Protestant Reformation Essay

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The Reformation was a time of political, intellectual and cultural change that tore the very fabric of Catholic Europe. In northern and central Europe, reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin and Henry VIII challenged papal authority and questioned the Catholic Church’s ability to define Christian practice. Before the Reformation, almost every aspect of life was controlled by the Catholic Church; the Church provided all social events and services as well as owning over one-third of all the land in Europe.
Historians credit the beginning of the Protestant Reformation to 1517 after the publication of Martin Luther’s “95 Theses”, which protested the pope’s sale of indulgences. Martin Luther was an Augustinian monk and university lecturer in
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and the Holy Roman Emperor. Luther addresses the Diet and does not recant his teachings and took sole responsibility of writing his books and pamphlets. Luther’s reasons for not rescinding his claims is that the truth was in the scriptures and not with the opinions of the Catholic Church. If he did recant what he had written, Luther said it would strengthen the tyranny, referring to the Catholic Church. As a result, Luther was declared an outlaw of the Roman Empire. During his excommunication his guardian, Frederick the Wise, had Luther “kidnapped” and taken to the Wartburg castle for refuge where he translated the bible into German so everyone could read and interpret the bible for themselves; before this Europeans would meet exactly one person who could read the bible because it was in Latin.
Martin Luther and his contributions to the Protestant Reformation were significant because Luther was one of the most influential figures in Western history. His writings were most entirely responsible for dividing the Catholic Church and sparked the Reformation. Luther also gave way to Western Christendom breaking into many denominations and eventually forced governments to grant religious freedom and lead to wider European
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A number of countries after the Reformation moved to be autonomous or fully protestant (entanglement of church and state). For example, Belgium and the Netherlands are now two separate countries due to religious tension that began a civil war and split for political and social reasons, giving rise to the context and capacity for nations to go to war with one another. The most important effect/significance of the Reformation is that it kickstarted the Enlightenment. Of course it was not the sole cause, but rose during the wars of religion, gave people the privilege for people to think for themselves. Even most of the early Enlightenment thinkers were protestant; they believed rationalism and purism is the way to move

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