The Counter Reformation : religion and society in early modern Europe


The Counter Reformation : religion and society in early modern Europe

Martin D.W. Jones

(Cambridge topics in history)

Cambridge University Press, 1995

  • : pbk

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Includes bibliographical references and index



The Counter Reformation is part of the Cambridge Topics in History series which looks at key A-level topics through a stimulating selection of original documents and other source material. In recent years historians have transformed the very meaning of the term 'Counter Reformation'. Scholarship has broken free of the partisan bias which misinterpreted the events of the decline and resurgence of the medieval Christian Church. In this text, Martin Jones uses a wide variety of original sources to reveal the true nature of the medieval religious landscape. He explores new insights into issues and events which explain why the old term 'Counter Reformation' is so inappropriate that it cannot now be used without major qualification. A wide range of primary sources, many previously unpublished, is combined with examination-based questions to test the students' skill in evaluating historical evidence. A full introduction, narrative and analysis accompany each topic.


  • Introduction
  • 1. Varieties of belief: late medieval religion and the people
  • 2. Internal reform 1480-1542
  • 3. Countering the Reformation 1517-45
  • 4. The Council of Trent
  • 5. Structural reform
  • 6. Reformation in the parishes: clergy and people
  • 7. The impact of reform: three problems
  • 8. Fire and sword: four studies in Counter Reformation
  • Suggestions for further reading.

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