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On the Protestant Reformation

Summary

Craig Calhoun says it had effects well beyond the religious.

Summary

Craig Calhoun says it had effects well beyond the religious.

Transcript

The Protestant Reformation contributed in ways that go beyond a narrow concept of religion. For example, it was a publishing revolution. It led to the circulation of tracts, of printed sermons, perhaps above all of Bibles, and then it led to literacy, and people learning to read so that they could read the Bible. And this helped to spread widespread literacy in modern society.

And we can go on with a series of references: music – a new role of hymns and liturgy which then went from liturgy into other areas of society and shaped performance; new roles of people learning public speaking, so that people who learn to speak publicly in church spoke publicly in organising trade unions, spoke publicly in political protests.