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What to expect
On the 500th anniversary of Luther’s rebellion, this spectacular global history traces the revolutionary faith that shaped the modern world.
Five hundred years ago Protestant Christianity began with one stubborn monk – today, it includes a billion people across the globe.
The upheaval Martin Luther triggered inspired one of the most creative and destructive movements in human history. Protestants is the story of the men and women who made and remade this quarrelsome faith by demanding alarming new freedoms and experimenting in new systems of government. Inspired by their newly accessible Bibles, they transformed their inner lives, a transformation that spilled over into social upheavals and political revolutions. Alec Ryrie’s dazzling history explores how its restless energy made and is still making the modern world.
‘A book about Protestants could so easily mirror crude stereotypes. Protestants are supposedly staid, prudish, law-abiding and dull. Ryrie instead exposes their infinite variety — the weird, wicked and wonderful. This is a fun book about people obsessed with sin’ Books of the Year, The Times
‘A treat. Its scholarship showcases one of the leading historians of Protestantism writing today, but the delight of it is the crisp prose, the quiet, cool wit, the wise judgements and the 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 glorious, baffling, frightening and 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’
‘Spectacularly good. Ryrie guides us sure-footedly along the broad paths of Protestant history without neglecting its many fascinating by-ways. He 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, University of Warwick
‘A learned, lively look at the various faiths lumped together as Protestant, from Martin Luther in the 16th century to today… Rarely has an author of such deep faith offered such a tolerant, engaging history of any religion’ Kirkus
‘Ryrie’s agile mind, pithy style and energetic narrative bring 500 years of Protestant history to life and into the present global era. Profound and capacious, ‘Protestants’ is scintillating, 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’ The Rt Revd Dr Graham Kings, Mission Theologian in the Anglican Communion