A couple questions about the reformation?

1. What was the spark that ignited the Reformation? What was the fundamental issue?

2. How did Wycliffe and Luther became often entangled in civil and political disputes as a result of their theological positions?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    John Wycliffe published his, "English", Bible in 1381. Condemned to die, he died in 1384, he had a stroke during Mass. Wycliffe and Luther never met, they complained about similar evils in the Church.

    The Reformation.

    “It appealed to the deepest devotional traditions of the Middle Ages, and it rode on a wave of a religious revival which affected not just the scholars but the masses.” Norman Davies.

    It was started by men who were trying to keep the Catholic Church in one piece, who were trying their hardest to clean up the Church, when one part of the movement started to break away.

    “What started as a broad religious revival gradually divided into two separate and hostile movements, later known as the Catholic Reformation and the Protestant Reformation.”

    Blatant decadence in the Church had reached outrageous proportions. Europe was full of stories about Papal nepotism, promiscuous priests, simoniacal bishops, and most of all, the shear wealth of the Church.

    The “harbinger of things to come” was Savonarola, (1452-98). He started a revolt in the 1490's which, temporarily, drove the Medici from Florence, for which he was burned at the stake.. In Spain, the new school of theology at the University of Alcala produced the Polyglot Bible (1510-20). This religious revival coincided with a low point in the churches reputation.

    In 1509, Rome was visited by the young Martin Luther who was shocked to the core at what he saw, and within ten years he found himself at the head of the “Protestant” revolt. Friar Johann Tetzel's sale of indulgences in Germany brought things to a head, the Elector of Saxony, who was Luther's Prince had banned Tetzl from selling indulgences in his territory. Tradition insists that it was on 31st October 1517, Halloween, or more correctly, All Saints Eve, that he nailed his 95 Thesis , or arguments against indulgences to the door of the Church at Wittenberg, thereby challenging Tetzel's theological credentials. The Protestant Reformation snowballed from there.

    Luther was excommunicated in June !520. He was the summoned to appear, under safe conduct, at the Imperial Diet at Worms by the Emperor Charles V in 1521. The Elector of Saxony spirited him away and hid him at Wartburg Castle. However, the ban pronounced by The Diet could not be enforced, this protest was turning into rebellion. Two outbreaks of dissent occurred in Germany, in 1522-3 the Imperial Knights, “feud”, and the Peasants War of 1524-5, the later of which Luther opposed, it ended with the slaughter of peasants.

    The ideological revolt led by Luther took more definite shape during three latter sessions of the Imperial Diet. ( At Speyer in 1526, where they managed to insert the clause for princely liberty in religion, forerunner of the formula, “Cuius regio eius religio” (whoever rules has the right to determine religion.), again at Speyer in 1529, where the name Protestant come from, and at Augsberg 1530-31. The Protestant princess formed the armed League of Schmalkalden and from there the two, “camps”, were clearly defined.

    Meanwhile other protests were taking place elsewhere in Europe, Zwingli (1484-1531) in Switzerland, (He was killed in a war against the five Catholic forest cantons that had split the Swiss Confederation. ) Karlstadt quarrelled with Luther and went to Basel. Muentzer((*)) (1490-1525) finished up being executed at Mulhausen, in Thuringia during the Peasants War. The first Christian fundamentalists, the Anabaptists, were a disgruntled set of Swiss Zwinglians. and were persecuted by Protestants and Catholics alike. They recovered as Mennonites.

    The English Reformation was more politically driven. Henry VIII, initially because of the refusal of the Pope to grant him a divorce, and after previously denouncing Luther, had little religious motivation, but he gained a great deal of support from Parliament, and “immense material advantage”, by attacking the Church's privileges and wealth.

    1532 The Act of Annates cut financial payments to Rome.

    1533 The Act of Appeals curtailed Rome's ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

    1534 The Act of Supremacy abolished Papal authority, making the King, Supreme Head of the Church of England.

    “The direct association of Church and State, later called Erastianism, brought Anglicanism closer to Orthodox than to Catholic practice.”

    Jean Calvin, (1509-64) was persuaded to take control of the church in Geneva in 1541, at the second attempt. Calvin founded the most widely influential branch of Protestantism, however, in matters of toleration he was no more flexible than the Inquisition or Henry VIII. (See the case of, “Servetus” (1511-1553)).

    Source(s): Study
  • 1 decade ago

    1. Luther and the other Reformers like Calvin and Bucer were fed up with the Roman Catholic view of salvation and the prohibition it made about Bible access to the laity. The Catholics at that time sold indulgences and argued that people had to earn their place in heaven by their good works.

    2. They needed civil and political clout to spread their Reformation principles. Also, a lot of the rulers were Catholics and wanted to physically persecute, jail, and even execute anyone who deviated from the Catholic Church.

    Source(s): Evangelical Protestant Christian.
  • 4 years ago

    as a consequence of the Reformation the Catholic Church became weakened. regardless of the undeniable fact that they began a counter reformation employing a number of concepts. The Reformation became effective in Northern Europe and areas of Germany. jap Europe, Ukraine had some early successes, yet in a protracted time reverted back to Catholicism. from time to time the distinction had to do with interior sight political families. from time to time they supported Catholicism and from time to time they supported the Reformation

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