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The Reformation

(The Story of Civilization #6)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  692 ratings  ·  61 reviews
The Story of Civilization, Volume VI: A history of European civilization from Wyclif to Calvin: 1300-1564. This is the sixth volume of the classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning series.
Hardcover, 1025 pages
Published 1997 by MJF (first published 1957)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Reformation (The Story of Civilization #6), Will Durant
The Story of Civilization, Volume VI: A history of European civilization from Wyclif to Calvin: 1300-1564. This is the sixth volume of the classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning series.
عنوانها: اصلاح دین؛ اصلاح دینی؛ نویسنده: ویل دورانت؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1994 میلادی
عنوان: اصلاح دینی - کتاب ششم از تاریخ تمدن؛ نویسنده: ویل دورانت؛ مترجمها: فریدون بدره ای؛ سهیل آذری؛ پرویز مرزبان؛ تهران، اقبال، 1345 ؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، سازمان آموزش انقلاب اس
Roy Lotz
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Holland boasted of several ladies who could be courted in Latin, who could probably conjugate better than they could decline.

So continues Durant’s tour through European history.

As Durant himself points out, calling this book The Reformation is not really accurate, for it is actually a history of all Europe (besides Italy) between 1300 and 1564, with a few other topics thrown in. This book effectively completes the picture painted in his earlier volume, The Renaissance, which covered the histor
Bob Nichols
Dec 31, 2014 rated it liked it
In a note to his readers, Durant writes that “The Reformation” (Part 6 of The Story of Civilization) “is not quite an honest title for this book.” “An accurate title would be,” he says, “A History of European Civilization Outside of Italy from 1300 to 1564, or Thereabouts, Including the History of Religion in Italy and an Incidental View of Islamic and Judaic Civilization in Europe, Africa, and Western Asia.” While the information on the reformation -- the N. European break from Catholicism (Hen ...more
Steve R
Whereas the previous work on the Renaissance was drastically restricted to the art of Italy, and even more so, to the three cities of Florence, Rome and Venice, this work deals with developments in the religious, political, economic, social, moral and artistic spheres of not only Italy, but also Germany, France, England, Spain, Holland and Eastern Europe. While the principal emphasis is on the religious challenge posed by not only Luther, but also by Wyclif, Huss, Calvin, Knox, Zwingli and the F ...more
Oct 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Will Durant books on the series 'The Story of Civilization' are always voluminous. The volume I just completed is the 6th in the series. The book is in three parts. While the first two parts are well researched accounts of how the reformers took over Europe between 1300 to 1575 AD, the third part contains history of Islamic Civilization, story of the Turkish empire which aspired to conquer Europe in its entirety and managed to conquer upto Spain. They also had plans to turn the entire known worl ...more
Lauren Hiebner
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
A classic book written by Will and Ariel Durrant on the the reformation. A little dated since it was written in the 1950s but still very insightful on the conflict between Protestantism and Luther and the Catholic Church and how the Catholic Church responded along with all the political intrigues of that time. So worth the read of 940 pages.
Alireza Sahafzadeh
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
عالی مثل تمام جلدهای قبلی حماقت کشیش ها واقعیت جریان لوتری ضربات مذهب و .... رفتم جلد بعدی
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, religion
Will Durant's The Reformation is an detailed thousand-page study of Europe leading up to the Reformation, the actual splintering of the Church in the 16th century, and the Catholic Church's own Counter-Reformation.

Durant's histories are always worth reading because they attempt to present the complete picture of what was happening, including not only events but the effects on the culture of the period. Hence, we have not only the deeds of Luther, Calvin, Knox, and Henry VIII, but the Ottoman Emp
Erik Graff
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Westerners
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
Owing to a spotty education in the public schools and in college, the period from the early Roman empire until the Enlightenment was a pretty grey area for me until seminary. There, thanks to required church history classes and inspired subsequent reading, I 'got into' the European middle ages through the Reformation, which, arguably, heralded the true birth of the modern.

As ever, Durant's survey is an excellent introduction to the period.
Barry Belmont
Nov 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The book starts slow, becomes tumultuous, and as it ends leaves you wanting more. Durant is the voice of history for me. His prose rises and falls with the times. I lament that he is not here to write of our own.
Earle Gray
Mar 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
When fanatic Christians massacred while Islam was tolerant

Eric Hoffer’s classic “The True Believer,” which I reviewed March 11, gave me some insight into the fanaticism driving the religious violence and terrorism that is tearing apart so much of the world.

“The Reformation: A History of European Civilization from Wyclif to Calvin: 1300 – 1564,” volume six of Will Durrant’s massive and monumental 10-volume “The Story of Civilization,” reminds me that, until very recent times, the violence, atroci
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rudnicki reads the book with his usual understated competence, but this time out the author maybe didn't have quite enough material---I often felt as if the narrative was a bit attenuated, filled out with too many examples and occasional repetitions. Still, it's a grand tale of men (and, occasionally, women) and ideas in conflict, easy to follow and lit with flashes of humor. Terrific for listening to on long walks, as are the other volumes in the series.
Lori Tian Sailiata
It's easy to get self satisfied after reading such a large and ponderous volume. One almost feels that a trophy or at the very least a badge should be given upon completion. Brownie points and gold stars aside. I'm overwhelmed with the same civic pride I get on Election Day after pushing my ballot into the slot for the counting.

While the entire series contains a comprehensive overview of a liberal education, the essence of cultural literacy, this particular volume contains struggles the world s
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this book many years ago. It was my first in-depth exposure to Martin Luther, John Calvin and others. John Wyclif, John Huss and others anticipated Luther and Calvin and paved the way for their thinking and actions. This book gives the reader a very comprehensive look into the Reformation and why it came about. Durant, along with his wife Ariel, spent their lives creating a massive and comprehensive look at world history. Their detailed research beggars the imagination. I read the book fr ...more
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Another great book from the Durant's! One of the few books to successfully separate the Mennonites from their wayward Anabaptist brethren the Munsterites, and state the Mennonite world view without lumping them in with the Quakers. He is largely humanistic in his outlook (not judgin', just sayin'), which probably gave him the distance needed to make these two important distinctions that many sectarian historians do err in.
Buddy Don
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Reading Durant's "The Story of Civilization" has been/is becoming one of the greatest experiences of my life. It is a joy I recommend to everyone.
John Majors
Aug 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Whew. That took forever. I rated this book a 3/5 primarily because it failed to keep my interest at the level I anticipated. I was expecting the material to focus on the Protestant Reformation, but Durant was trying to cover the entire period of history between 1300 and 1564 (which the subtitle makes clear: "A History of European Civilization from Wyclif to Calvin"). I was half way through upon this realization but pressed on to complete the project. Though my interest waned upon encountering ch ...more
M. Ashraf
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Reformation || A History of European Civilization Outside of Italy from 1300 to 1564. Story of Civilization#6
- From Wyclif to Luther
- The Religious Revolution
- The Strangers in The Gate
- The Counter Reformation

It was a long read - 1000+ pages -. I took my time with it such an interesting period of time, we are nearing the modern history at least this is the basis of it, before that it can be considered myths. Here where it is got shaped to what it looks like today.
Though most of the reform
John E
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
While I have been hauling this set around the country from coast to coast for almost fifty years I never had the guts to actually read it. So I jumped into the middle with the Reformation. While I liked the book and the somewhat chatty style of the writing, it read like a catalog of famous Popes, reformers, kings, artists, and monks in far too many places, especially when he was discussing the peoples outside of Western Europe. The peoples of Islam, Iberia, and eastern Europe were glossed over i ...more
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm imagining how it was for the Durants to organize this book. Part of the joy of reading them is how much they love doing this. No surprise at all that they would begin with the idea of writing about Luther and a few key figures, and then whoa-ho, they've expanded to 246 years. The introduction gives me a smile, like they're thinking, "We better explain this." The result is a fascinating story of the Reformation, what led to it, what happened around it, and how this changed people's lives.

I en
Brian Eshleman
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
The authors took on an immense amount of material wrangled under the heading of The Reformation and they admitted up front. Consequently, the work's narrative flow suffers some. This book is at its best, not surprisingly, when it deals with… The Reformation, and wanders somewhat in a very wide-angled efforts to provide context. The Durants do provide this context admirably, explaining factors why The Reformation may have had such an impact at this time without pooh-poohing the impact of individu ...more
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite book of the series so far. I listen to the Blackstone audio version. The reader is great and so was the book. The only difficulty is with all the Charles’, Henry’s, Paul’s etc it’s hard to keep track without referring back to the text. I listen while I walk so this one took about 160 miles to finish. Well worth it. The turmoil, fights between Protestants ,Catholics, kings, scholars and philosophers make today’s political battles seem tame. At least we aren’t beheading people ...more
Rahul Khanna
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Read the following lines and have a sip of Durant's wine.
In one sense the drama of religious, political, and martial conflict that filled the front of sixteenth century was superficial, for it proceeded only by permission of a deeper drama played behind the historic scenes or beneath the pompous stage - man's daily and perpetual battle with soil, the elements, poverty, and death. what, after all, were the bulls and blasts of popes and protestants, the rival absurdities of murderous mythologies,
Arno Mosikyan
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Always eloquent, stylish, Durant makes you love history of humankind, not despise it as a chronology of only wars and human sufferings. 5 books to go, way to go.
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rich and full read!
Jonny Andres
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Chugging along. I love this series.
Rob Markley
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Wonderful, complete, incisive, broad history of civilisation. Brilliant in every way
Stephen Bauer
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Wow! And Whew! I finally finished this massive tome of 940 pages, the first volume of Will Durant's series that I have read. I had always intended to learn more about the Reformation. I didn't want to read about it from a purely theological or church perspective. And I got way more than I sought. Despite the title, as the author says, a more accurate title would be, "A History of European Civilization Outside of Italy from 1300 to 1564, or Thereabouts, Including the History of Religion in Italy ...more
Christopher Donaghue
For such a big book, it wasn't that hard of a read.

Oh, what a madman that Luther fellow was!

I cannot say that I have ever read anything as vile and calumnious as the words - practically all thereof - written by Luther. He had very few endearing qualities, and far, far, far too many that make him appear to be just about the most ridiculous human being to have ever walked this planet. The thought that he was so highly acclaimed by the Germans casts a lot of doubt on Hitler's notion of the German b
Jul 21, 2016 added it
I'm not sure Will Durant is properly considered a historian; he does not original research but uses the resources historians provide. He considered himself a philosopher who worked mostly on the material of history, citing Napoleon who said that history is the only true philosophy. But however Durant is categorized, as a writer and teacher he is in the First Rank. Some writers excel in the details. They know every tree in the forest by name, as well as its birth and progress, the peculiar shape ...more
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William James Durant was a prolific American writer, historian, and philosopher. He is best known for the 11-volume The Story of Civilization, written in collaboration with his wife Ariel and published between 1935 and 1975. He was earlier noted for his book, The Story of Philosophy, written in 1926, which was considered "a groundbreaking work that helped to popularize philosophy."

They were awarde

Other books in the series

The Story of Civilization (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Our Oriental Heritage (The Story of Civilization, #1)
  • The Life of Greece (The Story of Civilization, #2)
  • Caesar and Christ (Story of Civilization, #3)
  • The Age of Faith (The Story of Civilization, #4)
  • The Renaissance (The Story of Civilization, #5)
  • The Age of Reason Begins (The Story of Civilization, #7)
  • The Age of Louis XIV (The Story of Civilization, #8)
  • The Age of Voltaire (The Story of Civilization, #9)
  • Rousseau and Revolution (The Story of Civilization, #10)
  • The Age of Napoleon (The Story of Civilization, #11)
“And, after speech, it provided a readier instrument for the dissemination of nonsense than the world has ever known until our time.” 1 likes
“All those fascinating varieties of terrain—mountains and valleys, fiords and straits, gulfs and streams—that make Europe a panorama of diverse delight, have broken the population of a minor continent into a score of peoples cherishing their differences, and self-imprisoned in their heritage of hate.” 0 likes
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