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Was the Reformation a Mistake?
Was the Reformation a mistake?
In its actual historical context, it hardly seems fair to call the Reformation a "mistake." In 1517, the Church was in need of a spiritual and theological reform. The issues raised by Renaissance humanism - and by the profound corruption of the Church's leaders, the Avignon papacy, and the Great Schism in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries - lingered unresolved. What were key theological problems that led to the Reformation?
Theologian Matthew Levering helps readers see these questions from a Catholic perspective. Surveying nine key themes - Scripture, Mary, the Eucharist, the Seven Sacraments, monasticism, justification and merit, purgatory, saints, and papacy - he examines the positions of Martin Luther and makes a case that the Catholic position is biblically defensible once one allows for the variety of biblically warranted modes of interpreting Scripture. At the same time, Levering makes clear that he cannot "prove" the Catholic case.
The book concludes with a spirited response by "mere Protestant" theologian Kevin J. Vanhoozer.
About the Author
Matthew Levering (PhD, Boston College) is Perry Family Foundation Professor of Theology at Mundelein Seminary, University of Saint Mary of the Lake, in Mundelein, Illinois. He previously taught at the University of Dayton. Levering is the author of numerous books, including Engaging the Doctrine of Revelation, The Proofs of God, The Theology of Augustine, and Ezra & Nehemiah in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible, and is the coauthor of Holy People, Holy Land. He serves as coeditor of the journals Nova et Vetera and the International Journal of Systematic Theology and has served as Chair of the Board of the Academy of Catholic Theology since 2007.