Problems of Authority in the Reformation Debates
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Problems of Authority in the Reformation Debates

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Problems of Authority in the Reformation Debates shows that in the early sixteenth century much was seen to be wrong with both the doctrine and the practice of authority in the Western Church. A great deal of scholarly effort was devoted at the time to trying to understand the nature of the problem, but this, as the author points out, was largely a piecemeal endeavour. No one succeeded in providing a comprehensive account of the complex 'authority' questions which were being raised about absolute divine sovereignty, the centrality of Christ, the primacy of scripture, the necessity of grace, and so on. Dr Evans aims here to piece together underlying connections in the theology of the Reformation period, as a contribution to ecumenical dialogue. She shows how, as theologians struggle today about words and meanings, the detailed texture of semantic debate similarly underlies many of the Reformation controversies.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 348 pages
  • 156 x 231.1 x 22.9mm | 571.54g
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0521892465
  • 9780521892469
  • 116,551

Review quote

"Athough this book represents something of a departure from Evans' earlier works, which focused primarily on medieval thought, readers familiar with her writings will recognize the mastery of sources, finely-honed analysis, and engaging prose that we have come to expect from Evans." Glenn S. Sunshine, Sixteenth Century Journal "Evans' mastery and sophisticated handling of the sources, her expertise in the medieval context, and her effort to make sense of the sixteenth-century conflicts by a sympathetic 'intellectual fellowship' with the combatants, results in a finely-tuned historical study in which the ecumenical implications are suggested with delicacy and moderation....For Reformation scholars committed to ecumenical dialogue, Evans has produced a thesis that will stimulate reflection and discussion." Craig S. Farmer, Pro Ecclesiashow more

Table of contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Principal collections of articles and theses mentioned in the text; Introduction; Part I. Authority For the Truth of the Faith: 1. The authority of the text; 2. Authoritative testimony; 3. Authoritative proof; Part II. Saving Authority: 4. Powerlessness before sin; 5. Justification; 6. The empowering of the will for good; Part III. Authority in the Church to Reconcile: 7. The saving power of the sacraments; 8. The penitential system and 'power to bind and loose'; 9. The Eucharist and authority to forgive; Part IV. Authority in the Visible Community: 10. Visible and invisible; 11. The two swords and the political analogy; 12. Making ministers; 13. Higher authority; Part V. The Authority of Common Sense: 14. A decision-making body; 15. Decision-making in a divided Church; Conclusion: the unity we seek; Select bibliography; Index.show more

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