Item description for Imaginative World of the Reformation by Peter Matheson...
The stirrings of the Reformation sweeping through Europe caught the imagination of whole peoples.
While the Reformation has traditionally been understood in terms of changes in social and political structures and history of doctrine, Peter Matheson argues that the underlying shift was in the perception of reality. It replaced the "enchanted world" of the medieval church with a different imaginative world, and it is this shift which in turn accounted for the radical nature and extent of the Reformation itself.
A most important and fascinating work of original research and analysis by one of the world's leading Reformation historians. Comprehensively illustrated.
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Studio: Bloomsbury T&T Clark
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.49" Width: 5.46" Height: 0.4" Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date Nov 2, 2000
Publisher T. & T. Clark Publishers, Ltd.
ISBN 0567087115 ISBN13 9780567087119
Availability 0 units.
More About Peter Matheson
The Revd Professor Peter Matheson is Principal of Theological Hall, Melbourne.
Peter Matheson has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Imaginative World of the Reformation?
Brief but intriguing Feb 25, 2007
Matheson offers in only 140 pages, an interesting way of looking at the Reformation, something that has been needed in historical circles for several decades. The imaginative world of the early modern period unfortunately is far too diverse and fragmented to consider in so short a space. Carlo Ginzburg's microhistory The Cheese and the Worms (a work that is absent from Matheson's bibliography) reveals how a rather normal man can imagine a cosmology completely out of sync with the status quo. To simply dismiss this as an anomaly is shortsighted, for other works such as Nathan Johnstone's study on the English conceptions of the Devil in the same period have revealed a diverse set of mentalities amongst people. That said, Matheson offers some interesting points of departure and opens the door for further examination, particularly concerning dreams/nightmares and early modern people's own imaginative perceptions of their actions and the actions of others. Also, the book is a good addition to the machinery which is slowly unbuilding the Weberian understanding of Protestantism and the Reformation. Finally, while intriguing and engaging as a writer, Matheson tends to at times breach the academic boundaries of literary style. He is capable of exaltations in soliloquy and of descriptions that border on naive and fantastical. While his analysis of the Protestants understanding of the Reformation as a realignment or a reharmonisation of religion is a fascinating analogy (which lacks thorough evidence), he tends to take it (and other analysis) beyond the bounds of solid academic discourse. That said, overall, the book is both groundbreaking and thought provoking. It is something that both the layman and the professional historian should engage and enjoy.