Augsburg Fortress

The Imaginative World of the Reformation

The Imaginative World of the Reformation

In this small gem of Reformation research, Peter Matheson offers a rich view of the Reformation as it appeared in pamphlets and sermons, woodcuts and paintings, poetry and song, correspondence and the contours of daily life.
The popular media he explores evince the Reformation's novel use of images and metaphors, its deep effects on personal and family life and spirituality, heightened civic engagement, great utopian dreams and experiments, as well as its nightmarish excesses.
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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800632915
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 168
  • Publication Date July 17, 2001


"The Imaginative World of the Reformation evokes the aspirations and ideals of a remarkable generation of European men and women. Professor Matheson has recaptured something of the revolutionary power of the early Reformation for ordinary people. This is a splendid book, beautifully written, penetrating and permeated throughout with a generous humanity."
—Professor Stewart J. Brown, University of Edinburgh


"Matheson suggests that we have misunderstood the Reformation. Seeing it from another angle might allow us to appreciate its dynamism. That angle directs our view to the imagination rather than to doctrinal disputes and social forces. ...

"Reproductions of two dozen well-selected 16th-century images illustrate the book. ... The discussion of Argula von Grumbach's life is especially engaging. ...

"[Mattheson's] work suggests a way to understand the Reformation more deeply and to discern its affinities with our own time."
— from The Christian Century, January 2-9, 2002