A Reformation Life
The European Reformation through the Eyes of Philipp of Hesse
by David M. Whitford
August 2015, 170pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-0253-9
$75, £58, 66€, A103
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-0254-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The Reformation set the stage for early modern European history.

This title presents the European Reformation as seen through the life of an important but little-known participant—Philipp of Hesse, a nobleman who became a Reformation leader in Germany.

The Reformation was the most cataclysmic event in Western Christianity. An ideal resource for undergraduate history students and general readers, this title provides an accessible human narrative through the complex events of the period that many find bewildering. History comes alive and events unfold through the eyes of Philipp of Hesse, a German nobleman who ascended to becoming a key Reformation leader.

The book begins with a detailed survey of the Holy Roman Empire at the turn of the 16th century and provides chronological coverage of Philipp’s life and role in the Reformation through to after his death in 1567, after which Calvinism rose within the empire. The chapters document how Philipp of Hesse knew every major figure of the German Reformation; participated in every major Reformation-era imperial diet; was present at every important event in the Lutheran-dominated, foundational period of 1521 to 1555; and became a leading Lutheran prince in the Holy Roman Empire. Additionally, the work thoroughly documents the connections between religion, politics, and society and explains the important role of the German nobility in the development of the Reformation.


  • Provides a fresh approach to a curricular staple topic that is critical to the understanding of early modern history, the history of religion, and the current state of Christianity
  • Enables readers to understand how the events of the Reformation unfolded by viewing the events through the perspective of one man central to the cause and demonstrating how certain individuals' convictions led to the theology that followed
David M. Whitford is professor of reformation studies at Baylor University and an editor of the Sixteenth Century Journal (SCJ), a leading international journal of the early modern era. His published work includes Luther: A Guide for the Perplexed and The Curse of Ham in the Early Modern Era: The Bible and Justifications for Slavery. Whitford is editor of Reformation and Early Modern Europe: A Guide to Research.


"A readily accessible introduction. . . . Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries."—Choice, April 1, 2016
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