Church History in Early Modern Europe: Tradition and Innovation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

25 Scopus citations


This chapter offers an overview of early modern ways of writing the history of the Christian Church, tracing central practices to their ancient origins, examining their revival in later periods and showing how they were transformed by the impact of Renaissance humanism, printing, the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation. Major Renaissance scholars such as Lorenzo Valla and Desiderius Erasmus articulated detailed visions of the Church's development and applied new scholarly techniques to the sources. In the sixteenth century and after, both Catholics and Protestants created research groups, assembled libraries, and produced massive histories of the Church. These histories were innovative in more than scale. Unlike their ancient and medieval predecessors, early modern histories of the Church examined the Jewish world in which Christianity was born.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSacred History
Subtitle of host publicationUses of the Christian Past in the Renaissance World
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191741494
ISBN (Print)9780199594795
StatePublished - Sep 20 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


  • Baronio
  • Erasmus
  • Eusebius
  • Flacius
  • Historiography
  • Judaism
  • Valla


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