This book follows the tide of reform and renewal in Church history, and demonstrates that reform has always been an essential element of Christianity. Indeed, Christopher Bellitto emphasizes that reform should not be perceived as limited to the Reformation or Vatican II. As one learns from the author's analysis, the history of Christianity is little other than the history of reform.
This sweeping assessment of Church history is both remarkable and deep, but is also highly readable. Bellitto begins with an introduction to the subject of reform and follows that with chapters on the patristic period and Carolingian Renaissance, the High Middle Ages (1050-1300), Avignon to Trent, From Trent to Modernity, and Vatican II. He ends with a conclusion that draws together the recurring themes and patterns of reform activity in the Church. In short, this is a unique book on the subject of Church reform.
Renewing Christianity is useful to both scholars and non-academics alike. It is written in a "learnedly popular style," and would appeal to clergy, seminarians, academics, graduate students or anyone interested in Church reform and renewal, Church history, or historical theology.