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About the book
  • Published: 31 August 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446416891
  • Imprint: BBC Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

The Protestant Revolution

From Martin Luther to Martin Luther King Jr.




A fascinating history of the Reformation and its continuing impact on the modern world

When Martin Luther nailed 95 criticisms of the Catholic Church to the door of his local church in 1517 he sparked not just a religious Reformation, but an unending cycle of political, social and economic change that continues to this day.

By challenging the authority of the Pope, Luther inadvertently unleashed a revolutionary force: the power of the individual to determine his or her own thoughts and actions. Over four centuries later, the Protestant minister Martin Luther King Jr was acting on the same revolutionary principle when he rejected racial discrimination and spearheaded the US Civil Rights Movement.

The legacy of the Reformation is all around us, influencing our work life, our family life, even our sex life, as well as our political views and sense of national identity. From literature to science, from gay marriage to the 'War on Terror', a vibrant struggle for Protestant principles is alive in Britain, America and the developing world.

This is the story of the Reformation and its lasting legacy - in effect, how Protestantism created the modern world.

  • Pub date: 31 August 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446416891
  • Imprint: BBC Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

About the Author

William G. Naphy

William Naphy is Senior Lecturer and Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Divinity, History & Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen. He is the author of Sex Crimes: From Renaissance to Enlightenment, Born to be Gay: A History of Homosexuality, Plagues, Poisons and Potions, co-author of Plague: Black Death & Pestilence in Europe, and general editor of Tempus Publishing's Dark Histories series. He is a regular guest on Radio 4's Start the Week, and has been historical consultant on Channel 4 and BBC documentaries on the history of the plague and witchcraft. He lives in Aberdeen.


Praise for The Protestant Revolution

“This is a scholarly, readable and intensely interesting history of the role and influence of the ideas associated with Protestantism. It explains its origins, development and political strength at a time when religion is growing in power and influence, some good and some dangerous.”

Tony Benn

“Like a skilled general who marshals his forces towards a single objective ... William Naphy has brought his sweeping command of church history towards a controversial conclusion: he claims that Protestantism ... has never been a Church in the traditional understanding of that term, but it has, nevertheless, released a positive energy for change that has had, and continues to have, a profound and dynamic effect on the human community.”

Bishop Richard Holloway

“Another intelligent and measured offering ... Compelling”

Family History Monthly


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