Catalogue

COVID-19: Updates on library services and operations.

Life writing in Reformation Europe [electronic resource] : lives of reformers by friends, disciples and foes /
Irena Backus.
imprint
Aldershot, Hampshire, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate Pub., c2008.
description
xxxiii, 259 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
9780754660552 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Aldershot, Hampshire, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate Pub., c2008.
isbn
9780754660552 (alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Luther : instrument of God or Satan's brood. Main developments in Luther biography, 1546-1581 -- Lives of chief Swiss reformers : hagiographies, historical accounts, and exempla -- Zurich lives in the latter part of the sixteenth century -- Early lives of Calvin and Beza by friends and foes -- Post-Masson views of Calvin : Catholic and Protestant images of Calvin in the seventeenth century, or the birth of "Calvinography."
catalogue key
11366397
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [235]-252) and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, November 2008
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
After a brief introduction to the concepts of biography and religious biography, this work examines a representative sample of lives depicting the reformers as saints and as heretics outlining the dependence of these accounts on classical models.
Long Description
The Reformation period witnessed an explosion in the number of biographies of contemporary religious figures being published. Whether lives of reformers worthy of emulation, or heretics deserving condemnation, the genre of biography became a key element in the confessional rivalries that raged across Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Offering more than a general survey of Life writing, this volume examines key issues and questions about how this trend developed among different confessions and how it helped shape lasting images of reformers, particularly Luther and Calvin up to the modern period.This is the first-ever full length study of the subject showing that Lives of the reformers constitute an integral part of the intellectual and cultural history of the period, serving as an important source of information about the different Reformations. Depending on their origin, they provide a lesson in theology but also in civic values and ideals of education of the period. Genevan Lives in particular also point up the delicate issue of 'Reformed hagiography' which their authors try to avoid with a varying degree of success. Having consistently been at the forefront of the study of the intellectual history of the Reformation Irena Backus is perfectly placed to highlight the importance of Life writing. This is a path-breaking study that will open up a new way of viewing the confessional conflicts of the period and their historiography.
Long Description
This engaging study brings to light a largely neglected genre of Reformation literature, the Lives of various Reformers written after their death by contemporaries. Although far less well known than other types of writings, such as polemical pamphlets, treatises or commentaries, biography constitutes an important body of literature which sheds much light on numerous aspects of the Reformation. Utilising this important canon of reformation writing raises intriguing questions about the role of the individual and of Protestant hagiography, as well as the influence of classical and humanist traditions that stress the importance of the 'great' individual in setting an example for others to follow.Against this background of Protestant hagiography, is set the hostile biographies of Reformers written by their Catholic adversaries. By comparing and contrasting favourable and hostile biographies questions are raised about their value as historical documents, as well as the various and of specific political motivations that prompted their publication. This study also examines the distribution and impact of these books, and how the choice of language used, Latin or vernacular, could affect their reception.In all this ambitious book provides a fascinating insight into the intersection of hagiography, literature, theology and polemical debate across the key years of the European Reformation.In this engaging study, Irena Backus brings to light a largely neglected genre of Reformation literature, the Lives of various Reformers written after their death by contemporaries. Although far less well known than other types of writings, such as polemical pamphlets, treatises or commentaries, biography constitutes an important body of literature which sheds much light on numerous aspects of the Reformation. Utilising this important canon of reformation writing raises intriguing questions about the role of the individual and of Protestant hagiography, as well as the influence of classical and humanist traditions that stress the importance of the 'great' individual in setting an example for others to follow.Against this background of Protestant hagiography, Backus sets the hostile biographies of Reformers written by their Catholic adversaries. By comparing and contrasting favourable and hostile biographies she raises fascinating questions about their value as historical documents, as well as the various and of specific political motivations that prompted their publication. This study also examines the distribution and impact of these books, and how the choice of language used, Latin or vernacular, could affect their reception.In all this ambitious book provides a fascinating insight into the intersection of hagiography, literature, theology and polemical debate across the key years of the European Reformation.
Main Description
The Reformation period witnessed an explosion in the number of biographies of contemporary religious figures being published. Whether lives of reformers worthy of emulation, or heretics deserving condemnation, the genre of biography became a key element in the confessional rivalries that raged across Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Offering more than a general survey of Life writing, this volume examines key issues and questions about how this trend developed among different confessions and how it helped shape lasting images of reformers, particularly Luther and Calvin up to the modern period. This is the first-ever full length study of the subject showing that Lives of the reformers constitute an integral part of the intellectual and cultural history of the period, serving as an important source of information about the different Reformations. Depending on their origin, they provide a lesson in theology but also in civic values and ideals of education of the period. Genevan Lives in particular also point up the delicate issue of 'Reformed hagiography' which their authors try to avoid with a varying degree of success. Having consistently been at the forefront of the study of the intellectual history of the Reformation Irena Backus is perfectly placed to highlight the importance of Life writing. This is a path-breaking study that will open up a new way of viewing the confessional conflicts of the period and their historiography. Contents: Introduction; Luther: instrument of God or Satan's brood. Main developments in Luther biography, 15461581; Lives of chief Swiss reformers: hagiographies, historical accounts and Exempla; Zurich Lives in the latter part of the 16th century; Early Lives of Calvin and Beza by friends and foes; post-Masson views of Calvin: Catholic and Protestant image of Calvin in the 17th century or the birth of 'Calvinography'; Concluding remarks; Bibliography; Index. About the Author: Professor Irena Backus is based at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.
Main Description
This engaging study brings to light a largely neglected genre of Reformation literature, the lives of various Reformers written after their death by contemporaries. Although far less well known than other types of writings, biography constitutes an important body of literature which sheds much light on numerous aspects of the Reformation. Utilising this important canon of reformation writing raises intriguing questions about the role of the individual and of Protestant hagiography, as well as the influence of classical and humanist traditions that stress the importance of the 'great' individual in setting an example for others to follow.
Table of Contents
Introduction
Biography and religious biography: pagan and Christian models and what happened to them in the Reformation period
Luther: instrument of God or Satan's brood
Main developments in Luther biography, 1546-1581
Lives of chief Swiss reformers: hagiographies, historical accounts and Exempla
Zurich Lives in the latter part of the 16th century
Early Lives of Calvin and Beza by friends and foes
Post-Masson views of Calvin: Catholic and Protestant image of Calvin in the 17th century or the birth of 'Calvinography'
Concluding remarks
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem