WHP Occasional Reviews: The Church and the Age of Reformations
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I recently ran across a book reviewing site that is valuable for both authors and readers. Netgalley is a more selective version of other, more popular reviewing sites such as BookBaby and GoodReads. Since we are now offering Netgalley book placement as a service to our authors, I thought it only right to participate as a reviewer for books from other publishing houses. If you are an author, I highly recommend you do so as well, posting reviews on social media as well. As always, please feel free to contact Warner House Press if you wish assistance in this or other author services.
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That said, let’s jump right into the first review:
The Church in the Age of Reformations (1350-1650), Joseph T. Stuart and Barbara A. Stuart. Ave Maria Press, April 2022.
Those not willing or who do not have the time to tackle Diarmaid MacCulloch's The Reformation: A History will find a suitable alternative in this slim volume. Weighing in at less than 200 pages (vs. 800 for MacColluch's tome), much of the same ground is covered and, surprisingly, with the same amount of balance. Luther, rather than being portrayed as the devil incarnate, is instead shown in a rather sympathetic light. Whether, as I suspect, this is due to the authors' embrace of post-Vatican II Catholic theology, or an attempt to present opposition views in the best possible light is of minor concern—the process is followed throughout the book and allows it to surmount mere partisanship.
The book, authored by two educators, is written in lively, accessible prose, drawing the reader in with well-defined portraits of major players from all sides of the reformations. Terms are defined, ideas are explored, both commonalities and differences are fleshed out. In the work's conclusion, the authors explore the legacy of the reformations for today's faithful in a wide-ranging manner. This ends the book on a high note, leaving the reader with the desire to explore this era more fully.
The Church and the Age of Reformations is well-suited for many purposes: as an introduction to the subject for teens and adults in both conventional and homeschool settings, as a resource and jumping-off point for further exploration, and as a quick reference. As part of the *Reclaiming Catholic History* series, it succeeds admirably and would be a valuable addition to any thinking person's library. Highly Recommended. Available April 2022.
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