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The Reformation for Armchair Theologians [Paperback]

By Glenn S. Sunshine & Ron Hill (Illustrator)
Our Price $ 15.30  
Retail Value $ 18.00  
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Item Number 53768  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   247
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.9" Width: 5" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.68 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2005
ISBN  0664228151  
EAN  9780664228156  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
This readable, accessible narrative story of the Protestant Reformation is written for lay audiences. It is part of the popular Westminster John Knox Press Armchair Series and is illustrated with memorable cartoons by Ron Hill. The chapters of the book are suitable for use in church adult education settings to provide a solid grounding in the history of the Reformation and its leading ideas. No other treatment of the topic is written with this audience in mind and with this comprehensiveness of scope. "Questions for Discussion" and "Suggestions for Further Reading" are provided for each chapter and make this book "group friendly." Its thirteen chapters fit exactly into a quarter of the church year to enhance its use for church adult education settings.

Publishers Description

This readable, accessible narrative story of the Protestant Reformation is written for lay audiences. It is part of the popular Westminster John Knox Press Armchair series and is illustrated with memorable cartoons by Ron Hill. The chapters of the book are suitable for use in church adult education settings to provide a solid grounding in the history of the Reformation and its leading ideas. Questions for discussion and suggestions for further reading provided for each chapter make this book great for group study. Since the Protestant Reformation is such a formative event in the lives of churches, it is important to have an accessible resource to tell its story available for laypersons in all denominations.

Written by experts but designed for the nonexpert, the Armchair series provides accurate, concise, and witty overviews of some of the most profound moments and theologians in Christian history. These books are an essential supplement for first-time encounters with primary texts, a lucid refresher for scholars and clergy, and an enjoyable read for the theologically curious.

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More About Glenn S. Sunshine & Ron Hill

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Glenn S. Sunshine is Professor and Chair of theHistory Department at Central Connecticut University in New Britain, Connecticut. He is the author of a number of articles and books, including "Reforming French Protestantism: The Development of Huguenot Ecclesiastical Institutions".

Glenn S. Sunshine was born in 1958.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Easy, Enjoyable and Understandable  Mar 13, 2007
The Reformation for Armchair Theologians is a "good read." It provides a good and understandable outline of the Reformation with good questions for discussions.
Brief and accessible, yet comprehensive religious and political overview  Feb 21, 2007

Glenn Sunshine's book covers both religious and historical content, and does so in a readable, yet thorough manner.

One its strengths is its placement of the religious upheaval into historical (political and geographic) context. For example, an entire chapter is devoted to Spain and the Dutch Revolt. Before you think that a book giving a whole chapter to such a topic is beyond you, think again! Sunshine explains the relevance of the revolt to the Reformation and vice versa (Protestant capitalist Dutch threw off Catholic absolutist Habsburg rulers, initiating patterns of international relations) in a few pages; most scholarly treatments of the subject, in contrast, fill gigantic tomes of writing with not much more insight to the casual reader or even the educated reader, while most textbooks or surveys fail to mention key players and events that make understanding the Reformation so interesting and engaging. Sunshine's book finds a perfect middle ground.

The book goes into just enough detail, but it is also comprehensive. Consider its various historical chapters: Eve of the Reformation, Spain and the Dutch Revolt, the Reformation in England and Scotland, the Reformation in France, and the Thirty Years' War. In addition, its religious or doctrine-focused chapters cover not only Luther, but Zwinglianism and Calvinism. It even poses one of the essential questions regarding Catholicism: "Catholic Reform or Counter-Reform?"

At the end of each chapter, the author includes a series of open-ended questions for discussion.

In sum, it's short and sweet, and somehow packs the details that you'd have to take a university course to find. It would be great reading for a high school student studying for AP exams, a college student in any number of religion or history classes, for a casual reader curious as to the nature and history of the Reformation, or for a teacher or professor interested in seeing all the pieces fit together in one place.(Plus, any book with a chapter entitled "The Empire Strikes Back," must have something good going for it!)
Very good historical overview of the Reformation. Theology?...well...  Jan 29, 2007
This book is quite a page-turner when it comes to history of the Reformation. I was hooked right from page one. Various historical characters come into play with the main performers being Luther and Calvin.

When it comes to the theological ideas of the times the book misses its mark. I do understand that the text is meant for "armchair theologians", but even "armchair guys" need some meat in the soup. There is nary a one Bible reference to corroborate or demolish any of the theological ideas introduced. This was a disappointment.

It would be more appropriate to title this text as "The Reformation for Armchair Historians".
A Page Turner  Nov 22, 2006
I read this book all in one night, the night I bought it. It provides an excellent introduction into Reformation history and some Reformation theology. The book is helpful for an introduction to the Reformation and is quite humorous with its cartoons and puns. I would give this book a five, but I thought the book delved to much into exquisite details about the history of the Reformation and there should have been more theology. It is true though, that there was much political agendas set with the onset of the Reformation, but in some chapters, the book presented mainly history and not enough theology. A good buy!
An excellent book by Sunshine  Jun 19, 2006
As a graduate of Central Connecticut, I had the pleasure of taking a number of classes with Professor Sunshine. They were by far the most enjoyable classes I have ever taken. His book reads much like his Reformation lectures, his humor and enthusiasm for the subject enhances the experience and makes it easy for one to understand the material. Professor Sunshine gives one an insight into the lives of such influential people like Luther and Calvin and how they shaped the Reformation.

I highly reccomend this book for anyone with an interest in history or for one who is intersted in understanding the Christian Church and the problems that continue to plague it to this day.

If you ever take his class, ask about the "Lasagna" story, its awesome ;p

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