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Reformation Studies

A guide to research and research tools for the history and theology of the European Reformations

Guides to the Literature

Bradley, James E., and Richard A. Muller. Church History: An Introduction to Research, Reference Works, and Methods. Grand Rapids, Mich: Eerdmans, 1995.

This is an indispensable to research in the field written by two church historians. Muller is a recognized authority on post-Reformation Reformed dogmatics. The bibliography, "Selected Aids to the Study of Church History and Historical Theology," is thorough and well-organized by material type.

Ozment, Stephen, ed. Reformation Europe: A Guide to Research. St. Louis: Center for Reformation Research, 1982.

This work can be a bit disjointed and lack continuity between chapters in its attempt at breadth of coverage, but the individual chapters stand well on their own merits. Luther receives his own chapter, but the rest of the Reformers are not individually addressed. A particular strength of this work is its inclusion of social history topics. The chapter authors are recognized scholars.

Whitford, David M. Reformation and Early Modern Europe: A Guide to Research. Kirksville, Mo: Truman State University Press, 2008.

The only substantive and current guide to the literature presently available. This volume is published by the same University Press that publishes the "Sixteenth Century Journal," a recognized and respected journal in the discipline. Indexed, noted, and with full references, this guide is the place to start.

Subject Headings for Research Guides

Church history — Study and teaching.
Church history — Historiography.
Reformation — Research.

Reference Works and Bibliographies

Hillerbrand, Hans Joachim. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. SBTS General Collections Reference Collection - Main Floor : BR302.8 .O93 1996 v.1-4. Also available online through the Oxford Reference Collection.

This is the most comprehensive reference work on the topic. Topical categories of coverage include sites, regions, and polities; historical events; religious groups and movements; ecclesiastical institutions; creeds, confessions, and texts; theology; social history; and popular religion, as well as biographies and Reformation studies. Includes matters of social and intellectual history. Contributors are scholars on those particular entries. These four volumes are well-indexed in volume four, so do not neglect to make use of the index. Entries are also cross-referenced. Weakness: in need of updating. Bibliographies are no longer current.

Anderson, Charles S. Augsburg Historical Atlas of Christianity in the Middle Ages and Reformation. Minneapolis: Augsburg Pub. House, 1967. 

The indexes in this volume, both the plate index and the text index, should be used instead of the Table of Contents for more efficient access. The TOC is inadequate for efficient use. Somewhat dated, this volume remains the most authoritative historical atlas for the Reformation currently available. Also available as an ebook for the Kindle.

McKim, Donald K., ed. Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith. Louisville: Westminster, John Knox, 1992. 

Intended primarily as a reference for the the development and current state of the Reformed branch of the Reformation (Presbyterianism, Calvinistic influences, etc.), this volume remains helpful for investigating the historical foundations. Not particularly helpful for social history, an increasingly popular field of Reformation research.

Archiv fur Reformationsgeschichte, Beiheft: Literaturbericht/Archive for Reformation History. Supplement: Literature Review. St. Louis, MO: American Society for Reformation Research; Gutersloh: Gutersloher Verlagshaus Gerd Moh, 1972-. 

Annual annotated index to articles, books, and dissertations.

Bainton, Roland H. Bibliography of the Continental Reformation: Materials Available in English. Chicago: The American Society of Church History. 2nd ed., rev., enlarged by Bainton and Eric W. Gritsch. Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1972. 

Roland Bainton is one of the foremost scholars on Martin Luther.  This bibliography is now somewhat dated but should certainly be consulted.   It lists most helpfully primary source materials available in English, that is the writings of Reformers that have been translated.  A vast corpus of material still remains untranslated even today so this should not be considered a comprehensive bibliography of Reformation writings.

Kepple, Robert J., and John R. Muether. Reference Works for Theological Research. Lanham: University Press of America, 1992. 

This is John Muether's helpful update to a previous edition. Muether is head librarian at the Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. This volume is in need of another update to reflect literature from the last eighteen years, but many of the resources listed herein remain authoritative.

Petersen, Paul D. Luther and Lutheranism: A Bibliography Selected from the ATLA Religion Database. [Chicago, Ill.]: American Theological Library Association, 1985. 

Extremely dated, but the only bibliography on the topic produced by ATLA in the last twenty-five years. Accessible by PDF, but not hyperlinked.

Calvin Theological Journal. SBTS General Collections Periodicals - Main Floor : SERIALS .C139intj. 

No. 2 of each year contains the annual "Calvin Bibliography."

Reference Work Subject Headings

Reformation -- Encyclopedias.
Reformation -- Biography -- Encyclopedias.
Theology, Doctrinal -- Europe -- History -- 16th century -- Encyclopedias.