Corruption in the church. Political turmoil and intrigue. A clash of new ideas and ancient pagan religions. Courageous and extraordinary individuals. Doctrinal disputes that were matters of life and death. Welcome to 'the Reformation', that explosive period of European history from 1517 to the turn of the century. The Reformation determined the shape of our modern world, and yet many people today, even Christians, have very little idea of even the basic events and people involved. In this introductory book, Kirsten Birkett brings us the essence of the Reformationthe social and religious soil in which it grew, the events and people that shaped it, and the ideas and doctrines for which many of them died.