The Protestant Reformation
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The Protestant Reformation
Pope OberholtzerThe Ultimate AuthorityK-212
The Protestant Reformation The 16th century Protestant Reformation was a
logical outgrowth of the humanism, intellectualism and empowerment of the individual that came out of the Renaissance
Church corruption, arrogance of power by Popes and inconsistent teachings created a firestorm of anger at the church that turned the population of Europe against the institution that dominated the prior Middle Ages.
There was also a desire for a more perfect communion with God, a more perfect spirituality that would help heal Europeans after the wars, famines and plagues of the calamitous 14th and 15th centuries.
New technologies, particularly the invention of the moveable type printing press enlarged the scope of literacy and spread new ideas to more people than ever before. The call for change came not only from the intellectuals, but from the people themselves.
Humanism was the intellectual schema that provided the framework for the eventual split in Christanity and the reformation movements that resulted from the schism in the faith
Reformation Revolution Revolution in Religious
Thought & Practice Challenged established
authority & secured triumph of secular power
Shaped identities & changed map of Europe
Contributed to centuries of violent conflict Contributed to ascendancy of
individualism Led to development of modern
Catholic Church in DistressPapal conflict with kings—who is
superior? Popes claim the right to crown kings.
Great Schism: Avignon & Rome are rival papal capitals for 70 years. Disorder in the church.
Church Practices: Indulgences—sale of forgiveness of
sins. Simony—sale of church offices Landholding—church largest
landowner & biggest landlord; ruinous rents!
Fees & taxes crush the people! Corruption was rampant!
Calls for Reform John Wycliffe (1320-1384) English
theologian attacked the interference in temporal affairs—Popes, Bishops & Cardinals too worldly; should live like Christ! Clergy were living like royalty!
John Huss (1369-1415) Czech theologian who demanded that the church confine itself to spiritual matters. Echoed Wycliffe in criticism of church.
Both men claimed the Bible as the sole authority for Christians as the word of God, using vernacular language in worship services so people could understand the proceedings. Wycliffe in particular denied the validity of transubstantiation
The followers of Wycliffe and Huss continued to cause problems for the Church and the number of Europeans questioning and challenging the Church continued to grow.
Desiderius Erasmus Erasmus (1466-1536) was a
Christian Humanist who tried to blend the faith and humanist values.
Erasmus taught that superstition was bad and that reasoned enlightenment should prevail along with the tenets of Christian faith.
Salvation is based on deeds of love and imitating Christ.
Wrote the book “In Praise of Folly” criticizing the church and church officials for not understanding the true purpose of Christian life, the imitation of the example of Christ.
Erasmus called for reform, but not a split with the church.
Erasmus was one of the great Christian Humanists of the period and the Father of Northern European Christian Humanism.
Martin Luther (1483-1546) Martin Luther (1483-1546) was the
Father of the Protestant Reformation. well educated, originally in law, later in
scriptural theology at University of Wittenburg.
Luther sought security and a clear path in life. He turned to the priesthood after a near death experience in an electrical storm. He became obsessed with salvation and how to attain it.
became a monk in an Augustinian order and eventually became a professor of scriptural theology in 1512 at the University of Wittenberg
Luther was bothered by church practices that diminished its moral authority (indulgences, simony, political and civil interference, corruption). The Church should model Christ!
Ideas of Martin Luther Studied letters of Paul to discover the
source of salvation Salvation between God and man is
through faith only; there is no need for an intermediary like the church
No need for formal church and sacraments
Believers can pray directly to God and have a personal relationship with God
The Bible, as the word of God, is the ultimate authority, not the church!
Only God can forgive sins: indulgences are immoral, illegal and improper!
Pope is not infallible, nor are clergy morally superior to lay people. The Church is to serve man, not man to serve the church!
Faith is the key to salvation and the religious life! You are saved through your faith alone!
The Events leading to SplitJohannes Tetzel was a monk
who sold indulgences that were used to build St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome
Tetzel used fear and pressure to frighten people into buying the release of their loved ones from purgatory.
Tetzel came to Wittenburg and came into contact with Luther. Luther was disgusted by his tactics and motivated to act in order to stop it.
95 Theses—Results in Split! October 31, 1517- Luther posted
his 95 Theses to the door of the church at Wittenberg containing his differences with the Catholic Church issued a call for debate, not a split;
Luther wanted to reform the church, not destroy it!
expressed the need for reform of church practices
attacked the sale of indulgences directly
attacked simony, corruption and worldliness of the church
Luther’s words are translated from Latin to German and spread throughout Europe; creates a firestorm of protest against the Church
Results of Luther’s Protest
Diet of Worms (1521) was a religious council assemblage that found Luther to be teaching contrary and heretical ideas—Pope Leo X demanded Luther recant 41 of his 95 theses ouotright. The call for dialogue was rejected!
Edict of Worms (1521) Luther is declared an outlaw and heretic by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Luther could be killed by anyone without legal penalty. Luther was under the protection of Frederick the Elector of Saxony.
Peace of Augsberg (1555), an agreement that allowed the German states to decide who they wanted to follow
Protestantism dominates Northern Europe with help from German nobility and the printing press
Lutheran church is founded, the first protestant denomination
Luther is excommunicated!
Martin Luther’s Achievements
Martin Luther and his calls for reform ultimately split the Christian church, a split which has lasted until today.
Luther did not support the Peasant’s Revolt (1524-25) and supported the nobles against them. He was not a revolutionary, nor did he favor social unrest.
Luther wrote hymns and devotional pieces, many of which were published.
Luther translated the Bible into German. Luther also espoused anti-Semitic views
that form the intellectual basis for modern anti-Semitism.
Luther helped to transform Europe and changed the course of human history: secularism and democracy flourished!
Martin Luther’s Achievements 2
Luther taught Clergy were not superior to lay people
Luther Denied existence of purgatory
Reduced 7 sacraments to 2: baptism and communion
Called for the closure of monasteries
Bible is the sole authority, not the pope, church or religious dogma.
A personal relationship with God is possible; empowers the individual and emasculates the church!
Martin Luther’s Movement is a Political as well as Religious Movement! There was no united Germany. There were hundreds
of small German states. Local German Princes were autonomous. They backed Luther in
order to free themselves from obligations to Rome and the Catholic Church, to assert their own autonomy!
Frederick III, Elector of Saxony, protected Luther and became one of the early supporters of Lutheranism.
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, wanted to keep his lands Catholic. He faced considerable problems: Turks invading to the east Rivalry with the King of France, Francis I Ongoing argument with the Pope Religious wars lasting 20 years
Peace of Augsberg (1555) allowed the German states to choose who they would follow. Northern German (and northern Europe) went Protestant. Southern Germany (and southern Europe) remained Catholic, a split that has endured to the present.
Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) The Zwinglian Reformation
Ulrich Zwingli was an influential priest in Zurich Enacted in Swiss city of Zurich All idols, paintings, decorations were removed Scripture reading, prayer and sermon replaced
the Roman Ritual (Catholic Mass) Relics and images were abolished and
forbidden. Death of Ulrich Zwingli (1531)
War broke out between Catholic and Protestant states in Switzerland.
Zwingli was wounded, executed by his enemies and his body was rendered and burned.
Leadership of Protestantism in Switzerland went to John Calvin
John Calvin will have a major impact on the evolution of Protestantism.
Religious Wars: Split in Christianity!
John Calvin (1509-1564) Predestination--all humanity is too sinful
to be worthy, yet God saves a select few while damning the rest. People who are saved are called The Elect of God.
Purpose in life was to honor God, not to seek salvation for self! Work hard, pray and be devout.
Salvation comes from God alone. Honoring God by living a virtuous life. That means work, religious devotion and seriousness of purpose. No gambling, prostitution, dancing, frivolous behavior, licentiousness
Calvinism formed the basis of Puritanism and the inspiration for Protestant sects known for asceticism like the Amish, Mennonites and Shakers
AnabaptistsMade up of poor, urban
people distrustful of the church
Follow the Bible literallyBaptism for adults, not
childrenTook no oaths, fought in no
wars, were pacifists, refused to perform public services, antisocial behavior
Were widely persecuted! Many emigrated to the New World.
Henry VIII and English Protestantism: Rise of Anglicanism
Henry VIII had 6 wives, all in the quest for a male heir.
The Pope refused to grant him a divorce from his first wife so he could marry Anne Boleyn. Thomas More, his councilor, lost his head over his support of the Pope on this issue.
Henry decided to break with the Church and simply take over church property in England.
Act of Supremacy (1534) made Henry the head of the Church of England.
The King of England is the head of the Church of England (Anglican Church) and the Archbishop of Canterbury is the administrative leader of the Church.
Settles the dispute; kings are more powerful and above the Popes! Church will lose authority permanently as a result of this precedent!
Counter ReformationPromoted by Erasmus as a way to stop
the split in Christianity. He wanted to heal the church.
Reforms by the Catholic Church included many that Luther had called for!
Council of Trent (1545-1563) called by Pope Paul III led to reforms: ended Simony and indulgences; cleaned up
corruption in the church. created the Jesuits to guard the faith allowed for further reforms to compete with
the Protestants! But it was all too late!
Effects of the Reformation Spread of Democratic Ideas, especially in
Northern Europe and North America Spread of Representative government and a
secular society as a consequence! Spread of education, humanist ideals and
individualism, even in religious practice! Magnified importance of lay people in the
church and championed the power of the individual in society
Importance of work, thrift and profits led to a strong, vital middle class; basis of strong economic habits that built the prosperity of the early United States of America! Protestant Work Ethic!