Five hundred years ago an obscure monk challenged the authority of the pope with a radical vision of what Christianity could be. The revolution he set in motion inspired one of the most creative and destructive movements in human history. It has toppled governments, upended social norms, and transformed millions of people’s understanding of their relationship with God. In this dazzling global history of innovation and change, Alec Ryrie makes the case that Protestants made the modern world.
Protestants’ introduces us to the men and women who defined and redefined this quarrelsome faith. Some turned to their newly accessible Bibles to justify bold acts of political opposition; others to support a new understanding of who they were and what they could and should do. Above all, Protestants were willing to fight for their beliefs. If you look at the great confrontations of the last five centuries, you will find Protestants defining the debate on both sides: for and against colonialism, slavery, fascism, communism, women’s rights, and more. Protestants have also fought among themselves. What unites them all is their passion for God and a vital belief in the principle of self-determination. Protestants are people who love God and take on the world.