Augsburg Fortress

A People's History of Christianity: Reformation Christianity, Vol 5

A People's History of Christianity: Reformation Christianity, Vol 5

Perhaps no period in Christian history experienced such social tumult and upheaval as the Reformation, as it quickly became apparent that social and political issues, finding deep resonance with the common people, were deeply entwined with religious ones raised by the Reformers.

Led by eminent Reformation historian Peter Matheson, this volume of A People's History of Christianity explores such topics as child-bearing, a good death, rural and village piety, and more. Includes 50 illustrations, maps, and an 8-page color gallery.


  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800697235
  • eBook ISBN 9781451415926
  • Brand People’s History of Christianity
  • Dimensions 7 x 9.25
  • Pages 328
  • Publication Date March 3, 2010


The contributors include:

Peter Matheson, University of Melbourne College of Divinity
Keith Luria, North Carolina State University
Raymond Mentzer, University of Iowa
Margo Todd, Vanderbilt University
Karen Spierling, University of Louisville
Merry Wiesner-Hanks, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
David Cressy, Ohio State University
Peter Marshall, University of Warwick
James Stayer, Queen's University Kingston
Elsie McKee, Princeton Theological Seminary
Susan Boettcher, University of Texas at Austin


"Hidden for centuries by their anonymity and illiteracy, the people of God are finally having their story told, and by some of today's finest historians of the church. The saints, bishops, and theologians of traditional histories can now be placed against the panoramic and fascinating backdrop of the lived religion of ordinary men and women of faith. Highly recommended."
—Mark U. Edwards Jr., Harvard Divinity School

"Historians are supposed to be staid chroniclers of hardly changing stories. A People's History of Christianity will demonstrate that they need not be confined in these static roles. The concept of this 'people's history' represents a virtual revolution in the writing of Christian history, a change that means something dynamic, something that should draw the attention of many who do not think of themselves as likers of history.

"Here's why: this series of books, issuing from editors in whom I have great confidence and many of whose writers I know and respect, 'turns history upside down' and reveals what times and events were like for Christians—and sometimes their rivals and enemies—on the ground. Professional historians long neglected this 'up close' approach, evidently thinking that the basic folk did not merit attention. Add to that another reason for the failure to take them into account: it is harder to get at the stories and records of their lives.

"Now, thanks to a generation of historians with interests in ordinary (but really extraordinary) Christians in ages past, these people can be observed as seldom before. While they did not leave documents in the forms of formal creeds, confessions, or concordats, and while their names did not mean as much to cleric–chroniclers of old as did those of bishops, abbots, and emperors, we now have techniques to unearth scraps, snippets, letters, diaries, transactions, which, taken together and treated in expert hands, let us find how exciting their lives are, how misguided decisions were to talk about the elite few and neglect the faithful and faithless many.

"These stories may come up from the basement of church history, but news about their existence deserves to be shouted from the housetops."
—Martin E. Marty
University of Chicago Divinity School