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date: 17 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter places the Protestant Reformation in a global perspective in two ways, using methods and examining themes common in world history as a field. First, it compares the Reformation to other religious transformations that were occurring at roughly the same time, including the early development of Sikhism, reform movements within Chinese Confucianism, and the reinvigoration of Islam in the Songhay Empire by King Askia the Great. Second, it examines the spread of Protestant ideology and institutions in the increasingly interconnected early modern world, with the colonies of the Dutch East India Company and the missionary work of the Moravians serving as the primary examples of such cultural encounters. It argues that moving beyond Europe to adopt a broader spatial scale enhances our understanding of the religious dynamism of the period, which does not diminish the importance of the Protestant Reformation, but allows us to view it in new ways.

Keywords: comparative methodology, Guru Nanak, Sikhism, Confucianism, missionaries, Dutch East India Company, Moravians

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