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Protestants: The Radicals Who Made the Modern World

The Reformation laid the ground for free inquiry, democracy and even modern liberalism.

Alec Ryrie, a professor of theology and religion at the University of Durham, is under no illusions about the various historical misdemeanours of Protestants. They have ‘insisted on God-given inequality’, he writes, ‘valorised state power, persecuted dissenters and placed the community above its members’. But there is also no doubting Protestantism’s progressive role, too. As is clear from the title of his powerful, panoramic book, Protestants: The Radicals Who Made the Modern World, much of what we, as moderns, value is inconceivable without the changes set in motion by the Reformation, and the zeal and faith of those who drove it onwards.

The spiked review decided to speak to Ryrie about what he calls the ‘three key ingredients’ that made the Reformation so world-shaking, and lent Protestantism its radical, transformative energy: free inquiry, democracy and apoliticism. Here is what Ryrie had to say:

Please, read on here on the Spiked website, October 2017.


on 27.10.2017 at 19:58
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