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Reformation Thought: An Introduction

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  170 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
"Reformation Thought," 4th edition offers an ideal introduction to the central ideas of the European reformations for students of theology and history. Written by the bestselling author and renowned theologian, Alister McGrath, this engaging guide is accessible to students with no prior knowledge of Christian theology. This new edition of a classic text has been updated th ...more
Paperback, 326 pages
Published March 19th 2012 by Wiley-Blackwell (first published December 12th 1941)
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Scott
Mar 07, 2016 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read the 2nd edition. A nice introduction, though some of the scholarship is now a little dated.
Marcus Vinicius
The Meaning of the Reformation
The reformation in Europe produced a major change in the way christian beliefs were understand and social life experienced. Alister E. McGrath wrote a clear and readable book about the period and theological ideas it produced. Drawing from the main theses of Luther, Zwingli and Calvin, the author explain the thought and the controversies occurred. The main doctrines of reformed theology are presented with special attention to the distinct emphasis gave by the reform
...more
Brian Eshleman
This book was about the texture and tone of a classroom lecture, and considering the grandeur of the material the author was handling, that was somewhat disappointing. What I mean is that he didn't really "zoom in" on particular seems and nuanced personalities in order to give the reader a real sense of the times. Meanwhile, he didn't back up enough to provide the kind of big picture application that would readily connect the questions with which these giants wrestled to those we grapple with to ...more
Gary
Personally I found such a guide, that assumes nothing of its readers, very helpful indeed. And unlike most textbooks this is readable, lucid and, dare I say, warm.

McGrath clearly has a thorough grasp on his subject. And apart from the conveyance of some of his own 'doubts' this is unmistakably a book which thinks the Reformation (especially under Calvin) was glorious and amazing. A good read.

Liked it a lot.
Timothy Maples
Jun 07, 2009 Timothy Maples rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fine introduction to the issues and actions of the Protestant Reformation. It shows the reformers as giants of the faith, while not ignoring their human foibles and errors. Living in a culture that thinks Joel Osteen is profound, modern American believers would do well to read McGrath's book and begin to learn what real Christians taught and believed.
Chuck Noren
Jul 07, 2017 Chuck Noren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alister McGrath wrote an excellent introduction to the Reformation. He provided very helpful insights into the dissatisfaction of the Roman Catholic Church, its impotence on settling doctrine prior to the Reformation, the rising level of education of the laity, scholasticism, humanism, and the development of these ideas into the different Reformation communities. The weakest part of the book was the impact of the Reformation in history into thw modern era last chapter. I will have to think about ...more
Chuck Noren
Jul 07, 2017 Chuck Noren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alister McGrath wrote an excellent introduction to the Reformation. He provided very helpful insights into the dissatisfaction of the Roman Catholic Church, its impotence on settling doctrine prior to the Reformation, the rising level of education of the laity, scholasticism, humanism, and the development of these ideas into the different Reformation communities. The weakest part of the book was the impact of the Reformation in history into thw modern era last chapter. I will have to think about ...more
Bouguerche
Jun 03, 2017 Bouguerche rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book for beginners in the topic of reformation. It is very well organized, intro different topics and subtopics that help the reader better understand the content. One need not to read the whole book to look for a certain episodes during the period of the Reformation.
It is very well documented and the style is very scientific. I highly recommend it!
Alex Nolette
Jul 11, 2017 Alex Nolette rated it really liked it
Perfect book for a grounding in Reformation studies.
Madeleine
Feb 28, 2017 Madeleine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bill Bruno
Mar 01, 2014 Bill Bruno rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is a terrific thematic overview of the Reformation. It starts out with the development of Renaissance humanism that provided a philological basis for the Reformation (direct review of Scripture in the original languages) and the heritage of scholasticism that the reformers criticized.
There is a brief biographic section of the key players that follows. This is followed by reviews of the key themes such as; justification by faith, the role of the church, predestination and so on.
What impr
...more
Bill Martin
Sep 16, 2013 Bill Martin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology, history
(Note: I combined the paperback and audible versions in this review.)


I surveyed Reformation history under one of McGrath's doctoral students, so I was nominally familiar with his narrative construction and outline of this pivotal period of Western culture. Still, McGrath managed to cram so much excellent information in this relatively small volume, I felt like the read was worth a credit in a graduate seminar. Sympathetic to the Protestant cause, McGrath is ever the scholar, elucidating not only
...more
Victoria
Fairly helpful overview of Reformation theologies -- Lutheran, Zwinglian, Calvinist, and to a certain extent Radical and Catholic. Very textbooky, clearly written for a completely secular and religiously ignorant audience (in a tone that is actually insulting to the areligious) and very biased toward the Protestant side of the Reformation. Contains no real argument, except that it sides in favour of Elizabeth Eisenstein on the role of print in the propagation of the Reformation and, in a particu ...more
David Steele
Reformation Thought: An Introduction by Alistair McGrath explores the fascinating contours of the sixteenth century. The author helps readers understand the historical, cultural, and theological context of the events that led up the Protestant Reformation.

McGrath guides readers on a fascinating Reformation tour and overviews key areas such as justification by faith, predestination, Scripture, and the sacraments.
There is much to commend about this excellent work. Pastors, students, and theologia
...more
Mikedinnen
Oct 13, 2007 Mikedinnen is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I am about halfway through this book, and it gives a brief survey of the main figures of the Reformation. It provides the background to the Reformation, and then shows how the Reformers challenged and accepted the current Church/Political/Social culture.
Jeremy
Read for Dr. Whitford's seminar on Luther at Baylor (Spring 2014). Read to p. 141. Assigned pp. 1-85, 101-31, 145-96, 219-34.

Redundant at many points, maybe because the fourth edition didn't get revised carefully.
Kameron
Mar 11, 2014 Kameron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, history
A great introductory text to the Reformation. Some caricatures and exaggerations throughout, but probably necessary/unavoidable in an intro text. Also contains some "Calvin against the Calvinists" narratives that have been thoroughly debunked by Richard Muller, et al.
Радостин Марчев
Не лошо начално въведение в историята и възгледите на различните течения в Реформацията. Все пак далеч не е от най-добрите книги на автора.
Jose Monzon
Sep 18, 2015 Jose Monzon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book that will open your eyes...

To the complex historical era that defined, and still defines, history as we know it. It is worth reading and diving into the subject matter.
Mingzhi
Feb 15, 2013 Mingzhi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good introduction to the reformation.
Mohamad Ballan
Nov 10, 2014 Mohamad Ballan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent primer on Reformation thought.
Christian Dibblee
Really liked this. All my notes are in a notebook.
Alex Nolette
Jun 30, 2014 Alex Nolette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was greatly informative at a foundational level. It was my first reading of Alister McGrath but I definitely plan to read more from him.
Charlie Brill
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Jan 07, 2011
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Nov 15, 2014
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Alister Edgar McGrath is a Northern Irish theologian, priest, intellectual historian, scientist, and Christian apologist. He currently holds the Andreas Idreos Professorship in Science and Religion in the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford, and is Professor of Divinity at Gresham College. He was previously Professor of Theology, Ministry, and Education at King's College L ...more
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“One of the most effective ways of changing the way people think is to change the way they worship.” 5 likes
“We must not think that religious concerns swamped all other social activities. They simply provided a focal point for them.” 3 likes
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