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Protestants by Alec Ryrie

Protestants

Protestants by Alec Ryrie
Hardcover
Apr 04, 2017 | 528 Pages
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    Apr 03, 2018 | 528 Pages

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    Apr 04, 2017 | 528 Pages

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Praise

“In this compelling and sweeping book, Alec Ryrie charts the history of one of the greatest forces in the making of modernity: the rise of the Protestant faith and ethos. Without it, one is hard-pressed to envision the spread of capitalism or of democracy. Ryrie writes that his aim ‘is to persuade you that we cannot understand the modern age without understanding the dynamic history of Protestant Christianity.’ To which I reply: Mission accomplished.” – Jon Meacham, author of American Lion and Thomas Jefferson

“To cover the story of Protestantism in just 514 pages might seem a recklessly task. But Ryrie has succeeded magnificently. He writes with the affection of an insider and the judgment of a first-class historian, and is excellent at conveying the sheer excitement, passion and violence that have marked Protestantism’s story.” – The Sunday Times
 
“Comprehensive and highly readable… Ryrie is one of the world’s leading authorities on the Protestant Reformation. . . He is a particularly graceful and humane writer — a very kind person, you feel — qualities that serve him well in a history this divisive and contentious.” – Dallas Morning News
 
“A sweeping, wonderful book…. We no longer understand that the world wasn’t always this way, that we didn’t always have things like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, or the concept of limited government.” – Eric Metaxas, author of Martin Luther, on The Eric Metaxas Show
 
“An astonishment of narrative sweep and close analysis, transforming a familiar subject into one not seen before, Protestants is a breathtakingly original charting of the God-driven current running below the surface of the West, and, now, the world. In its triumphs and tragedies, Alec Ryrie illuminates faith, yes; but the real revelation here is human life itself – its intelligence, open-endedness, hope.” – James Carroll, author of Christ Actually and Constantine’s Sword

“Ryrie does more than simply repeat the landmarks of Protestant history; he probes the minds and spirits of Protestants themselves . . . A particular strength of his work is the attention he gives to the “ordinary” people who make up the Protestant movement—men and women who turn out to be rather extraordinary . . . Ryrie has given us an impressive biography of the overall Protestant movement. Above all, he has demonstrated how contemporary Western life was founded on Europe’s response to the Protestant faith, rendering it, in the words of his subtitle, “the faith that made the modern world.” – The Gospel Coalition
 
“A masterly history. . . Rare is the historian who is as instructive about Christianity in Asia as he is about churches in the West, yet Ryrie manages both.” – The Wall Street Journal

“Ryrie’s agile mind, pithy style and energetic narrative bring 500 years of Protestant history to life. Protestants is shrewd, incisive and proceeds at an astonishing pace. If you wish to buy one book to understand the impact Martin Luther has had on the modern world, this is it.”
–Bishop Graham Kings, Mission Theologian in the Anglican Communion

 
“Learned and lively…Ryrie credits Protestants with playing significant roles in the spread of free speech and the placement of conscience ahead of government dictates throughout Europe and across what eventually became the United States…Rarely has an author of such deep faith offered such a tolerant, engaging history of any religion.”  Kirkus Reviews (starred)
 
“Informative and stimulating… Ryrie is as eloquent as he is erudite.” – Financial Times

“What a treat this book is. Its scholarship showcases one of the leading historians of Protestantism writing today, but the delight of it is the crisp prose, cool wit, wise judgements and sheer scope from the gates of Wittenberg to the streets of Seoul.  Ryrie has a gift for showing how the history of religion is the history of people, in all their baffling, frightening or endearing variety.”  - Diarmaid MacCulloch, author of Reformation and Christianity

“This is a book of breathtaking range and penetrating insight. It will shape our perception of the Reformation and its long shadow for years to come.”  – Andrew Pettegree, author of Brand Luther

“Theology is morality is politics is law – and whether or not it’s immediately obvious, the world is steeped in theology. In contemporary America, it seems unlikely that one could look at a property deed or a government budget and find traces of old theological disputes. But they’re there… Ryrie’s central contention is that the Reformation changed the ideological contours of Europe by toppling the traditional sources of authority – indeed, the stability of any world authority whatsoever. By doing so, it hastened or precipitated the rise of modernity, a condition that is marked in Ryrie’s view by the spread of liberalism, secularism, democracy and capitalism…. The monumental role Protestantism imagined for the individual conscience helps to explain, by Ryrie’s light, the origins of modern thought.” – The Nation
 
Protestants is spectacularly good. Ryrie writes with empathy but without illusions; his trademark combination of wit and erudition makes the journey as enjoyable as it is enlightening.” - Prof. Peter Marshall, author of Heretics and Believers

“This sweeping and thought-provoking book may prove a bible of the Protestant quincentenary.”
Booklist (starred)

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