Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450-1650
Carlos M. N. Eire, the T.L. Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies
(Yale University Press)
This book is a survey of Western civilization’s transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. Carlos Eire chronicles the 200-year era of the Renaissance and Reformation with particular attention to issues that persist as concerns in the present day. Eire connects the Protestant and Catholic Reformations in new ways, and maintains that this crucial turning point in history not only affected people long gone, but continues to shape our world and define who we are today.
The book focuses on the vast changes that took place in Western civilization between 1450 and 1650, from Gutenberg’s printing press and the subsequent revolution in the spread of ideas to the close of the Thirty Years’ War. Eire devotes equal attention to the various Protestant traditions and churches as well as to Catholicism, skepticism, and secularism, and he takes into account the expansion of European culture and religion into other lands, particularly the Americas and Asia. He also underscores how changes in religion transformed the Western secular world.