9-13-10 History Notes - History 123 Notes The Reformation...

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9/13/10 History 123 Notes The Reformation and the Counter-Reformation THE REFORMATION-1517-1648 Religious upheaval of the Catholic Church and government control. The Reformation=Religious Renaissance Catholic church was seen as corrupt, all positions all the way up to the Pope. Popes were more concerned with worldly matters and involving themselves in war instead of spiritual matters. The corruption reached other levels of church officials and they used their position to compensate for the Pope and to also gain more personal wealth The spiritual needs of the people weren’t being met so people started looking for other ways of religious expression and searched for salvation. Relics and indulgences were popular and the more indulgences people had the better off people felt about going to heaven and their after-life in purgatory. Indulgence belief in the Catholic faith was that they reduced your time in purgatory. Instead of giving them to people who confessed, the church was selling them and making a lot of money off of indulgences. In the early 16 th century, Martin Luther (a professor of theology and a monk) became fed up with this corruption and other issues other than indulgences came to his attention. In the Catholic religion you must have faith and do good works to achieve salvation . Luther studied the Bible and came to believe that “no amount of good works would save a person’s soul; only through faith can you achieve salvation”. Justification through faith became the cornerstone for the reformation and Lutheranism. In 1517, Luther wrote and indictment and posted his list on the church doors in Wittenberg (aka: the 95 Theses ).
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Luther wasn’t looking to break away from the Catholic religion or start any problems, he was just looking to open up a discussion about the corruption in the religion and instead started the foundation of a new religion. Soon the 95 Theses were translated to German and were distributed all over Germany and Austria and became a HUGE hit. After hearing all the “buzz” about the indictment, Luther wrote other “tracks” that many people agreed with and these together became the basis of a new theology.
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