The Reformation began in northern and central Europe with reformers such as John Calvin, Henry VIII and Martin Luther. These leaders questioned the Catholic Europe and the Catholic Church's ability to dictate Christian practice for every member of the Church.Continue Reading
These leaders argued that there needed to be a new political distribution of power and that there needed to be a new religious distribution of power. This distribution would go on to trigger wars, persecutions and the Catholic Church's response to the Protestants known as the Counter-Reformation.
Historians say that the Protestant Reformation began in 1517 with Luther's "95 Theses" and did not end until either 1555 with the Peace of Augsburg or 1648 with the Treaty of Westphalia, depending on which historian a person speaks with. The idea behind the Reformation was to purify the church and to call attention to the Bible rather than to tradition. This was not a new idea, but this was the first time that it was used skillfully.
Luther is considered the most prolific of the Reformation leaders and the most successful in terms of spreading his ideas to the public. In the period of 1518 to 1525, Luther published more works than the other 17 most prolific reformers combined.Learn more about Middle Ages
There is no such thing as the Catholic Reformation, although there was a Protestant Reformation in 16th century Europe. This Reformation came out of the Christian practitioners frustration with the Catholic faith.Full Answer >
Martin Luther was a German theologian famous for his role in the Protestant Reformation that took place in Europe in the 16th century. Luther's tract, "The Ninety-Five Theses," directly challenged the Catholic practice of selling indulgences, which were meant to absolve sins.Full Answer >
In the years leading up to the Reformation, the Catholic church was suffering from corruption, clergymen were acquiring a lot of money while citizens remained poor and monasteries were beginning to decline. The first person to challenge the Church's authority was Martin Luther in Germany, and his cause was seized upon by leaders throughout Europe for differing reasons.Full Answer >
The primary difference between the Reformation and the Renaissance was that the Reformation focused on a religious revolution, while the Renaissance focused on an intellectual revolution. The Reformation came about in order to correct what many felt were the "faults" of the Catholic Church, leading to Protestant churches such as the Lutheran churches and Baptist churches. The Renaissance came about as a rebirth of classic civilization, leading to breakthroughs in artistic, scientific, political and philosophical thought.Full Answer >