Mark Greengrass, The European Reformation, etc.

The following is offered as a help and a guide to the student beginning the study of the Reformation Era. Certain parts of Greengrass are more helpful to one studying the Counter-Reformation.

They are:

  • Section One -- The fabric of the Church
  • Section Two -- Debate and dissension within the Church on the eve of the Protestant Reformation
  • Section Eight -- Reformation from within
  • Section Nine -- Confessional identities
  • Section Ten -- Background contexts
  • Section Eleven -- Biographies
  • Section Twelve -- Glossary
  • Genealogical Table
  • Maps


R. Po-Chia Hsia, The World of Catholic Renewal, 1540-1770. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. This is the text for the course. Notice the opening date: it starts 23 years after Martin Luther nailed his theses to the church door in Wittenberg. The beginnings of Catholic Reform we will take from Olin.

John C. Olin, The Catholic Reformation: Savonarola to Ignatius Loyola, Reform in the Church 1495-1540. New York: Fordham University Press, 1992. There is an earlier edition from 1969. Two things to notice: (1) The dates. This covers the period before Hsia's beginning. (2) It is a book of documents.

Used in tandem both books will serve to introduce the student to the Counter-Reformation.

Mark Greengrass, The Longman Companion to the European Reformation c. 1500-1618. London and New York: Longman, 1998. This book focuses on the Reformation in Continental Europe. It can function as a desktop reference work. It is a mine of information and facts and should be the student's first source for information on dates, persons, places and events.

Supplements to the Texts:

R. R. Palmer and Joel Colton, A History of the Modern World, any edition. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. It is highly recommended that the student read chapters 2, 3, and 4 of this excellent college textbook.

Reference Works:

If the student has access to a good library, the following books will be helpful.

Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, H. J. Schroeder, O.P., trans. Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books, 1978.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation, 4 vols., Hans J. Hillerbrand, ed. in chief, New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. Some of the articles on Catholic subjects are not as full as they could be.

New Catholic Encyclopedia, 16 vols. and three supplements, New York: McGraw Hill, 1967-1996. This is the standard reference work for Catholic subjects.

Hans J. Hillerbrand, Historical Dictionary of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, (Religions, Philosophies, and Movements Series, No. 27), Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1999. Hillerbrand is the general editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation. In addition to the dictionary entries, it has a chronology and a bibliography.

Reading the Text:

1. J. C. Olin, pp. XI-XXIV, 1-15, 40-53, 118-27, and 182-97.

All of these should be read in the first two weeks of the course.

2. R. Po-chia Hsia -- the Introduction should be read in the first week of the course. The remaining 12 chapters should be read in succession during the remainder of the course.

3. In the fifth and sixth week, the student should read Olin, pp. 149-81 and 198-211.


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