Global Reformations Sourcebook : Convergence, Conversion, and Conflict in Early Modern Religious Encounters book cover
1st Edition

Global Reformations Sourcebook
Convergence, Conversion, and Conflict in Early Modern Religious Encounters

Edited By

Nicholas Terpstra

ISBN 9780367133986
Published June 25, 2021 by Routledge
310 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This volume of primary sources brings together letters, memoirs, petitions, tracts, and stories related to religion and reform around the globe from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries.

The common subject of the sources is the Reformation, and these texts demonstrate the themes and impacts of religious reform in Europe and around the globe. Scholars once framed the Reformation as a sixteenth-century European dispute between Protestant and Catholic churches and states, but now look expansively at connections and entanglements between different confessions, faiths, time periods, and geographical areas. The Reformation coincided with Europeans’ expanding reach across the globe as traders, settlers, and colonists, but the role that religion played in this drive has yet to be fully explored. These readings highlight these reformers’ engagements with Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and indigenous spirituality, and the entanglement of Christian reform with colonialism, trade, enslavement, and racism.

Offering a sustained, comparative, and interdisciplinary exploration of religious transformations in the early modern world, this collection of primary sources is invaluable to both undergraduate and postgraduate students working on theology, the Reformation, and early modern society.

Table of Contents

Part A: Introduction and Orientation

1. Reform, Reformation, and the Global Reformation

2. How to Read a Primary Source 

Part B: Imagination & Identity

3. Seeking Spiritual Renewal

4. Dangers and Threats

5. Satire & Reform

6. Creating and Restoring Ordered Communities

Part C: Co-existence, Conversion, Convergence

7. Negotiating Co-existence 

8. Rejecting Co-existence

9. Conversion: Threat or Opportunity?

10. Convergence

Part D: Space & Sense

11. Creating Separate Spaces

12. Life Within the Walls

13. The Senses and Rhythms of Faith

Part E: Authorities Between Worlds

14. Nations at Prayer: State Churches

15. The Power of Words

16. Forming Clergy

Part F: Networks & Communities

17. Building Families of Faith

18. Order & Discipline 

Part G: Tools

19. Glossary  

20. Bibliography

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Nicholas Terpstra is Professor of History at the University of Toronto. He works at the intersections of gender, politics, charity, and religion in early modern Italy, focusing on civil and uncivil society, religious refugees, and the digital mapping of early modern social realities and relations.


‘As a term ‘Catholic Reformation’ has long been reckoned, by not a few, as a contradiction in terms. Meanwhile, ‘Global Reformation’ has been considered as an even harder sell: until now, that is. This volume, unprecedented both in thematic as well as geographical range, redraws our understanding of religious change in the early modern globe in fundamental ways. It is, without a shadow of doubt, the most comprehensive and intelligently chosen collection of primary sources I have ever encountered for use at university level (and beyond). This is very much a history of the Reformation for the ‘glocalised’ 21st century and it deserves the widest possible readership.’

Simon Ditchfield, University of York, UK

The Global Reformations Sourcebook is highly imaginative in terms of the breadth of coverage and freshness of approach to the Reformation and its far-reaching influence. Traditional theological and political concerns are placed alongside the experiences of less prominent individuals, both female and male, Christian and non-Christian. Terpstra expands the discussion to include Jewish and Muslim communities as well as indigenous African, American and Asian people. The results are at once challenging and appealing.’

Raymond Mentzer, University of Iowa, USA