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The Birth of Modern Belief - Princeton Scholarship Online
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The Birth of Modern Belief

Ethan H. Shagan


This book traces the history of belief in the Christian West from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment, revealing for the first time how a distinctively modern category of belief came into being. The book focuses not on what people believed, which is the normal concern of Reformation history, but on the more fundamental question of what people took belief to be. It shows how religious belief enjoyed a special prestige in medieval Europe, one that set it apart from judgment, opinion, and the evidence of the senses. But with the outbreak of the Protestant Reformation, the question of just what k ... More

Keywords: Christian West, religious belief, unbelievers, modern belief, Protestant Reformation, Luther, Calvin, Council of Trent, Enlightenment

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780691174747
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691174747.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ethan H. Shagan, author
Berkeley, University of California