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For more than 1000 years, medieval type of Christian theology, in particular, the Scholastic tradition have dominated European philosophy. Commencing at about 1400 in Italian soil, although, Europe faced a radical intellectual era commonly known as a renaissance, which concentrated on cultural and science resurgence by classical influence. In 19th, people started to use the word renaissance to mean this particular period literally or simply “rebirth.” During this time, there was the direction in areas of architecture, religion, art, discovery, invention, exploration and music. Furthermore, this period of rebirth benefited philosophy. This study will explore the topic of “reforms” about religion.
The Protestant reforms occurred in 16th century concerning political, cultural, religious and political upheavals, which separated the Catholic Church. This move set a structure and belief that currently define the current era. In central and northern Europe, crusaders like Henry VIII Calvin and Luther criticized the pope’s authority and doubted the Church’s capacity to define the practice of the Christians (Gill & Anthony 10-30). They campaigned for political and religious devolvement of power among the prices and pastors. This champion resulted in wars, counter-reforms, and persecution. Protestant reforms were one of the vital influence on the path of philosophy during this era of Renaissance. Protestant reforms started in Germany as local resistance to counter the Catholic Church, which during this time controlled the entire Christian religion in Europe (Arruñada, Benito 897). Over the decades, corruption in church intensified as the Popes and mistresses gave birth to children. The church faced serious because of indulgences, which was a controversial method of gathering church fund.
The church reforms’ mastermind was a monk from Germany by the name of Martin Luther. He was fed up with the incidences of corruption occurring in the Church of Rome and posted a manuscript comprising of ninety-five to counter the abuses conducted by the church. These Theses escalated a resistance, which spread quickly in the whole of Europe and world. Traditionally, the Protestant reform was to loosen the grip held by Medieval Church in relation to intellectual thoughts mostly located in Europe (Gill & Anthony 17). The Romanian Church dictated on the kind of books were to be published and the religious and scientific ideas that were punishable by death. Through reforms, there was a creation of environment characterized by intellectuals, which were not controlled by medieval church authority and scholasticisms. This process was backed up by philosophers located in Protestant nations (Hanson & Eric 17-31).
They selected Aquinas as a form of writing an adopted other set of theories, which were initially regarded as taboo. However, Pentecostal reforms have some merits and demerits.
Church reforms brought back the importance of faith and practice based on the Scriptures. Up-to-date, the Church of Rome does not possess a clear understanding of which is more significant between the Scripture and church culture. Though Protestant reforms, the Bible is now recognized as a language of ordinary individuals rather than those people who are paid to interpret the Scripture by their political view and job security. This practice was initially done by the Roman Catholic Church’ priests before many bibles were printed by Guttenberg Press.
The Protestant reforms brought about more precision to salvation through faith and not through work. Before Martin Luther brought forward his opinions concerning the rationalization of faith, the church was involved in corruption activities and offering cash to church in indulgences ways. Resistance movements masterminded by Peter Lombard, Peter Waldo and Hus spearheaded the value of Scriptures and Faith Justification (Sanchez-Burks& Jeffrey 265-305). Reforms also cleared a way to simplify the first century kind of church and other apostolic movements. It gave rise to a move towards the simplicity of the first-century church and the apostolic movements these movements were spearheaded by apostolic leaders from both non-denominational and denominational churches which freely joined in matters religious.
The reform was also appraised for taking away the pope’s power and ensuring there is transparency in the church. It was evident that granting too much power to a single person was not healthy for the good of the church. Because of human being nature to sin, entrusting all power to one person is never good. Some popes who practiced corruption while ruling the medieval Europe Church (Hanson & Eric 14-50).
In spite of the above-discussed merits of church reform, protestant reformation also had some demerits. The reform weakened the Christendom influence leading to the establishment of individual Christianity. When Catholic Church’ unity was weakened, the church did not possess any economic, political and cultural influence to have absolute authority to all areas of the society; this marked the culmination of Christendom and the formation of individual religious movements.
Protestant reform opened doors for nonspiritual humanism to control society through enlightenment with church fragmentation, the independence that resulted from church weaknesses, both non-religious and religious society, caused people to start looking for answers and meanings through humanism and not through divine. This can be traced from the Writings of Aquinas that was subjective to Aristotelian Philosophy (Sanchez-Burks & Jeffrey 265-305). Gross fragmentation resulted in thousands of denominations, all of them proclaiming that they possess exclusive truth about salvation. This proclamation hurts faith of many people with doubt concerning the interpretation of the Scripture. Because people are not putting talent, money and time together, it also affects the power and witness of the church negatively. Liberal and typical Protestant denominations were formed (Gill & Anthony 5-45). These churches include Episcopal Church, which ordains a homosexual bishop. Many churches in this rank deny the Christ physical bodily resurrection from the dead and they also don’t believe in Scripture’s divine inspiration.
The reformation also contributed to the Thirty Years’ Way of Germany, which is up-to-date cited as the most disastrous war that was worse than World War 1 and 2. The between Huguenots and Roman Catholics occurred in France. In Spain, there was a war between Erasmian and Protestants (Gregory& Brad 8). In Italy, there was a tough war between the police religious and non-religious making police to intervene. England distanced itself from other European nations and also distancing itself from other nations that adopted the Anglican Church. There was a big valley between Western Europe nations and Eastern Church and Russia.
Besides the religious impacts of reforms, resulted in permanent political transformations. Northern European current political and religious autonomies were achieved after struggles and great cost, with years of war, resistances, and persecutions. The Germany War, which lasted for 30 years almost cost the country its population. However, the positive impact of reforms can be linked with the cultural and intellectual flourish, which have inspired the whole schism. Currently, most people enjoy the freedom of worship, which is essential in the societal set-up.
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