Rebel in the Ranks by Brad S. Gregory
Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the Conflicts That Continue to Shape Our World

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Essentially, Gregory explains that as Europe grew weary of religious warfare, it found ways of separating faith from governance as a way of keeping the peace. It is an intriguing conclusion that deserves more than the pages allotted to it. A worthwhile and understated conclusion closes an unremarkable Reformation history.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

On the 500th anniversary of the Reformation comes this compelling, illuminating, and expansive religious history that examines the complicated and unintended legacies of Martin Luther and the epochal movement that continues to shape the world today.

For five centuries, Martin Luther has been lionized as an outspoken and fearless icon of change who ended the Middle Ages and heralded the beginning of the modern world. In Rebel in the Ranks, Brad Gregory, renowned professor of European history at Notre Dame, recasts this long-accepted portrait. Luther did not intend to start a revolution that would divide the Catholic Church and forever change Western civilization. Yet his actions would profoundly shape our world in ways he could never have imagined.

Gregory analyzes Luther’s inadvertent role in starting the Reformation and the epochal changes that followed. He reveals how Luther’s insistence on the Bible as the sole authority for Christian truth led to conflicting interpretations of its meaning—and to the rise of competing churches, political conflicts, and social upheavals. Ultimately, he contends, some of the major historical and cultural developments that arose in its wake—including the Enlightenment, individual self-determination and moral relativism, and a religious freedom that protects one’s right to worship or even to reject religion—would have appalled Luther: a reluctant revolutionary, a rebel in the ranks, whose goal was to make society more Christian, yet instead set the world on fire.

 

About Brad S. Gregory

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Brad Gregory is a professor of European History at Notre Dame and the author of Salvation at Stake: Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europe, which received six awards, including the prestigious Phi Alpha Theta Best First Book Award and the American Catholic Historical Association’s John Gilmary Shea Prize, and The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society, which was named a Book of the Year by the Spectator, the Times Literary Supplement, and ABC Religion & Ethics. He also received the first annual Hiett Prize in the Humanities from the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. He lives in South Bend, Indiana. Author Image 1
 
Published September 12, 2017 by HarperOne. 304 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Travel. Non-fiction
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Kirkus

Below average
on Aug 07 2017

Essentially, Gregory explains that as Europe grew weary of religious warfare, it found ways of separating faith from governance as a way of keeping the peace. It is an intriguing conclusion that deserves more than the pages allotted to it. A worthwhile and understated conclusion closes an unremarkable Reformation history.

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