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Estimates regarding the results of the Reformation differ as widely as do the names used to characterize it. As it has been called a revolt, a reaffirmation, a reaction, or a reformation, so its results have been assessed as a shattering of Christendom, a resurgence of the gospel, a return to religious scholasticism, or a real quickening in the faith of Western man. Therefore, any conclusions as to its influence which we might draw will of necessity be somewhat affected by the views of the writers. With this in mind, we shall examine several important ramifications of the Reformation. [excerpt]


This is a part of Section VII: The Protestant Movement. The Contemporary Civilization page lists all additional sections of Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, as well as the Table of Contents for both volumes.

More About Contemporary Civilization:

From 1947 through 1969, all first-year Gettysburg College students took a two-semester course called Contemporary Civilization. The course was developed at President Henry W.A. Hanson’s request with the goal of “introducing the student to the backgrounds of contemporary social problems through the major concepts, ideals, hopes and motivations of western culture since the Middle Ages.”

Gettysburg College professors from the history, philosophy, and religion departments developed a textbook for the course. The first edition, published in 1955, was called An Introduction to Contemporary Civilization and Its Problems. A second edition, retitled Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, was published in 1958 and 1960. It is this second edition that we include here. The copy we digitized is from the Gary T. Hawbaker ’66 Collection and the marginalia are his.