The Life Before Protestant Reformation Essay Example


Before the Catholic and Protestant Reformations, the church was vigorously obeyed, yet the reformation forced even its most allegiant followers to walk away. The Catholic Reformation was less radical than the Protestant Reformation and instead of completely throw out Catholicism,it was reformed and further embraced. While politics were definitely a cause, religion and corruption weakened religious authority. Monarchs were now awear how powerful the church was and soon took control and replaced the pre-reformation religious authority. New views on religion and how the church fit in religion altered after the church reforms because the people did not see the church as an important part of eternal salvation. Corruption was the awakening to the reformation as it was the first sign that the church needed to change and make reforms to correct faults like absenteeism and hefty tithes. 

The Catholic Reformation began once the regulations of the Catholic church no longer pleased the monarchy. King Henry brought Reformation ideas into England once he attempted to challenge the church. When he failed, he was angered by the control of the church and how it could overpower him, so he took control of the Church of England and changed its structural beliefs to benefit his ideals. Because the Counter-Reformation was a response to the Protestant Reformation, Catholics began fighting back, inquisitions which expelled all non-Catholics, and religion was more intellectual. During the German Peasants revolts, peasants claimed it was for their faith but in actuality they wanted better rights and just used religion as an acceptable excuse and Luther denounced their action, even though they were hiding behind his religion, because he wanted to gain the favor of the nobility which was a political power move. 

Religion was a weakening point for religious authority because it gave people a basis for reforms. While churches and the clergy were supposed to provide spiritual peace in the name of God, but they actually were the most sinful people. People then started using religion as a basis for their reforms. Luther started the Protestant Reformation with his 95 theses then later people took the ideas from his reforms/religion to force change. The German Peasants Revolt was an example of the weakening of religious authority. The peasants thought that denouncing the church’s religious flaws would fix their lives. Christian Humanists sought out christin reforms by focusing on ancient christian writings because the church in the 16th century had become corrupted and no long represented the true values of God. Formed from the Protestant reformation came a radical group called the Anabaptists. They completely rejected the Holy Trinity and killed both Christians and Lutheranism.

When they rejected important core ideas of the Church they showed disrespect towards the religious authority. It showed how easily the people could fight back which weakened the power the church had over the people. During the Catholic Reformation, the Church almost had total control of the people because that centuries religious views, tithes, and papal power. John Calivan stood against that power by expressing his theory of predestination; that God was all knowing so good deeds could not change where you would go after death. This was a form of defiance against the Church and less people followed their rules because there was no longer a fear of damnation for disobeying the clergy. New branches of religion were also being formed with different ideas of reforms for the Roman Catholic Church such as Presbyterianism; members governed the church and formed by John Knox. The reformations formulated the belief that the church was not needed for religion or to communicate to God. 

The Protestant Reformation began with an outcry towards the church for their corruption. Followers such as Martin Luther, Desiderius Erasmus, and Ulrich Zwingli spread the Reformation by pointing out the church’s wrongs and pushing for reforms. Luther wrote the 95 Theses, a list of grievances, to make the church aware of their issues and give them an opportunity to fix them. The Praise of Folly, written by Erasmus, was similar to the 95 Theses because it denounced the church yet remained supporting of the church. Zwingli was different from the other Protestant reformers because he was devoted to the church and believed that spreading the Gospel would fix the corruption. The corruption being fought included indulgences, pluralism, absenteeism, and voluminous taxes. Members of the clergy convinced people that they could pay to reduce their sin; “As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, the soul from Purgatory springs.”. Johann Tetzel collected indulgences to help the Pope pay for the dome that sits on top of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The biggest forms of corruption were pluralism and absenteeism. With pluralism members could hold multiple jobs including governmental positions and absenteeism allowed members to neglect their positions and still receive pay. The Catholic Reformation was a response to the Protestant Reformation. It became obvious that the priest, pope, and other member of the church had too much control over the people. Because of that the monorcy began separating church and state, changed structural beliefs, and reduced the dependency on the priest to take to God. 

Religious authority was weakened after the Reformations because of politics, religion, and corruption. With the two reformations, the Catholic church needed reforms but it depended how the clergy was affected based on the reformation occuring. Politically, the monarchs disliked the control that the pope and church had over their kingdom. The kings realised that the church was the source of power so in order to remain sovereign, they need to control it. Ironically religion was part of the religious authorities weakening. The church no longer provided a decent meditate to God and with new ideas of religion it was hard to see a reason to respect the church. Corruption was the main cause because it’s the biggest factor for the beginning of the reformations. The clergy abused their power and took advantage of the lower classes which was extremely disgruntling. All of the different forms of corruption was attempted to be reformed during both reformations. At the end of the Reformations religion was viewed very differently and religious authority was diminished.

 

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