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The Spread of the Reformation


Title: The Spread of the Reformation Author: Kistler, Stephen Last modified by: Kistler, Stephen Created Date: 11/12/2012 11:26:09 AM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Spread of the Reformation

The Spread of the Reformation
Spread of Luthers Ideas
  • Prior to Luther, many people who were frustrated
    with the state of the Church could only rally for
    reform from within.
  • Luthers teachings gave them an avenue for change
    and the Reformation quickly spread throughout
  • Two men, Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin, will
    become major figureheads for this early religious

Ulrich Zwingli
  • Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) lived in Zurich,
  • Zwinglis teachings relied less on Church
    tradition and more on the Bible.
  • When Luther began his attacks on the Church
    Zwingli thought this was the perfect time to
    break free from Rome.
  • He convinced the city council of Zurich to
    support his teachings and break away from the

  • Zwingli outlined his ideas in his Sixty-Seven
    Conclusions. These ideas included
  • The rejection of monastic life
  • The rejection of the idea of purgatory
  • The rejection of clerical celibacy
  • The belief that only God can forgive sins.

  • Religious services in Zurich changed drastically
    once they separated from the Church.
  • Services no longer included the mass and
    religious icons disappeared from churches.
  • Some of Zwinglis ideas, particularly about the
    Lords Supper, sharply contrasted with Luthers.

  • In 1531 a civil war broke out in Switzerland
    between Catholics and the followers of Zwingli.
  • Zwingli was wounded in a battle and captured by
    Catholic forces who then killed him, quartered
    him, and burned his body.
  • The civil war ended with a treaty stating that
    Zurich would remain Protestant and the other
    Swiss states (called Cantons) would remain

John Calvin
  • John Calvin (1509-1564) was a French-born lawyer
    and priest who fled to Geneva, Switzerland to
    escape religious persecution.
  • Geneva was a city that reflected the worse of
    Rome at that time immoral behavior, crime,
    gambling, excesses, and more.
  • Calvin sought to use his ideas of the Church to
    reform peoples behavior.
  • His ideas turned to be unpopular and before long
    he was run out of town.

  • Calvin left Geneva and traveled to Strasbourg
    where he continued his studies in theology.
  • While Calvin was busy working and writing in
    Strasbourg, Geneva fell in to disarray.
  • The city council, feeling it had no alternative,
    asked Calvin to return and restore order.

  • Calvin had the council pass a new constitution
    for the Church in Geneva.
  • It also turned Geneva into a theocracy, or
    government run by Church leaders.

  • In 1536, Calvin published the Institutions of the
    Christian Religion in which he set forth his
    religious beliefs.
  • He began working immediately to establish a set
    of laws and guidelines for the people of Geneva
    to follow.
  • Those people who did not follow his new Church
    were punished, imprisoned, tortured, banished, or

Calvins Church
  • In ethical matters, Calvin established a new and
    inimitable code which made his followers
    instantly recognizable. The good Calvinist
    family was to abhor all forms of pleasure and
    frivolity dancing, songs, drinking, gaming,
    flirtation, bright clothes, entertaining books,
    loud language, even vivacious gestures. Their
    life was to be marked by sobriety,
    self-restraint, hard work, thrift, and, above
    all, godliness. To the old Catholic burden of
    sin they added the new burden of keeping up
    appearances. In art, they were to avoid all
    direct portrayal of the Deity, all mystical
    symbols and allegories. They were to find the
    sole source of joy and guidance in the daily
    reading of the Bible. Here was what the
    English-speaking world would come to know as the
  • Norman Davis, Europe A History

Followers of Calvin destroy Church relics and
  • Calvin agreed with Luther on the ideas of faith
    and knowledge from the Bible.
  • Calvin also believed in predestination, the idea
    that God had long ago determined who would gain
  • To Calvinists, the world was divided into two
    kinds of people saints and sinners.

  • Reformers from all over Europe visited Geneva and
    returned home to spread Calvins ideas.
  • By the end of the 16th Century, Calvinism had
    taken root in Germany, France, the Netherlands,
    England, and Scotland.
  • These new threats to the Catholic Church set off
    religious wars throughout Europe.

Big Ideas
  • Luthers writings and teachings were the initial
    spark to the Reformation.
  • Other religious scholars, unhappy with the
    practices of the Church, used the opportunity
    created by Luther to begin their own sects of
  • Violence between these new groups of Christians
    and the Church broke out in communities all over