Luther’s ideas inspired spontaneous but sustained uprisings and insurrections against civic and religious leaders alike, pitted Catholics against Protestants, and because the Reformation movement extended far beyond the man who inspired it, Protestants against Protestants. The ensuing disruptions prompted responses that gave shape to the modern world, and the unintended and unanticipated consequences of the Reformation continue to influence the very communities, religions, and beliefs that surround us today. How Luther inadvertently fractured the Catholic Church and reconfigured Western civilization is at the heart of renowned historian Brad Gregory’s Rebel in the Ranks. While recasting the portrait of Luther as a deliberate revolutionary, Gregory describes the cultural, political, and intellectual trends that informed him and helped give rise to the Reformation, which led to conflicting interpretations of the Bible, as well as the rise of competing churches, political conflicts, and social upheavals across Europe. Over the next five hundred years, as Gregory’s account shows, these conflicts eventually contributed to further epochal changes—from the Enlightenment and self-determination to moral relativism, modern capitalism, and consumerism, and in a cruel twist to Luther’s legacy, the freedom of every man and woman to practice no religion at all. With the scholarship of a world-class historian and the keen eye of a biographer, Gregory offers readers an in-depth portrait of Martin Luther, a reluctant rebel in the ranks, and a detailed examination of the Reformation to explain how the events that transpired five centuries ago still resonate—and influence us—today.
Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the Conflicts That Continue to Shape Our World
Author: Brad S. Gregory
A New Interpretation of Protestantism and Its Impact on the World The radical idea that individuals could interpret the Bible for themselves spawned a revolution that is still being played out on the world stage today. This innovation lies at the heart of Protestantism's remarkable instability and adaptability. World-renowned scholar Alister McGrath sheds new light on the fascinating figures and movements that continue to inspire debate and division across the full spectrum of Protestant churches and communities worldwide.
The Protestant Revolution--A History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-First
Author: Alister McGrath
Publisher: Harper Collins
The early twentieth century saw the transformation of the southern Irish Protestants from a once strong people into an isolated, pacified community. Their influence, status and numbers had all but disappeared by the end of the civil war in 1923 and they were to form a quiescent minority up to modern times. This book tells the tale of this transformation and their forced adaptation, exploring the lasting effect that it had on both the Protestant community and the wider Irish society and investigating how Protestants in southern Ireland view their place in the Republic today.
The Protestants of Southern Ireland
Author: Robin Bury
Publisher: The History Press
The transatlantic story of six radical pioneers at the turn of the twentieth century Rebel Crossings relates the interweaving lives of four women and two men as they journey from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, from Britain to America, and from Old World conventions toward New World utopias. Radicalised by the rise of socialism, Helena Born, Miriam Daniell, Gertrude Dix, Robert Nicol and William Bailie cross the Atlantic dreaming of liberty and equality. The hope for a new age is captured in the name Miriam and Robert give their love child, born shortly after their arrival: Sunrise. A young Bostonian, Helen Tufts learns of Miriam’s defiant spirit through her close friendship with Helena; the love she feels for Helena and later for William fundamentally alters her life. All six are part of a wider historical search for self-fulfillment and an alternative to a cruelly competitive capitalism. In articles, poems and allegories Helena, Helen and Miriam resist the cultural constraints women face, while female characters in Gertrude’s novels struggle to combine personal happiness with radical social commitment. William campaigns against class inequality as a socialist and an anarchist while longing to read and study. Robert, the former union militant, becomes preoccupied with personal growth and mystical enlightenment in the wilds of California. Rebel Crossings offers fascinating perspectives on the historical interaction of feminism, socialism, and anarchism and on the incipient consciousness of a new sense of self, so vital for women seeking emancipation. These six lives bring fresh slants on political and cultural movements and upon influential individuals like Walt Whitman, Eleanor Marx, William Morris, Edward Carpenter, Patrick Geddes and Benjamin Tucker. It is a work of significant originality by one of our leading feminist historians and speaks to the dilemmas of our own time.
New Women, Free Lovers, and Radicals in Britain and the United States
Author: Sheila Rowbotham
Publisher: Verso Books
Category: Social Science
They sought to transform the world, and ended up transforming twentieth-century America Between the 1890s and the Vietnam era, many thousands of American Protestant missionaries were sent to live throughout the non-European world. They expected to change the people they encountered, but those foreign people ended up transforming the missionaries. Their experience abroad made many of these missionaries and their children critical of racism, imperialism, and religious orthodoxy. When they returned home, they brought new liberal values back to their own society. Protestants Abroad reveals the untold story of how these missionary-connected individuals left an enduring mark on American public life as writers, diplomats, academics, church officials, publishers, foundation executives, and social activists. David A. Hollinger provides riveting portraits of such figures as Pearl Buck, John Hersey, and Life and Time publisher Henry Luce, former "mish kids" who strove through literature and journalism to convince white Americans of the humanity of other peoples. Hollinger describes how the U.S. government's need for citizens with language skills and direct experience in Asian societies catapulted dozens of missionary-connected individuals into prominent roles in intelligence and diplomacy. Meanwhile, Edwin Reischauer and other scholars with missionary backgrounds led the growth of Foreign Area Studies in universities during the Cold War. The missionary contingent advocated multiculturalism and anticolonialism, pushed their churches in ecumenical and social-activist directions, and joined with Jewish intellectuals to challenge traditional Protestant cultural hegemony and promote a pluralist vision of American life. Missionary cosmopolitans were the Anglo-Protestant counterparts of the New York Jewish intelligentsia of the same era. Protestants Abroad reveals the crucial role that missionary-connected American Protestants played in the development of modern American liberalism, and how they helped other Americans reimagine their nation's place in the world.
How Missionaries Tried to Change the World but Changed America
Author: David A. Hollinger
Publisher: Princeton University Press