100 books like Thomas Cranmer

By Diarmaid MacCulloch,

Here are 100 books that Thomas Cranmer fans have personally recommended if you like Thomas Cranmer. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Birthpangs of Protestant England: Religious and Cultural Change in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

Peter Marshall Author Of Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation

From my list on the English Reformation.

Why am I passionate about this?

Peter Marshall is Professor of History at the University of Warwick, co-editor of the English Historical Review, and the author of nine books and over sixty articles on the religious and cultural history of early modern Europe. His authoritative account of the Reformation in England, Heretics and Believers, was awarded the Wolfson History Prize in 2018. Peter is a native of the Orkney Islands, and currently writing a book on the islanders’ experiences in the Reformation era.

Peter's book list on the English Reformation

Peter Marshall Why did Peter love this book?

Thirty years after its first publication, Patrick Collinson’s elegantly written account of how Protestantism transformed English society remains fresh, challenging and surprising. Focusing on art and culture, urban life, the family and ideas of nationhood, it persuasively argued that it makes more sense to see the Reformation as a drawn-out process rather than a dramatic ‘event’, and as one that was coming to fruition only in the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I. It is also a triumphant demonstration of how short books can punch above their weight.

By Patrick Collinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Birthpangs of Protestant England as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'...a masterly study.' Alister McGrath, Theological Book Review '...a splendid read.' J.J.Scarisbrick, TLS '...profound, witty...of immense value.' David Loades, History Today Historians have always known that the English Reformation was more than a simple change of religious belief and practice. It altered the political constitution and, according to Max Weber, the attitudes and motives which governed the getting and investment of wealth, facilitating the rise of capitalism and industrialisation. This book investigates further implications of the transformative religious changes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries for the nation, the town, the family, and for their culture.


Book cover of Providence in Early Modern England

Peter Marshall Author Of Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation

From my list on the English Reformation.

Why am I passionate about this?

Peter Marshall is Professor of History at the University of Warwick, co-editor of the English Historical Review, and the author of nine books and over sixty articles on the religious and cultural history of early modern Europe. His authoritative account of the Reformation in England, Heretics and Believers, was awarded the Wolfson History Prize in 2018. Peter is a native of the Orkney Islands, and currently writing a book on the islanders’ experiences in the Reformation era.

Peter's book list on the English Reformation

Peter Marshall Why did Peter love this book?

In the world of the Reformation, nothing happened by chance. Providentialism was the belief that every event in the human and natural world was a result of the direct will of God, and was infused with meanings for people to interpret. With great sensitivity and insight, Walsham draws us into these unfamiliar ways of thinking, where everything from a bout of bad weather to the unmasking of a political plot could be a message from God demanding an urgent collective response.

By Alexandra Walsham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Providence in Early Modern England as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Providence in Early Modern England is the most extensive study to date of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century belief that God actively intervened in human affairs to punish, reward, warn, try, and chastise. Providentialism has often been seen as a distinctive hallmark of puritan piety. However, Dr Walsham argues that it was a cluster of assumptions which penetrated every sector of English society, cutting across the boundaries created by status and creed,
education and wealth. She explores a range of dramatic events and puzzling phenomena in which contemporaries detected the divine finger at work: tragic accidents and sudden deaths, strange sights…


Book cover of The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village

Peter Marshall Author Of Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation

From my list on the English Reformation.

Why am I passionate about this?

Peter Marshall is Professor of History at the University of Warwick, co-editor of the English Historical Review, and the author of nine books and over sixty articles on the religious and cultural history of early modern Europe. His authoritative account of the Reformation in England, Heretics and Believers, was awarded the Wolfson History Prize in 2018. Peter is a native of the Orkney Islands, and currently writing a book on the islanders’ experiences in the Reformation era.

Peter's book list on the English Reformation

Peter Marshall Why did Peter love this book?

Eamon Duffy’s justly acclaimed ‘microhistory’ transports us away from the world of bishops, parliament and the court in order to track, across four crucial decades, the experiences of a tiny village on the edge of Exmoor in Devon, based on meticulous recordings in the ‘church book’ by the long-serving parish priest. It is a story in miniature of the tragically destructive aspects of the Reformation, but also an uplifting one in its depiction of the capacity of ordinary people to survive and adapt.

By Eamon Duffy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Voices of Morebath as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the fifty years between 1530 and 1580, England moved from being one of the most lavishly Catholic countries in Europe to being a Protestant nation, a land of whitewashed churches and antipapal preaching. What was the impact of this religious change in the countryside? And how did country people feel about the revolutionary upheavals that transformed their mental and material worlds under Henry VIII and his three children?

In this book a reformation historian takes us inside the mind and heart of Morebath, a remote and tiny sheep farming village on the southern edge of Exmoor. The bulk of…


Book cover of The Social Universe of the English Bible: Scripture, Society, and Culture in Early Modern England

Peter Marshall Author Of Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation

From my list on the English Reformation.

Why am I passionate about this?

Peter Marshall is Professor of History at the University of Warwick, co-editor of the English Historical Review, and the author of nine books and over sixty articles on the religious and cultural history of early modern Europe. His authoritative account of the Reformation in England, Heretics and Believers, was awarded the Wolfson History Prize in 2018. Peter is a native of the Orkney Islands, and currently writing a book on the islanders’ experiences in the Reformation era.

Peter's book list on the English Reformation

Peter Marshall Why did Peter love this book?

At the heart of the Reformation in England was an insistence that people be allowed access to Scripture in their own language, but translation was invariably a selective and creative process. Tadmor brilliantly shows how the translators of the Hebrew Bible (‘Old Testament’) remade the ancient world in the image of contemporary Tudor society, editing out many references to slavery and polygamous marriage, and merging together distinct forms of political governance through consistent reference to the authority of a ‘prince’. The findings are eye-opening, and the book should be required reading for modern biblical fundamentalists.

By Naomi Tadmor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Social Universe of the English Bible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How can we explain the immense popularity of the English Bible? In this book, Naomi Tadmor argues that the vernacular Bible became so influential in early modern English society and culture not only because it was deeply revered, widely propagated, and resonant, but also because it was - at least in some ways - Anglicised. She focuses in particular on the rendering into English of biblical terms of social description and demonstrates the emergence of a social universe through the processes of translation from ancient and medieval texts to successive and interrelated English versions. She investigates the dissemination of these…


Book cover of John Knox

Andrew Greig Author Of Rose Nicolson: Memoir of William Fowler of Edinburgh

From my list on the wild side of the Scotland-England borderlands.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in rural Bannockburn in Scotland, two fields from the site of the famous Battle (a rare victory over England) of 1314. From the start, the Past has always been very present to me. I have written 22 books: novels, non-fiction memoir, and poetry. In differing ways they all explore aspects of Scotland and being Scottish – our landscape, geology, history, culture, and psyche. I was brought up in East Fife, near St Andrews, and live in Edinburgh and Orkney; my mother was English, as is my wife, novelist Lesley Glaister. Which is by way of saying I am interested in writing the joys, aches, and complexities of being human, in the universal and the local, in our present and the Past that shapes it.

Andrew's book list on the wild side of the Scotland-England borderlands

Andrew Greig Why did Andrew love this book?

So it is not a novel, but might as well be for its twists, turns, and transformations. Edinburgh in 1572 was a small town of some 3,000 families, so my real-life narrator William Fowler would know and meet one of its most notable citizens, Preacher John Knox of Haddington, along with his young and socially aristocratic second wife (the latter attribute was more a matter of gossip and criticism than the thirty-seven years age gap), and witnessed him being helped up into the pulpit at St Giles to give his congregation a last good talking to. This is the most recent (drawing on a major new cache of letters), and highly readable, life of the man who pushed Scotland towards a Presbyterian Calvinist form of Protestantism – crucially distinct from that evolving in England under the Auld Hag aka Elizabeth I. He is revealed as a much more complex and…

By Jane Dawson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked John Knox as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The definitive biography of John Knox, a leader of the Protestant Reformation in sixteenth-century Scotland

"Never before has there been such a thoroughly and sympathetically critical treatment of the 16th-century Scottish reformer's thought and times. . . . A joy to read and a book to value."-Sean Michael Lucas, Gospel Coalition

Based in large part on previously unavailable sources, including the recently discovered papers of John Knox's close friend and colleague Christopher Goodman, this biography challenges the traditionally held stereotype of the founder of the Presbyterian denomination as a strident and misogynist religious reformer whose influence rarely extended beyond Scotland.…


Book cover of The Kingdom Is Always But Coming: A Life of Walter Rauschenbusch

Benjamin M. Friedman Author Of Religion and the Rise of Capitalism

From my list on economics, religion, and society.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an economist, now in my fiftieth year as a professor at Harvard. While much of my work has focused on economic policy – questions like the effects of government budget deficits, guidelines for the conduct of U.S. monetary policy, and what actions to take in response to a banking or more general financial crisis – in recent years I’ve also addressed broader issues surrounding the connections between economics and society. Several years ago, in The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, I examined the implications of our economy’s growth, or stagnation, for the social, political, and ultimately moral character of our society. My most recent book explores the connections between economic thinking and religious thinking.

Benjamin's book list on economics, religion, and society

Benjamin M. Friedman Why did Benjamin love this book?

One of the most significant episodes in the influence of religious thinking on economic thinking in America was the emergence of the Social Gospel, in the last two decades of the nineteenth century and the early decades of the twentieth. And one of the most powerful advocates of the Social Gospel was the Baptist minister and university theologian Walter Rauschenbusch. Evans’s biography vividly tells the story of the Social Gospel movement as well as Rauschenbusch’s leading role within it. Of the many clergymen about whom I write about in my own book, Rauschenbusch is perhaps the one whose ideas I most admire.

By Christopher H. Evans,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Kingdom Is Always But Coming as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Given the 2005 Award of Merit by Christianity Today, Christopher Evans' The Kingdom is Always but Coming follows the life and career of American theologian Walter Rauschenbusch, the preeminent spokesperson at the center of the social gospel movement. Perceptive, well-informed, and ably written, Evans' biography is a superb introduction to both Rauschenbusch's life and his thought.


Book cover of The Letters of Abelard and Heloise

Sara Lipton Author Of Dark Mirror: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Jewish Iconography

From my list on medieval religious history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was raised in a Jewish but completely secular family, with no religious traditions or affiliations. Perhaps because religion was so exotic, I have always found it fascinating. In college, I gravitated toward topics in medieval religion, which crystallized the strangeness of an era both earthy and intensely devout. I wanted to understand why an Anglo-Saxon monk sitting in a cold monastery in northern England cared so much about biblical history. Or how Saint Bernard could so relentlessly hound a fellow monk over a scholarly treatise, yet also work energetically to protect Jews from violence. I can't say I'll ever fully comprehend the force of religion, but I love trying.

Sara's book list on medieval religious history

Sara Lipton Why did Sara love this book?

The letters collected in this slim paperback collectively tell one of the most dramatic and moving stories of the entire Middle Ages. Letter 1, directed toward a (perhaps fictional) friend, is a spiritual autobiography, consciously modelled on Augustine's Confessions, in which the great philosopher and theologian Peter Abelard recounts his doomed love affair with his brilliant seventeen-year-old pupil Heloise.  This affair resulted in Abelard's violent castration at the instigation of her outraged uncle.  In Letter 1, written years later, Abelard explains how his suffering gradually led him towards God. Eight more letters, exchanged between Abelard and Heloise years after their parting, are less dramatic but almost more poignant, as Heloise, now a nun, seeks solace and connection from her former lover, who offers spiritual advice but cannot give her the intimacy she craves.

By Peter Abelard, Héloïse, Betty Radice (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Letters of Abelard and Heloise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story of Abelard and Heloise remains one of the world's most celebrated and tragic love affairs. Through their letters, we follow the path of their romance from its reckless and ecstatic beginnings when Heloise became Abelard's pupil, through the suffering of public scandal and enforced secret marriage, to their eventual separation.


Book cover of The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler

Marissa Moss Author Of Talia's Codebook for Mathletes

From my list on graphic stand outs from the very crowded pack.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm best known for the Amelia's Notebook series which are based on the notebooks I kept as a kid. I started using the notebook format because that's how I thought—sometimes in words, sometimes in pictures. But this was a long time ago, in the 90s when graphic novels weren't a common format. When I submitted Amelia to publishers, they rejected it, saying it wasn't a picture book, it wasn't a novel, so how would librarians know where to shelve it? A small press that didn't know any better took a chance and published Amelia's Notebook. It became a big bestseller, with more than 20 books to follow and started a new trend in kid's books.

Marissa's book list on graphic stand outs from the very crowded pack

Marissa Moss Why did Marissa love this book?

Hendrix tells the incredible story here of how a Lutheran pastor was part of the plot to assassinate Hitler—and almost succeeded.

This is history that's not widely known and the graphic novel format makes it into an accessible adventure story that's actually true. There were many plots to kill Hitler and each failed for different reasons. Yet there were brave people who were willing to keep trying.

Hendricks puts us in Dietrich Bonhoeffer's shoes, while also showing the depth of Nazism's grip on the German public. It took a truly exceptional person to see Hitler for what he was and to decide to act on that understanding.

By John Hendrix,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Faithful Spy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Adolf Hitler's Nazi party is gaining strength and becoming more menacing every day. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor upset by the complacency of the German church toward the suffering around it, forms a breakaway church to speak out against the established political and religious authorities. When the Nazis outlaw the church, he escapes as a fugitive. Struggling to reconcile his faith and the teachings of the Bible with the Nazi Party's evil agenda, Bonhoeffer decides that Hitler must be stopped by any means possible!

In his signature style of interwoven handwritten text and art, John Hendrix tells the true story of…


Book cover of Rebellion: Britain's First Stuart Kings, 1567-1642

Susan Doran Author Of From Tudor to Stuart: The Regime Change from Elizabeth I to James I

From my list on the reigns of James VI of Scotland and I of England.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Professor of early-modern British History at the University of Oxford and a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford, who was a specialist in the Tudor period, especially the life and reign of Elizabeth I. However, while doing research over the past six years, I became excited by the politics, religion, and culture of the Jacobean period. James I’s reign had been a topic I taught in a week to undergraduates, but I realised that I didn’t do justice to this rich and important period. Not only is it fascinating in its own right, but James’s reign had a huge impact on a long stretch of British and world history.

Susan's book list on the reigns of James VI of Scotland and I of England

Susan Doran Why did Susan love this book?

A good textbook is indispensable, and this is the one on James I that I most often resort to. It is lucidly written, covers an awful lot of ground, is properly referenced, and offers an in-depth look at the reigns of James VI and I and Charles I in England and Scotland.

Although it is ten years old now, I still place it top of my reading list for undergraduates studying this period of history. 

By Tim Harris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rebellion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A gripping new account of one of the most important and exciting periods of British and Irish history: the reign of the first two Stuart kings, from 1567 to the outbreak of civil war in 1642 - and why ultimately all three of their kingdoms were to rise in rebellion against Stuart rule.

Both James VI and I and his son Charles I were reforming monarchs, who endeavoured to bolster the authority of the crown and bring the churches in their separate kingdoms into closer harmony with one another. Many of James's initiatives proved controversial - his promotion of the…


Book cover of Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation

Harriet Lyon Author Of Memory and the Dissolution of the Monasteries in Early Modern England

From my list on the impact of the English Reformation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of early modern Britain, with particular interests in the cultural and religious history of the English Reformation, as well as in the fields of historical memory and time. I enjoy pursuing these subjects not only through research and reading, but also teaching. I am currently the J. H. Plumb College Lecturer in History at Christ’s College, University of Cambridge. 

Harriet's book list on the impact of the English Reformation

Harriet Lyon Why did Harriet love this book?

There have been many histories of the English Reformation, but Peter Marshall sets the standard in this engaging and profoundly human take on the religious changes of the sixteenth century. I admire the way in which he balances the sweeping story of the legislative Reformation with small details and anecdotes that really bring the period to life.

This book reminds us that the Reformation cannot be understood simply as an institutional transformation but also as a cultural phenomenon and that real lives and livelihoods were at stake in the process of religious change.

By Peter Marshall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Heretics and Believers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE 2018 WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE

Centuries on, what the Reformation was and what it accomplished remain deeply contentious. Peter Marshall's sweeping new history-the first major overview for general readers in a generation-argues that sixteenth-century England was a society neither desperate for nor allergic to change, but one open to ideas of "reform" in various competing guises. King Henry VIII wanted an orderly, uniform Reformation, but his actions opened a Pandora's Box from which pluralism and diversity flowed and rooted themselves in English life.

With sensitivity to individual experience as well as masterfully synthesizing historical and institutional developments, Marshall…


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