In the years since The German Reformation first appeared, many of the themes discussed in the text have found their way into the mainstream narratives of Reformation history. Scribner spoke of the need to imagine the Reformation as a ‘complex, extended historical process, going well beyond the endeavours of one man or one tendency, and involving social, political and wider religious issues’, and most modern studies of the German Reformation are guided by a similar spirit. The retreat from narrowly confessional religious history is largely complete, and it is now more or less commonplace for sociological and anthropological studies to appear in the same bibliographies as church histories and theological analyses. Schools of interpretation remain, but most scholars move between genres without giving it much thought, and most surveys of the period take in a broad range of ideas and approaches (19, 46, 74, 95, 138).
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