A comprehensive account of the development and diversity of ecclesiological thought during the Reformation in the sixteenth-century.
Trade Information: JPOD
Available as: Paperback (eBook edition available soon)
Specifications: 229x153mm, 502pp
Published: May 2017
Western Christians in the late Middle Ages were accustomed to living in a hierarchical Church – albeit one that had huge local differences and many divisions. Half a millennium later, that seeming unity has been shattered into tens of thousands of Christian denominations, each with its distinctive beliefs and structure. In The Wheat and the Tares Andrew Chibi explores the era of the Reformation, showing how that unity was shattered in a few years.
Chibi brings out the divisions that were simmering deep beneath the surface in the era before Luther posted his 95 theses attacking the sale of indulgences on the door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg, sparking momentous changes throughout Europe. The widespread recognition of the need for reform is seen through the eyes of Erasmus, the greatest scholar of the age. Exploring the writings of the main reformers about the Church, Chibi brings out the diverse ecclesiological ideas. Jesus's parable of the Wheat and the Tares for Zwingli and other reformers offered an image, as the reformers sought to rediscover the purity of the Church as God's gift.
Introduction: Pre-Reformation Ecclesiology (What Is the Church?)
1. Erasmus, Abuses in the Church, and the Needs of Christendom
2. Luther's Doctrine of the Church
3. Zwingli's Doctrine of the Church
4. The Ecclesiology of the Second-Generation Reformers
5. Tudor Ecclesiology
Conclusion: Catholic Ecclesiology of the Sixteenth Century
Andrew Allan Chibi, whose work has appeared in many scholarly journals, is a freelance scholar and former Lecturer in Early Modern Europe at Leicester University. He is the author of The European Reformation (1999), Henry VIII's Bishops (2003), and The English Reformation (2004).
Chibi's book is a study of the church and ecclesiology in the sixteenth century. He starts with the medieval church, and then considers the reformers, the Reformation churches and Counter-Reformation churches. Jesus' parable of the Wheat and the Tares ... is applied to the churches – were the tares allowed to grow alongside the wheat, or did the church try to weed them out? This is a readable book for anyone interested in the church and history. Ralph S. Werrell, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Birmingham and author of The Roots of William Tyndale's Theology (2013)