Christendom destroyed Europe 1517-1648

Mark Greengrass, 1949-

Book - 2014

"This latest addition to the landmark Penguin History of Europe series is a fascinating study of 16th and 17th century Europe and the fundamental changes which led to the collapse of Christendom and established the geographical and political frameworks of Western Europe as we know it. From peasants to princes, no one was untouched by the spiritual and intellectual upheaval of this era. Martin Luther's challenge to church authority forced Christians to examine their beliefs in ways that... shook the foundations of their religion. The subsequent divisions, fed by dynastic rivalries and military changes, fundamentally altered the relations between ruler and ruled. Geographical and scientific discoveries challenged the unity of Christendom as a belief-community. Europe, with all its divisions, emerged instead as a geographical projection. It was reflected in the mirror of America, and refracted by the eclipse of Crusade in ambiguous relationships with the Ottomans and Orthodox Christianity. Chronicling these dramatic changes, Thomas More, Shakespeare, Montaigne and Cervantes created works which continue to resonate with us. Christendom Destroyed is a rich tapestry that fosters a deeper understanding of Europe's identity today"--

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Series
Penguin history of Europe ; 5.
Subjects
Published
New York, New York : Viking 2014.
©2014
Language
English
Physical Description
xxix, 721 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9780143127918
9780670024568
0670024562
014197852X
9780141978529
Main Author
Mark Greengrass, 1949- (author)
  • The fall of Western Christendom
  • From the "Silver Age" to the "Iron Century."
  • Human replenishment
  • Urban and rural worlds
  • Treasure and transaction
  • Noble pursuits
  • Grasping the world.
  • Europe in the world
  • Earth and heavens observed
  • Being in touch
  • Christendom afflicted.
  • Politics and empire in the Age of Charles V
  • Schism
  • Reaction, repression, reform
  • Christian commonwealths in contention.
  • Conflicts in the name of God
  • Living with religious divisions
  • Churches and the world
  • The waning of Crusade
  • Christian states in disarray.
  • The business of states
  • States in confrontation
  • War at large
  • Times of troubles to the East and West
  • Conclusion: Europe's paroxysm.
Review by Booklist Reviews

In the latest volume in the new Penguin History of Europe series, the author, emeritus professor of early modern history at the University of Sheffield, provides a highly detailed account describing the evolution of Western Europe from Luther's posting of his 95 theses to the Peace of Westphalia, which ended the ruinous Thirty Years' War. For Greengrass, the period saw the shattering of the vague but very real concept of Christendom, meaning a western Europe united by a consensus over the core beliefs of Latin Christianity. The Thirty Years' War devastated Germany, involved all of the major powers, and created alliances between states that crossed religious lines. The result was a Europe dominated by several powerful nation-states, which would form the core of western European political relationships for centuries. But his work goes well beyond religious or political history. Greengrass examines changes in economics, technology, and education and how they impacted the lives of ordinary people. For readers with a basic knowledge of the period, this is an absorbing and enlightening book that explains much about the emergence of modern Europe. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Though the Reformation is generally described as a period of great change, historian Greengrass (France in the Age of Henry IV) asks readers to consider the weakening of traditions and sources of power that accompanied the transition to the early modern era. The Catholic Church suffered as Copernicus's theories disputed "Aristotelian physics, Holy Scripture, and daily experience," while Martin Luther unexpectedly started a movement following the publication of his 95 theses. Greengrass's detailed explanation of this process makes use of economic concepts like debasement and inflation and delves into specifics, such as regional diets, the inspired invention of the filing cabinet, the impact of climate change on the political landscape, and English Queen Jane Grey's nine-day reign. The book is dense and best read in installments; it offers insight into the extraordinary turmoil that the average European endured in an era typically described through reverent admiration for art, architecture, and intellectual development. Using the histories of well-chosen cities and countries as examples for each discussion, Greengrass reveals that it was "curiosity destroyed Christendom." (Dec.) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A remarkable new volume in the critically acclaimed Penguin History of Europe seriesFrom peasants to princes, no one was untouched by the spiritual and intellectual upheaval of the sixteenth century. Martin Luther’s challenge to church authority forced Christians to examine their beliefs in ways that shook the foundations of their religion. The subsequent divisions, fed by dynastic rivalries and military changes, fundamentally altered the relations between ruler and ruled. Geographical and scientific discoveries challenged the unity of Christendom as a belief community. Europe, with all its divisions, emerged instead as a geographical projection. Chronicling these dramatic changes, Thomas More, Shakespeare, Montaigne, and Cervantes created works that continue to resonate with us.Spanning the years 1517 to 1648, Christendom Destroyed is Mark Greengrass’s magnum opus: a rich tapestry that fosters a deeper understanding of Europe’s identity today.