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The Reformation


Causes of the Protestant Reformation. The Prestige of the Church was in decline due to the Crises of the 14th and 15th centuries: The Babylonian Captivity 1309-1377 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Reformation

The Reformation
  • Chapter 14
  • Part 1

Causes of the Protestant Reformation
  • The Prestige of the Church was in decline due to
    the Crises of the 14th and 15th centuries
  • The Babylonian Captivity 1309-1377
  • The Great Schism 1377-1417
  • The Conciliar Movement ( sharing power with an
    assembly and restricting Popes power with a
    Constitution was rejected by several 15th and
    16th century Popes.

Corruption within the Church
  • Simony The sale of Church offices
  • In 1487 the pope sold 24 offices
  • Reformers unhappy by unqualified people in Church
  • Pluralism an official holding more than one
    church office at a time
  • Absenteeism a church officials collecting
    payments and privileges even when not performing
    a duty

More Corruption in the Church
  • Nepotism The appointment of Church offices to
    family members
  • Leo X and Clement VII were both sons of Medici
    Florentine rulers
  • Pope Paul III made two of his grandsons cardinals
  • The Sale of Indulgences people paying money to
    the Church to absolve their sins or sins of their
    loved ones

The moral decline of the papacy
  • Pope Alexander VI had numerous affairs and
    children out of wedlock
  • In the early 16th century, 1/5 of all priests in
    Trent kept concubines
  • Clerical Ignorance Many priests were illiterate
  • Some abused their power (trading sexual favors
    for absolution, etc.)

Critics of the Church
  • Emphasized a personal relationship with God
  • Wyclif (England) The Bible is the sole
  • Diminished the importance of the sacraments
  • Stressed personal communion with God
  • Lollards continued his ideas into the 16th century

  • Jan Hus (Bohemia)
  • Freedom of debate
  • Ultraquism
  • Vernacular
  • Transubstantiation
  • Was executed at the Council of Constance

More Critics
  • Thomas a Kempis wrote The Imitation of Christ
  • Founded The Brethren of the Common Life
  • Encouraged Christians to life simply and make
    religion a personal experience

More Critics
  • Erasmus In Praise of Folly
  • Criticized the corruption of the Church and the
    hypocrisy of the clergy
  • Erasmus laid the egg that Luther hatched.

Christian Humanists in the North
  • Criticized the Church AND questioned the validity
    of the Vulgate
  • New Translations of the Bible undermined Catholic
  • In the North Erasmus, Ximenes (Spain) LeFevre
    (in France) Valla (in Italy)

Italian Renaissance
  • Deemphasized religion
  • Secularism and individualism emphasized by Church
  • Many decried the moral decline of the Church

New Critics opposed to the moral decline of the
  • Ulrich Zwingli was a preacher who was trained as
    a humanist and used Erasmus edition of the Greek
    New Testament
  • John Calvin was influenced by humanism
    especially the writings of Erasmus
  • After the Reformation, many monasteries were
    turned into schools by humanists.

Martin Luther 1483-1546
  • Was supposed to be a lawyer
  • Conversion experience
  • Augustinian monk
  • Taught at the University of Wittenberg in Saxony

At the Same time
  • Pope Leo X looking for more money to build St.
    Peters Cathedral in Rome
  • Authorized John Tetzel to sell indulgences
  • As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, a soul
    from purgatory springs.
  • Tetzels selling of indulgences had gotten out of

October 31, 1517 The 95 Thesis
  • Luther went beyond the mere criticism of selling
  • He questioned the authority of the Pope to grant
    indulgences (Scriptural questions)
  • The actual nailing of the 95 Thesis may not have
  • But the printing press spread his ideas rapidly

The Pope was not worried
  • Luthers outbursts did not seem unlike
    theological debates between different orders of
    monks that were common
  • BUT in 1518 when Luther was told by the pope to
    stop, he defied the Popes authority
  • Luthers protector was Frederick III (the Wise)
    of Saxony

In a 1520 debate
  • With Catholic theologian, Johann Eck
  • Luther denied the infallibility of the pope (and
    a general council)
  • Claimed that the Church made a mistake when
    executing Jan Hus

Remember what was going on in Italy
  • Renaissance
  • The League of Cambrai and invasion

1520 Luther published his theology of reform
  • Salvation through faith alone
  • Bible is the sole authority
  • Rejected most sacraments (baptism, communion and
    penance still ok)
  • The Church priesthood of all believers
  • Criticized indulgence sales, simony, etc.
  • Rejected poverty, chastity, obedience
  • Encouraged German princes to reform the church in
    their states (advantages)

Leo X excommunicated Luther 1520
  • Luther threw the Papal Bull containing the news
    into the fire

1521 The Diet of Worms
  • Was the tribunal of the HRE which had the power
    to outlaw and sentence execution through burning
    at the stake
  • Charles V had promised before his election to HRE
    that he would not allow anyone to be executed or
    outlawed without a fair trial

The Diet of Worms
  • Charles V demanded that Luther recant his
  • Luther, Here I stand, I can do no other
  • Edict of Worms Luther was outlawed as a heretic
    by the HRE
  • But was saved and protected by agents of
    Frederick the Wise

1523 Luther translated the Bible into the
  • the development of the modern German language
  • Since any literate German could have access to
    Scripturewas a democratizing factor for religion

1530 Confessions of Augsburg
  • Written by Luthers friendPhilip Melanchthon
  • He tried to mend the rift between Lutheranism and
    Catholicism within the German states of the HRE
  • Didnt work BUT
  • Confessions of Augsburg became the traditional
    statement of the Lutheran Church

Confessions of Augsburg
  • Salvation through Faith alone
  • Bible is the sole authority
  • The Church is the Priesthood of all believers

The early spread of Lutheranism
  • German princes in the North were drawn to
  • they could escape the authority of the Catholic
  • They could confiscate Church lands within their
  • The Southern part of the HRE remained Catholic

The spread of Lutheranism
  • Denmark and Sweden also embraced Lutheranism
  • Calvinism will win much of the rest of Western

The Political Repercussions of Lutheranism
  • Charles V (too late) tried to stop the spread of
  • RememberSack of Rome 1527
  • Was busy fighting Francis I in Italy
  • Also Turks were threatening Hungary
  • Now HRE and the Pope allied against Lutheranism

The Swabian Rebellion
  • Aka The Peasants War 1524-1525
  • Peasants believed that Luther would support a
    liberal social agenda because he was religiously
  • BUT, Although Luther sympathized with the plight
    of the peasants, he was not interested in social
    or political reform only in reforming the Church

The Swabian Rebellion
  • 1525 TheTwelve Articles (Peasants Demands)
  • End of serfdom and tithes
  • End of Feudal hunting rights and other oppressive
  • 100,000 peasants involved
  • Luther Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes
    of the Peasants

The Swabian Peasant Uprising
  • Luther was disgusted with the violence
  • Admonished both Lutheran and Catholic princes to
    crush the revolt
  • They did
  • The peasants felt betrayed
  • REMEMBER Although Luther was a religious
    liberal, he was no threat to the existing social
    or political order.