Does the Reformation Still Matter? by Karin Maag


Imagine you are at a teacher’s workshop. You introduce yourself to the teacher sitting next to you and say you are from such-and-such Christian School. The teacher asks what church your school is affiliated with. You say that your school is private, not parochial, and is not directly affiliated with any church, though it places itself within the Reformed tradition. Naturally your new acquaintance asks what that means and you despair of trying to explain the Reformed branch of the Reformation in the two minutes left before the workshop begins.

Fortunately, Karin Maag has about seventy pages instead of two minutes to accomplish this. In Does the Reformation Still Matter? Maag contributes to the Calvin Shorts series by distilling the essence of the history and effects of the Reformation. In this book Maag, director of the Calvin College Meeter Center (a research center specializing in Calvin, Calvininsm, the Reformation, and Early Modern Studies) and professor of history at Calvin, gives a bird’s-eye view of what happened during the Reformation and how it affected theology, worship, laity, and church-state relations during the sixteenth century. In her final chapter she also discusses why understanding the Reformation is still important today. A helpful list for further reading and a glossary of important terms conclude the volume.

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