Luther and Reformation by James Atkinson

James Atkinson, The Great Light. Luther and Reformation.

James Atkinson’s masterly analysis of Martin Luther’s role in the Reformation is volume 4 in the Paternoster Church History series, edited by F.F. Bruce. It also covers Calvin, Zwingli, Henry VIII, Edward VI,. Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I.

The Paternoster Press has never held the digital rights for this title. All reasonable efforts have been made to contact the current copyright holder without success. If you hold the rights or know who does, please contact me.

James Atkinson, The Great Light. Luther and Reformation. The Paternoster Church History, Vol. IV. Exeter: The Paternoster Press, 1968. PHbk. ISBN: 085364084X. pp.287. [Click to visit the download page]


  • Preface
  1. Luther’s Discovery of Evangelical Theology
  2. Luther Teaches Evangelical Theology
  3. The Papacy Repudiates Evangelical Theology
  4. Luther Faces the Problems of the Reformation
  5. Luther’s Reconstruction of the Church in Saxony on Evangelical Principles, 1525-32
  6. Developments to the Death of Charles V, 1532-58
  7. Zwingli and His Background
  8. The Reformation in Switzerland
  9. Calvin’s Life and Work
  10. Calvin’s Theology
  11. The Reign of Henry VIII, 1509-47
  12. The Reign of Edward VI, 1547-53
  13. The Marian Reaction, 1553-8
  14. Scotland: Saviour of the Reformation
  15. Elizabeth, 1558-1603
  16. The Church Under Elizabeth
  • Chronological Tables
  • Bibliography
  • Index


The Reformation has a significance that is permanent, for in that century the Reformers everywhere in Europe challenged a faithless, secularized Church with the authority of the original Gospel, a challenge that is relevant at all times and in all places to both Protestant and Catholic alike. This volume deals with Luther’ s fruitless struggle to find a gracious God, through which agony God found him; his consequent reformation of the Church by this rediscovered evangelical theology of faith in Christ only; his stand against Pope and Emperor on the unshakeable ground of the Bible, conscience and common sense; his establishment of the evangelical Church in Saxony. There is recounted the brief, tragic history of Zwingli, and his somewhat Erasmian reformation of Zürich and the surrounding region….

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