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hard work, industry, and vocation, etc. In some sense sloth and laziness were the worst of vices--a sign of depravity and sin—of not being among the elect…..Political Implications and Impact:But Calvinism also had significant political implications…. It is sometimes said that Calvinists feared God so much that they did not fear any earthly sovereign (King, Queen , etc. ). Calvinists would challenge and even behead Kings …It is also argued that Calvinism would foster democratic impulses and institutions and their defense as reflected in the role played by his heirs in the American Revolution. This thesis we will later examine in some detail! In summary, it can be said that Calvin sired a much more militant, aggressive and expansive expression of Protestantism than that sired by Luther (ie Lutheranism).
Radical Reformation:Before we turn to look at the English Reformation we should at least note the emergence of more radical expressions of the Continental Reformation sometimes referred to as the “Radical Reformation.”The Anabaptist movement was a product of this impulse. We will later examine the heirs of this movement and their impact in the United States. (The contemporary reality series focused onthe life style and beliefs of the Amish reflects the continued legacy of this wing of the Reformation in the United States.) Response of the Roman Catholic Church:We should also note the response of the Roman Catholic Church to the Reformation and the emergence of Protestantism (the Protestant expression of Christianity). The Roman Catholic response is variously referred to as the "Counter" Reformation ("Catholic", "Loyalist", or "Tridentine" Reformation).Even prior to the reformation, there had been calls and efforts at reform within the Catholic Church (note for example the Councilor movement, etc). But in the wake of the Protestant protest, the RCC engaged in a period of spiritual renewal and reform which was aimed at meeting the Protestant challenge. Its efforts included a careful exposition and defense of Church doctrine and practice. Major developments included the Council of Trent (1545-1563which engaged in reform…but not the root and branch (ie radical/extensive) reform called for by the Protestants; a revival of the Inquisition(which cracked down on dissenters and their works ); and a revival of education and missionary activism asreflected in the establishment of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits in 1540).
In effect these would help prepare the Roman Catholic Church to meet the Protestant challenge in Europe and the “New World.” But it would also harden therelative positions of both expressions of Christianity and contribute to the religiouswars that would disrupt Europe for the next century.