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European Reformations


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A brief outline of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations in 16th Century Europe

A brief outline of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations in 16th Century Europe

Published in: Spiritual

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  • 1. Reformations
  • 2. Origins • Roman Catholic Dominance – Political Activity and Schisms – Suppression of Scholarship, Heresy – Fiscal Irresponsibility • Sale of Offices, Indulgences • New Forces – Rising Religious Devotion – Christian Humanism (e.g. Desiderius Erasmus) – Publishing and Literacy
  • 3. Martin Luther • Trained as Lawyer, Became Theology Professor • Visited Vatican • Concerned with Problem of Salvation • Comes to consider Indulgences problematic – 31 October 1517: 95 Theses
  • 4. Martin Luther, cont. • Justification by Faith • Rejection of Church Authority • Translates Vulgate Bible into vernacular German • Reforms – Disbanding Convents, Monasteries – Spare Aesthetic – Sermons, Congregational Hymn Singing – Catechism
  • 5. Ulrich Zwingli • Swiss Reformation • Scripture Test – Rejected Priestly Celibacy, Lenten Fast, other Catholic Traditions – Rejected Organ, Choral Music as Idolatrous • Believed Communion Symbolic – 1529 Marburg Colloquy with Luther
  • 6. John Calvin • Geneva Reforms – Presbyterian v. Episcopal • Original Sin – “For our nature is not merely bereft of good, but is so productive of every kind of evil that it cannot be inactive.” • Predestination – “For all men are not created on an equal footing, but for some eternal life is preordained, for others eternal damnation." • Enforcement
  • 7. Spiritual Freedom • Luther establishes the individual relationship between soul and God as central; hard to maintain unity and authority • Anti-Trinitarians – Michael Servetus, Faustus Socinus • Spiritualists – Schwenkfeldian Church, Quakers • Anabaptists – Munster v. Menno Simons
  • 8. Catholic Reformation • Council of Trent (1545-1563) – Reforms: ending indulgences, sale of offices, residency requirement – Education: literacy and seminary training – Reaffirmation: • St. Thomas Aquinas as authority in disputes of interpretation. • Effectiveness of Good works • Divine grace of sacraments • Marriage ceremony
  • 9. Catholic Expansion • Society of Jesus, aka Jesuits – "I will believe that the white that I see is black, if the hierarchical church so defines." • Educational Missions – Visitation, Ursuline Nuns, Daughters of Charity – Church Schools • Missionary Activity – International expansion
  • 10. Effects • Religious Warfare – 1555 Peace of Augsburg: • Pluralism: cuius regio, eius religio – Religious civil wars: France, England – Religion an overlay on existing conflicts • Reinvigoration of Catholicism • Missionary Expansion of Christianity • Education, Literacy
  • 11. Post-Reformation Europe
  • 12. Sources • Maps from Stearns, et al., World Civilizations: the Global Experience, 6e • Background Picture by Jonathan Dresner, “Unfinished Angel at Precious Moments Chapel"