Protestantism : a very short introduction


Protestantism : a very short introduction

Mark A. Noll

(Very short introductions, 277)

Oxford University Press, 2011

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Includes bibliographical references (p. 141-149) and index



Mark A. Noll presents a fresh and accessible history of Protestantism from the era of Martin Luther to the present day. Beginning with the founding of Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, and Anabaptist churches in the sixteenth-century Reformation, he also considers the rise of other important Christian movements like Methodism and Pentecostalism. Focussing on worldwide developments, rather than just the familiar European and American histories, he considers the recent expansion of Protestant movements in Africa, China, India, and Latin America, emphasising the on-going and rapidly expanding story of Protestants worldwide. Noll examines the contributions from well-known figures including Martin Luther and John Calvin, along with many others, and explores why Protestant energies have flagged recently in the Western world yet expanded so dramatically elsewhere. Highlighting the key points of Protestant commonality including the message of Christian salvation, reliance on the Bible, and organization through personal initiative, he also explores the reasons for Protestantism's extraordinary diversity. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.


  • Introduction
  • 1. Reformation beginnings
  • 2. Protestant christendom
  • 3. Pietists, the American colonies, evangelicals, and the Enlightenment
  • 4. Flourishing, flailing, fragmenting
  • 5. Missionary transformations
  • 6. Pentecostals, revival, independents
  • 7. Whither the West?
  • 8. From everywhere to everywhere
  • Glossary
  • Further reading
  • Index

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