GDobson430.wps - The shift to a humanistic philosophy...

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The shift to a humanistic philosophy throughout Europe in the Early 16 th century ultimately led to the Reformation, and division of the Catholic church. Humanists Protestants, convinced of the human ability of self-improvement through education and reason, advocated the development of a more truthful inner piety through the readings of church. Meanwhile the Holy Roman Empire suggested more of an external piety through indulgences and the seven sacraments. With the development of northern Renaissance humanism came the questioning of religion, which spawned a broader question: What must one do to achieve eternal salvation? The complexity of the answer to which marked the beginning of the divergence of the church. Erasmus, one of the most influential humanists, paved the way for what would come in The Handbook of the Christian Knight, in which he explained his own ideas for religion as a simple guiding philosophy for salvation rather than the current, somewhat militant religion often enforced upon society rather than developed by it. In his comical critical analysis of the corruptness of the Catholic doctrine, The Praise of Folly , he addressed these concerns even further claiming the external forms of religion to serve no purpose for eternal salvation. Unfortunately Erasmus’s moderate ideals never quite took hold, and thus came Martin Luther, a deeply religious man who expanded upon the ideas Erasmus proposed, developing his own solution to justification through faith alone. A solution that would eventually lead not to a reform of the church, but to a split of it. The causes for the separation of the church can be seen within the flaws of the pre-counter reformed Catholic Church of the 16 th Century, along with the exploitation of these flaws by Luther. The Catholic Church in the early 16 th Century had growing complaints of ignorance and ineptness of the clergy. The causes for these complaints stemmed from pluralism which led to absenteeism causing a severe lack of confidence in
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course WRITING 101 taught by Professor Neverland during the Spring '08 term at Loyola Maryland.

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GDobson430.wps - The shift to a humanistic philosophy...

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