causes and consequences of protestant ref

causes and consequences of protestant ref - Causes and...

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Causes and Consequences of the Protestant Reformation The Protestant Reformation was one of the most groundbreaking movements in the history of the Catholic Church. The effects of Luther’s deed were wide-spread—a whole host of new religious practices, doctrines, and organizations such as Calvinism and Anglicanism arose, and even daily family life was altered. The end result of this division between Catholics and Protestants resulted in religious wars that eventually shaped Western Europe into what we know today. Although it started when Martin Luther nailed his “95 Thesis” to a church door, it had roots that can be traced all the way back to the Northern Renaissance. During the Northern Renaissance, humanists believed that people were capable of reasoning and improving themselves, if they studied the “classical” civilizations of Greece and Rome. These humanists believed that studying the classics would instill in them inner piety or an inward religious feeling, which would be necessary to bring about lasting change for the Church as well as society. For this reason, Northern Renaissance humanists were big supporters of schooling and education. One of the most prominent of these humanists was Erasmus. Erasmus was one of the most famous humanists during this time period. He was a scholar obsessed with religion, believing that Christianity should be a guiding philosophy that people could live by instead of a strict regimen that the Church emphasized (“the philosophy of Christ”). He thought that people should be more concerned with living a strong, moral life rather
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than wasting time over things such as sacraments, pilgrimages, fasts, and veneration of saints and relics. Erasmus believed that reforming the Church meant spreading his philosophy, providing classical education, and making his criticisms of the Church known to the common man. In 1511, he wrote The Praise of Folly, in which he documented the corruptions of the Church he witnessed in a humorous manner. Although Erasmus failed to achieve his goal, his book helped to nudge the Reformation into action. As scholars put it, “Erasmus laid the egg that Luther hatched”. Corruption in the Church was another factor leading to the Protestant Reformation. During this time period, the Church was primarily concerned with increasing its finances. To increase its revenue, the Church implemented several methods. The most common was the sale of indulgences, which were just pardons that reduced the time a soul spent in Purgatory. At its peak, indulgences were capable of pardoning sins that had yet to be committed. Clergy in the Church also engaged in the practice of pluralism, which
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This essay was uploaded on 04/22/2008 for the course HIST 100 taught by Professor Millskelley during the Spring '08 term at George Mason.

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causes and consequences of protestant ref - Causes and...

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