We are living with the effects of the Reformation and yet so many of us (myself included!) aren’t aware of what the world and Christianity were like before it took place. If you’ve found yourself wanting to know more about the Reformation, but you’re not ready to delve into a complicated history book, Birkett provides the answer in this short and extremely easy to read recap of this time within the church as well as the wider political and social spheres.
Birkett offers up her crash-course in three main sections; first taking us through what religion was like in medieval Europe, then to the big players and their big ideas and finally touching on the new world that the Reformation created.
If, as Birkett says, the Reformation “was more than a change in ‘religion’; it was a change in thought, in life and in what it meant to be a human being in God’s world”, then it’s really important to understand more about the Reformation. I can’t recommend this book enough if you want to get your head around the big picture and find out what was happening before – and after – Martin Luther nailed his theses to the door.
Reviewed by Louise Unwin