Christendom Destroyed: Europe 1517-1648: Bk. 5: Europe 1500-1650

Author(s): Mark Greengrass


This latest addition to the landmark Penguin History of Europe series is a compelling, authoritative portrayal of a divided Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Mark Greengrass brilliantly conveys the fundamental changes that led to the collapse of Christendom and established the geographical and political frameworks of Western Europe as we know it.

From peasants to princes, no one was untouched by the spiritual and intellectual upheaval of this era. Martin Luther's challenge to church authority forced Christians to examine their beliefs in ways that shook the foundations of their religion. The subsequent schism, fed by dynastic rivalries and military changes, fundamentally altered the relations between ruler and ruled. Geographical and scientific discoveries challenged the unity of Christendom as a belief-community. Europe, with all its divisions, emerged instead as a geographical projection. It was reflected in the mirror of America, and refracted by the eclipse of Crusade in ambiguous relationships with the Ottomans and Orthodox Christianity. Chronicling these dramatic changes, Thomas More, Shakespeare, Montaigne and Cervantes created works that continue to resonate with us. Christendom Destroyedbrings together a host of literary and historical sources and new research to create a rich tapestry that fosters a deeper understanding of Europe's identity today.

'Christendom was the project which united western Christianity. The period following the Protestant Reformation witnessed the progressive and eventually comprehensive disintegration of that project, and the myth which lay behind it. By 1650, Christendom lay devastated and drained, broken in pieces. There was nothing left beyond the yearning for a vanished unity, a 'Paradise lost'. 'Europe', which is increasingly how what had once been Christendom was now conceived, was not a project but a georgraphical projection, a map on which its divisions could be represented, a way of delineating its political, economic and social framentation.' Mark Greengrass

2014. First edition, first printing. A fine, as new, copy in a fine, unclipped d/w that is now in a protective cover. A mint copy. Scans available if required.


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Mark Greengrass is Professor Emeritus at the University of Sheffield. His books include Governing Passions: Peace and Reform in the French Kingdoms, 1576-1585, France in the Age of Henri IV and The European Reformation, c.1500-1618.

General Fields

  • : 9780713990867
  • : Penguin Books Ltd
  • : Allen Lane
  • : January 2014
  • : 234mm X 153mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : August 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 2 x 8pp colour plates
  • : 752
  • : 940
  • : en
  • : 914
  • : Hardback
  • : Mark Greengrass