Atlas of the European Reformations

9781451499698A new, definitive atlas of the European Reformations has been needed for many years. Now, in anticipation of the upcoming reformation anniversaries, Fortress Press is pleased to offer the Atlas of the European Reformations.

The Atlas of the European Reformations is newly built from the ground up. Featuring more than sixty brand new maps, graphics, and timelines, the atlas is a necessary companion to any study of the reformation era. Consciously written for students at any level, concise, helpful texts guide the experience and interpret the visuals. The volume is perfect for independent students, as well as those in structured courses.

The atlas is broken into four primary parts. “Before the Reformation” presents the larger political, religious, and economic context of Europe on the eve of the Reformation. “Reformation” presents the major contours of the Reformation, including Lutheran, Reformed, English, and Anabaptist movements. “Catholic Reform and Counter-Reformation” provides extensive information on the reforming movements within Catholicism and the responses to other movements. Finally, “Early Modern Europe” sheds fresh light on the movement and implications of the reformation in the later sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

And again, thanks to Fortress for the review copy.

The Honeycomb Scroll: Philipp Melanchthon at the Dawn of the Reformation

9781451497045hLong overshadowed by Luther and Calvin, Philipp Melanchthon (1497–1560) is one of the most important figures in the Protestant Reformation and had profound effect on Western church history. This book gives the most detailed English-language biographical treatment of Melanchthon to date, moving from his historical context and personal origins, through his childhood, education, and early career at Wittenberg during the dramatic events at the dawn of the Reformation (1497–1524).

Establishing the deep geopolitical and religious context of Melanchthon’s early life, the volume then follows Melanchthon to the great halls of humanist learning at Heidelberg and Tübingen, where his studies and teaching career began and his faith was richly fostered. The pivotal moment comes in his appointment to the chair of Greek in Wittenberg where Melanchthon became a great ally and supporter of Martin Luther.

Melanchthon’s role as key player in the advocacy for reform expanded through his involvement in the Leipzig Disputation, his visible representation of the evangelical cause in Wittenberg during Luther’s absence at Worms and the Wartburg, and his struggle with the radical wing. The volume closes by looking ahead to Melanchthon’s contribution to the Augsburg Confession of 1530.

Thank you, Fortress, for the review copy.  Stay tuned for it.

This Week From Geneva…

One of the sessions in the Calvin course is on someone named Karl Barth.  I wonder if he’s important?


I wish Brunner had come into the discussion.  He’s way more interesting than this Barth person.  Nonetheless, this is a great and grand course.  You should still sign up for it.

It’s Also Augustine of Hippo’s Birthdate

Augustine, the former reprobate who confessed (read: bragged about) things in his Confessions that no person should ever do and who made up the notion of ‘original sin’ and who was followed and adored by Luther was evidently born on 13 November (I bet it was a Friday)-


Augustine is the patron saint of Catholic theologians because, like most Catholic theologians, he didn’t know very much about the Bible (Jerome was a better exegete), or Greek, or Hebrew.  I guess that’s why he’s still popular among certain circles where knowledge of the biblical languages is restricted to an ability to cite Strong’s wretched exhausting concordance.

Anyway, happy birthday, ya daft reprobate.

It’s Johannes Eck’s Birth-iversary

eckJohn Eck, more correctly Johann Maier, was born at Eck (now Egg, near Memmingen, south of Augsburg) in Swabia, November 13, 1486. When twelve years of age he began his studies at Heidelberg and continued them at Tuebingen, Cologne and Freiburg. When fourteen years of age he became Magister Artium, when nineteen bachelor of theology, when twenty-two priest at Strassburg, and in 1510, when twenty-four years, doctor and professor of theology in the University of Ingolstadt.

Having studied under humanistic teachers he advocated at first liberal views in theology and philosophy and as early as 1517 entered into friendly relations with Luther. But his unbounded ambition to be regarded as the leading theologian of Germany caused him to become the defender of the papacy and of Catholic doctrine. In 1519, he began his fight against Luther. In 1520, he visited Rome at the invitation of the Pope, when he presented to him his work on the Primacy of Peter against Luther, Ingolstadt 1520, for which he was awarded with the appointment as papal prothonotary. When on June 16, 1520, the papal bull, Exsurge Domine, appeared, in which forty-one propositions of Luther were condemned, Eck was entrusted with its execution in Germany.

At the Diet of Augsburg, Eck took a leading part as defender of the Roman Catholic position. He extracted 404 articles from the works of the reformers and with seventy other theologians collaborated in the Confutatio pontificia, in which the Catholic refutation of Protestantism was embodied.

Against Zwingli and his party, Eck first appeared at the public disputation at Baden, in Catholic territory, twelve miles northwest of Zurich, on May 21–June 18, 1526. The affair ended in favor of Eck, who induced the authorities to suppress the reformation at Baden. The dispution of Berne, which was conducted in the absence of Eck in January 1528, was won for the reformation.

When Zwingli’s account of his faith had been submitted to the emperor in July 1530, it was turned over to Eck for answer. He sat down at once and within three days, as he boasts, he produced what he intended to be a crushing reply. It was completed on July 17, 1530, dedicated to the Cardinal of Liege and printed most likely in the same month at Augsburg.

Eck was more highly esteemed as the champion of the true faith in Rome than in Germany, where he had many enemies. He was accused of drunkenness, immorality, unbounded greed for money and passionate desire for honor and preferment. When Rome did not gratify all his ambitions, he made overtures for peace to the Protestants, but they failed through hatred and contempt by which he was generally regarded.

But through his scholarly attainments, and controversial ability, he made himself the most prominent, and also the most violent opponent of the reformation. He died at Ingolstadt on February 10, 1543. Numerous works in Latin and German testify both to his ability and to his violent temper.*

It’s worth remembering that were it not for Eck, no one would probably have heard of Luther.  You have to take the bad with the good.

*Huldreich Zwingli, The Latin Works of Huldreich Zwingli (ed. William John Hinke; vol. 2; Philadelphia: Heidelberg Press, 1922), 62–63.