In 1517, Martin Luther's legendary Ninety-five Theses set in motion a chain of events that fundamentally altered European history. The resulting Reformation of the sixteenth century proved to be one of the most important and far-reaching phenomena of an era marked by dramatic religious and social upheaval. A critical chapter in the history of Christian thought, the movement provoked political, social, and cultural transformations that profoundly changed the Western world.
The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation is the first major reference to cover the immense subject of the Reformation in its entirety. Setting the issues of theology and ecclesiology within the broader context of the social and intellectual history of the time, it is the most authoritative reference available on early modern European society as a whole.
The Encyclopedia is a unique compendium of contemporary scholarship focusing on the complete range of religious and social changes wrought by the Reformation-- including not only issues of church polity and theology but also related developments in politics, economics, demographics, art, and literature. It is an unparalleled source of information on the personalities and events of the era, with broad coverage ranging from biographies to extensive treatments of topics such as Lutheranism, women, law, the Augsburg Confession, music, the Holy Roman Empire, peasants, the Bible, persecution, and literacy.
Offering exhaustive interdisciplinary and international coverage of all aspects of the Reformation, this is the ultimate reference on the subject. Transcending the bounds of denominational encyclopedias and dictionaries of Reformation history currently available, it offers the only comprehensive picture of western Europe and the British Isles, along with southern Europe, Scandinavia, and east-central Europe in the early modern period. It is the first source scholars, students, and general readers in any discipline will reach for when studying the Reformation.