Monday, 12 March 2012

Brad Gregory, The Unintended Reformation

Brad Gregory's new book on the unintended consequences of the Protestant Reformation is generating a fair bit of online discussion, and has already been reviewed in the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Times Higher. It's a brave book. It breaks out of chronological and disciplinary comfort zones in a way that few historians dare in these days of ever increasing specialisation. It's brave in another way too. Historians are typically inclined to sidestep normative debates about the true, the good and the beautiful. Gregory does not. This is a moral (and theological) history of Western modernity, which ends with a call for the desecularization of the university. It's already being compared with two other bracing works by Catholic thinkers, Macintyre's After Virtue, and Taylor's A Secular Age.

Of course, Protestants are likely to have some significant reservations about aspects of the argument. For a thoughtful engagement along these lines see Dale van Kley's review in Books and Culture:

The book's homepage is here:

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