This work contains fifteen key documents illustrative of reform in the Church in the period from 1495 to 1540, an age of great religious ferment and upheaval, which is marked historically by the crisis known as the Protestant Reformation. The documents collected in this work focus on the simultaneous struggle for renewal and reform within the Catholic Church. There was much amiss within the Church at the close of the Middle Ages. The Protestant Reformation threw into high relief the urgent need for religious reform. Involving basic questions of doctrine, practice, and authority, this severe trial put in jeopardy the very life of the existing Catholic Church.
The balanced selection of notable and representative source materials tells their story in a lively and dramatic way. This important work on a little-known aspect of a turbulent era is a valuable contribution to Reformation studies.