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Reformation in Europe

Protestantism was a radical religious movement that spread over in the 1500s in Europe, sparked by publishing a document containing 95 ideas about Christianity by Martin Luther, a monk and lecturer. The necessity to cleanse the church and the view that the Bible should be the exclusive authority of the church, rather than traditions and the words of the Pope, were the fundamental concepts that sparked the Reformation. Martin Luther used the printing press to spread his beliefs to a broader audience as he translated the Bible into German. In 1524, the peasant rebelled, motivated by Martin Luther’s beliefs. Luther’s ideologies became the official faith in Germany, the Baltics, and Scandinavia. The Swiss Reformation was started by Ulrich Zwingli’s teachings, which were highly similar to Luther’s beliefs in 1519. Upon an invitation to Geneva in 1941, a French reformer named John Calvin emphasized reformed doctrines such as God’s omnipotence and predestination. Calvin had been banished and had authored numerous views on the Christian religion. France, Scotland, Transylvania, and many other Low Countries swiftly adopted the philosophy. As a result, a theocratic government of strict morals was imposed (Johnston).

Henry VIII began the English Reformation in his search for a male heir, which his wife Catherine failed to provide. By 1534, Henry VIII had declared himself the definitive authority in England in things about the church after the refusal of Pope Clement VII to end his marriage. He disbanded the monasteries, confiscated their property, and gave the Bible to the public. Many changes occurred after his death, including Calvinist-infused Protestantism and five years of reactionary Catholicism. The Catholic Church was sluggish to react to Luther’s and other reformers’ beliefs throughout the counter-reformation period. As the age became increasingly literate, spiritual, and educated, new religious groups such as the Jesuits emerged, combining intellectualism with religion (Johnston).

Impact of Reformation

Religion’s Impact. The Bible’s translation into vernacular languages influences contemporary theology, making it easier to access God’s word. In the twenty-first century, the teaching of justification by faith rather than works is widely held. God-centered worship and Zwingli’s emphasis on keeping worship orderly and straightforward are particularly obvious in the contemporary church. Purity among Christians, particularly among leaders, was and continues to be a key emphasis for the church — the pursuit of holiness that God asks of believers. Unlike in the past, when the Pope’s word was the final authority, today’s church authority is founded on God’s word. The freedom gained during the Reformation has resulted in several churches with various teachings (Sichone 3-9).

Social reforms. The reformers strongly emphasized vital social institutions such as the family. Many limitations on marriage and family life have been eliminated, and individuals may now marry and divorce, which was previously prohibited. Human rights arose in part due to this campaign, which liberated people from Roman tyranny. Corruption, for example, has become awful conduct that is still denounced by society.

Education reforms. Illiteracy was prevalent, and learning was complex, but now practically everyone has access to education. The Reformation influenced the creation of various topic studies in learning such as social economics, history, art, culture, psychology, and many more.

Political impact The Protestant Reformation established a political culture that valued tolerance, individuality, and plurality, and most protestant countries are more democratic now. It resulted in the rise of individual liberty and democracy after many lives were lost (Sichone 3-9).

Reforms in the economy. The protestant persisted in working hard for God’s honor, and as a result, the economy grew. This is a paradigm that many Christians have followed today, with many Christians working in business environments while fulfilling their religious obligations.

Works cited

Johnston, Andrew. The Protestant Reformation in Europe. Routledge, 1992.

Sichone, Billy C. “The Abiding Impact of the Reformation.”


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