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The Church in the Early Modern Age

The Church in the Early Modern Age
C. Scott Dixon

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The years 1450-1650 were a momentous period for the development of Christianity. They witnessed the age of Reformation and Counter-Reformation: perhaps the most important era for the shaping of the faith since its foundation. C Scott Dixon explores how the ideas that went into the making of early modern Christianity re-oriented the Church to such an extent that they gave rise to new versions of the religion. He shows how the varieties and ambivalences of late medieval theology were now replaced by dogmatic certainties, where the institutions of Christian churches became more effective and 'modern', staffed by well-trained clergy. Tracing these changes from the fall of Constantinople to the end of the Thirty Years' War, and treating the High Renaissance and the Reformation as part of the same overall narrative, the author offers an integrated approach to widely different national, social and cultural histories. Moving beyond Protestant and Catholic conflicts, he contrasts Western Christianity with Eastern Orthodoxy, and examines the Church's response to fears of Ottoman domination.

Author Info

C Scott Dixon is Senior Lecturer in History at Queen s University, Belfast. His previous books include The Reformation and Rural Society; The Reformation in Germany (with R W Scribner); Protestants: A History from Wittenburg to Pennsylvania, 1517-1740; and Contesting the Reformation."


‘Scott Dixon's work on early modern religion is never less than humane, scholarly and elegant. This highly readable work is all those things, and besides demonstrates a remarkably broad field of view, unusual in books of this kind, and a great gift for the telling anecdote and the illuminating vignette.’
Euan K Cameron, Henry Luce III Professor of Reformation Church History, Union Theological Seminary, New York, author of The European Reformation and Early Modern Europe: An Oxford History

‘Scott Dixon paints on a broad canvas, moving far beyond the customary constraints of a history of early modern religion. The deft touch that he has previously brought to studies of Protestantism and the German Reformation is here applied to a thoughtful and profound consideration of the religions of Christendom in an age when their influence became global. Judicious, evocative and elegant, this text should become a standard resource for all those interested in these extraordinary events and their consequences.’
Andrew Pettegree, Professor of History, University of St Andrews, author of The Reformation World, Europe in the Sixteenth Century, Reformation and the Culture of Persuasion and Brand Luther

‘Scott Dixon is Britain’s leading scholar of the German Reformation. In his new book he retells the familiar stories with shrewd insight – but there is a great deal more to the volume than discriminating recapitulation. The author has a keen eye for human drama, and for the telling and unusual detail; more importantly, he manages to show how these great events were understood in their own times by people who did not know what was coming next. He has a perceptive awareness of the textures of early modern life and how these affected religious change. He also gives full attention to those parts of the story normally dismissed as peripheral, and is as sure-footed when discussing the Orthodox patriarch who flirted with Calvinism, or the liturgical culture of Ethiopian Christianity, as he is in assessing the significance of Martin Luther. This is one of the best volumes in the fine I.B.Tauris History of the Christian Church series.’
Alec Ryrie, Professor of the History of Christianity, Durham University

'This promises to be an impressive and valuable series.'
Stewart J. Brown, FRSE, Professor of Ecclesiastical History, University of Edinburgh

'A series such as this is hugely welcome. Its emphasis on the history of ideas, and on the global – not just European – experience of Christianity and its manifestations of church, will be valued by students, scholars and general readers alike. The I.B.Tauris History of the Christian Church brings ecclesiastical history into a new era, for a new generation.'
Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church, University of Oxford

'The new I.B.Tauris History of the Christian Church series has quickly established an enviable reputation for impressive scholarship.'
Journal of Ecclesiastical History

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: I.B Tauris History of the Christian Church

ISBN: 9781845114398
Publication Date: 29 Mar 2016
Number of Pages: 288
Height: 254
Width: 159
Illustrations: 1 map

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