The Renaissance: The Causes Of The Protestant Reformation

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The Renaissance would be the product of a number of causes which spurred an end to the toleration of the Roman Catholic Church in the 1520s. As a result, Europe would experience some of its biggest and bloodiest conflicts in history until the 1900s. During the 15th and early 16th centuries--before the Reformation would begin--the development of humanism into the European world, as well as the rediscovery of ancient Greek Classics--especially after the 1453 sack of Constantinople--would cause scholars like Lorenzo Valla and Desiderius Erasmus to exercise being more analytical and thoughtful in their texts than previous Medieval writers. This would be a monumental blow to the Church, which had transformed itself into a political entity after …show more content…
As a result, works of avid humanists exposed false documents like the “Donation of Constantine” that were approved by the church as being valid. The analysis of such Church documents--combined with anti clerical satires of religious officials--would start to make the Church appear unreliable and foolish. Thereafter, nationalism and the inconsistency of Church leadership to live by the original scriptures, would become the causes for the Protestant Reformation which arguably began in 1517.
By the late 1400s much of Christendom began sharing widespread contempt for priests and monks--who not only broke their holy vows of celibacy, but enjoyed benefices and complete freedom from local laws. In this same time during the late 15th century, the frustration of autonomous citizens towards clergy was beginning to become more evident with the paintings of works such as Ship Of Fools, by Hieronymus Bosch. It is understandable that Bosch--a Dutch painter of the Northern Renaissance--would paint Ship Of Fools in this context because he was angry with how the Church was abusing its influence. Furthermore, he wanted to show that although the clergy may look religious, many of them were drunken fools
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Overall, if there was one thing humanity learned through the Reformation, it is that the Catholic Church--a sacred institution that had been held in high esteem since the Roman empire, credited with forming the foundations for European culture--had been the most corrupt place in the Christendom for more than 100 years. However, the Protestant movement would not mark the end of Catholicism; on the contrary, it would mark the beginning. In 1445 to 1565 Church officials would gather several times over the next decades in the city of Trent to place reforms on the Catholic Church, and invest in new ideas to make people convert back to Catholicism. The result was the Catholic Counter Reformation--created in response to the Protestant Reformation--which set the standards for the modern Catholic

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