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Chapter 19 - Chapter 19 Protest and Reform By the sixteenth...

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Chapter 19: Protest and Reform By the sixteenth century, the influence of the Renaissance artists-scientists was spreading throughout Northern Europe. Spanish campaigns of geographic exploration now involved the colonization of the Americas. The “superpowers” – Spain (under Hapsburg ruler Philip II) and England (under Elizabeth I) struggled for advantages in Atlantic shipping and trade. Nicolas Copernicus (1473-1543) – Polish astronomer who completed a treatise that opposed the earth-centered view of the universe. Print technology proved to be the single most important factor in the success of the Protestant Reformation. Although Northern humanists, like the Italian Renaissance humanists, encouraged learning in Greek and Latin, they were more concerned with the study and translation of Early Christian manuscripts than with the classical and largely secular texts. Northern humanists studied the Bible and the writings of the church fathers. They focused on the late classical world and specifically, on Christian humanism as the revival of Early Christian literature. Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536) – often called “the Prince of Humanists”; the first humanist to make extensive use of the printing press; he argued that almost everything worth knowing was set forth in Greek and Latin, but he also advocated the return to the basic teachings of Christ; he used four different Greek manuscripts of the Gospels and produced a new edition of the New Testament which became the source of most 16 century German and English vernacular translations; his most popular work was The Praise of Folly (a satire about human faults, such as greed and pride) Protestant Reformation During the 16 th century, papal extravagance and immorality reached new heights, and Church reform became an urgent public issue. Across Germany, the sale of indulgences for the benefit of the Church of Rome, specifically for the rebuilding of Saint Peter’s Cathedral, provoked harsh criticism. Martin Luther (1483-1546) – he became an Augustinian monk who was a doctor of theology at the University of Wittenberg; he was a strong critic of the Church;
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he thought that salvation could be gained only by faith in the validity of Christ’s sacrifice. Human beings were saved by the unearned gift of God’s grace, not by their good works on earth; He posted a list of 95 issues that he wanted to dispute with the Church leaders on the cathedral door of Wittenberg. He found justification in Scripture for only two of the sacraments – baptism and holy communion, so he rejected the other five; he attacked monasticism and clerical celibacy; he married a former nun and fathered six children; he also translated the Old and New Testaments into German to encourage the reading of the Bible
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