Theories Of The Reformation

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During the 16th century, a movement known as the Reformation occurred. The Reformation contained four elements known as: Lutheranism, Calvinism (the Reformed church), Anabaptism (radical Reformation), and the Catholic Reformation (Counter-Reformation). For many, the idea of the Reformation movement coincided with the people’s need to reform the Catholic Church and they were able to complete this task with the help of strong leaders. According to Alister E. McGrath, in the book Reformation Thought, there are many theories as to why the Reformation happened when it did. Before the Reformation, a movement known as the Renaissance occurred, which had a significant impact on the motivation to start the Reformation. The Renaissance focused on change …show more content…
During the Renaissance, the people of Western Europe started questioning the Catholic Church, and the thoughts from the majority of them was that they were, “[pleading] for the administrative, moral, and legal reformation of the church” (3). Others believed that the most important change to focus on in regards to the Catholic Church, was spirituality, “there was an urgent need to recapture the vitality and freshness of the Christian faith” (3). Nonetheless, most of Western Europe agreed that they needed to change the Catholic Church, even though there were different opinions as to why it needed to change. This marks the beginning of the Reformation when people started realizing that they were unhappy with the church. They believed that their faith was dwindling and they wanted to change that by practicing religion the way people in the past did. A specific person that had a deeper connection with the church, because he was a monk, Martin Luther, even started questioning it, “To critical observers such as Martin Luther at Wittenberg and John Calvin at Geneva, the church …show more content…
McGrath refers to the idea that the Reformation contained so many ideas that affected history that it is next to impossible to go into depth about every single one, because of how much information would have to go with each aspect. There are a few broader terms that can relate to what affect the Reformation did have on history, “The Reformation is a movement in which religious ideas played a major role. There were other factors – social, economic, political, and cultural – involved in that movement” (267). In regards to the political and social changes, McGrath goes into depth about how they changed Europe

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