The Pietist Schoolman Podcast, Episode #27: Could the Reformation Have Happened Without Luther?

Eire, Reformations

It’s counterfactual week on The Pietist Schoolman Podcast, as Sam and I conjure up thought experiments in which the Reformation either happens before Martin Luther comes on the scene, or proceeds in a timeline from which he’s been somehow removed.

Featured Book

Carlos Eire, Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450-1650

Other Readings

It doesn’t touch on the Reformation, but if you want to see some otherwise serious historians play around with counterfactuals, check out Virtual History, ed. Niall Ferguson.

I also like Rebecca Onion’s Aeon essay on this kind of analysis, from December 2015.

At one point, I mention the French scholar Jean Gerson, whose most recent biographer describes him as the leader of The Last Medieval Reformation.

We touch briefly on Luther’s life story in the last third of our discussion. Among other new-ish Luther books, see the biography by Lyndal Roper, Andrew Pettegree’s well-received study of Brand Luther, and Rebel in the Ranks, by Catholic historian Brad Gregory (mentioned in the episode for an earlier work).

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