This book recasts the story of the Reformation by bringing together two histories: the Encounter between Europe and the western hemisphere beginning in 1492; and the fragmentation of European Christendom in the sixteenth century. In so doing, it restores resonance to 'idolatry', 'cannibal', 'barbarian', even as it moves past such polemics to trace multiple understandings of divinity, matter and human nature. So many aspects of human life, from marriage and family through politics to ways of thinking about space and time, were called into question. Debates on human nature and conversion forged new understandings of religious identity. Debates on the relationship of humanity to the material world forged new understandings of image and ritual, new understandings of physics. By the end of the century, there was not one 'Christian religion', but many, and many understandings of the Christian in the world.