Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 9 years ago

What were the economic, political, and religious causes of the Reformation?

I have an essay for AP European History and I have to defend or refute a statement that says the Reformation was primarily an economic event but I have to put examples of all 3 things in there. My teacher wasn't very straight forward with the answers so could someone please help me? I am in the Western Civilization Spielvogel textbook 6th edition. If you get your sources from something else please site so that I can look them up to prove your answers correct. You can use other sites as well. Thanks so much!! :)

3 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I hope this can help you with a little incite and you can get a couple of answers from it.

    Under the topic “Church and State,” The Encyclopedia of Religion declares: “In the first three centuries AD the Christian church was largely isolated from official Roman society . . . Nevertheless, Christian leaders . . . taught obedience to Roman law and loyalty to the emperor, within the limits set by the Christian faith.” Though Christians of this time were obedient to the laws of the state, they were in no way involved in politics

    Like weeds flourishing in among strangled wheat, the Church of Rome gained control, under its papal ruler, dominated worldly affairs spiritually and politically for centuries. (Matt. 13:24-30, 37-43) As it became more and more a part of the world, the church grew further and further away from first-century Christianity. Through the centuries “heretical” sects called for reforms within the church, but the church continued to abuse power and amass wealth. Then, in the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation, a religious revolt, burst forth in all its fury.

    Reformers such as Martin Luther (1483-1546), Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531), and John Calvin (1509-64) attacked the church on various issues: Luther on the sale of indulgences, Zwingli on clerical celibacy and Mariolatry, and Calvin on the need for the church to return to the original principles of Christianity. What did such efforts accomplish?

    To be sure, the Reformation accomplished some good things, most notably the translation of the Bible into languages of the common people. The free spirit of the Reformation led to more objective Bible research and an increased understanding of Bible languages. The Reformation did not, however, mark a return to true worship and doctrine by separating itself from state.

    Although various Protestant groups broke free from the papal authority of Rome, they carried over some of the basic flaws of the Roman Catholic Church, features that resulted from the abandonment of true Christianity. For example, although the governing of the Protestant churches varied somewhat, the basic division of the church into a dominating clergy class and a subjugated laity was retained. Like the Roman Church, the Protestant churches continued to be part of the world, being closely involved with the political systems and the elite ruling classes. For centuries after the Reformation, the churches—both Catholic and Protestant—were deeply committed to secular power abandoning the bibles command to be no part of the world John 15:17-19 Sadly, very few who call themselves Christians today stay completely out of politics as the first century Christians because of the politically hungry clergy class.

    Some evidence:

    The different character of the English Reformation came rather from the fact that it was driven initially by the political necessities of Henry VIII.

    The Reformation in Scotland's case culminated ecclesiastically in the re-establishment of the church along reformed lines, and politically in the triumph of English influence over that of France. John Knox is regarded as the leader of the Scottish reformation

    The reformation parliament of 1560 repudiated the pope's authority by the Papal Jurisdiction Act 1560, forbade the celebration of the mass and approved a Protestant Confession of Faith. It was made possible by a revolution against French hegemony under the regime of the regent Mary of Guise, who had governed Scotland in the name of her absent daughter Mary, Queen of Scots (then also Queen of France).

    French Protestantism, though its appeal increased under persecution, came to acquire a distinctly political character, made all the more obvious by the noble conversions of the 1550s. This had the effect of creating the preconditions for a series of destructive and intermittent conflicts, known as the Wars of Religion. The civil wars were helped along by the sudden death of Henry II in 1559, which began a prolonged period of weakness for the French crown.


    Source(s): pc 26-27; jv 38-40
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Both political and religious. Martin Luther's 'Reformation' was intended to religiously 'reform' the Church from within, not break away. The Catholic church's power was immense from a political standpoint, and thus it led to corruption. Calvin's reforms were religious as well. However, Henry VIII's reformation was political and nothing more. It had nothing to do with religion except for the fact that he wanted to be the head of his own church.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    "Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place." --Isaiah xxviii. 17.

    All men know themselves to be sinners against God. They know also, that, as sinners, they are in peril and are not safe. Hence their anxiety to find some refuge for safety. They know they might find this in the way of forsaking sin and turning to the Lord; but they do not choose to forsake their sins. Hence there seems to be no convenient resource but to hide themselves under some refuge.

    Our text speaks of "the refuge of lies." Yet it is obvious that men who resort to lies for a refuge regard those lies not as lies but as truth. This fact leads us to raise the primary fundamental question--Have we any rule or standard which will show what is truth, and what is falsehood? Men have countless opinions about religion; these can not all be true;--how can we determine which are true and which not true?

    We have an infallible test.

    Salvation, to be real and available, must be salvation from sin. Everything else fails. Any system of religion which does not break the power of sin, is a lie. If it does not expel selfishness and lust, and if it does not beget love to God and man, joy, peace, and all the fruits of the Spirit, it is false and worthless. Any system that fails in this vital respect is a lie--can be of no use--is no better than a curse. That which does not beget in us the spirit of heaven and make us like God, no matter whence it comes, or by what sophistry defended, is a lie, and if fled to as a refuge, it is a "refuge of lies."

    Again, if it does not beget prayer, does not unify us with God, and bring us into fellowship and sympathy with him, it is a lie.

    If it does not produce a heavenly mind, and expel a worldly mind, and wean us from the love of the world, it is a lie. If it does not beget in us the love required in the Scriptures, the love of God and of his worship and of his people--indeed, of all mankind;-- if it does not produce all those states of mind which fit the soul for heaven,--it fails utterly of its purpose.

    Here I must stop a moment to notice an objection. It is said, "The gospel does not in fact do for men all you claim. It does not make professed Christians heavenly-minded, dead to the world, full of love, joy, and peace."

    I reply: Here is medicine which, applied in a given disease, will certainly cure. This healing power is just what it has and what we claim for it. But it must be fairly applied. A man may buy the medicine, and because it is bitter, may lay it up in his cupboard and never take it; he may provide himself with a counterfeit to take in its stead; or he may follow it with something that will instantly counteract its influence in the system. In any such case, the efficacy of the medicine is not disproved; you only prove that you have not used it fairly and honestly.

    So with the gospel. You must take it and use it according to directions; else its failure is not its fault, but yours.

    It is of no avail then to say that the gospel does not save men from sin. It may indeed be counterfeited; it may be itself rejected; but he who receives it to his heart will surely find his heart blessed thereby. The gospel does transform men from sin to holiness--does make men peaceful, holy, heavenly, in life and in death. Millions of such cases lie out on the face of the world's history. Their lives evince the reality and preciousness of the salvation which the gospel promises.

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