The Impact of Reform

  • R. W. Scribner
  • C. Scott Dixon
Part of the Studies in European History book series (SEURH)


Historians have often made very sweeping claims about the impact of the Reformation on religion, society and the state. These range from practical matters such as the reshaping of marriage laws, or the emergence of new forms of poor relief, to broad political developments such as the growth of the absolutist state, and vast generalisations about the emergence of capitalism or the development of ‘secularisation’ or ‘modernisation’. Some of these latter claims display par excellence the teleological view of history, and bristle with so many question-begging prejudgments that they cannot be adequately discussed in so brief a space as is available here. It does seem certain, however, that recent research is leading us to such a different understanding of the Reformation, that many of these common notions about its impact should be drastically revised.


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Select Bibliography

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© R. W. Scribner 2003

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  • R. W. Scribner
  • C. Scott Dixon

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