While the debate continues, experts agree that the Church of England has paved the way for conversations about expanding gender and sexual-orientation roles within Christianity. Church of England, BBC. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. The Great Awakening was a religious revival that impacted the English colonies in America during the s and s.
The movement came at a time when the idea of secular rationalism was being emphasized, and passion for religion had grown stale. Christian leaders often traveled The bill outlined specific constitutional and civil rights and ultimately gave Parliament power over the monarchy. The Birmingham church bombing occurred on September 15, , when a bomb exploded before Sunday morning services at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama—a church with a predominantly black congregation that also served as a meeting place for civil rights The Salem witch trials of the s have an iconic place in American lore.
Well, as Wicca is a modern-day, nature-based pagan religion. Though rituals and practices vary among people who identify as Wiccan, most observations include the festival celebrations of solstices and equinoxes, the honoring of a male god and a female goddess, and the incorporation of Followers of Judaism believe in one God who revealed himself through ancient prophets. History is essential to understanding the Jewish faith, which is embedded in tradition, law and culture.
Anne Hutchinson was an influential Puritan spiritual leader in colonial Massachusetts who challenged the male-dominated religious authorities of the time. Through the popularity of her preaching, Hutchinson defied the gender roles in positions of power and gathered women into Transcendentalism is a 19th-century school of American theological and philosophical thought that combined respect for nature and self-sufficiency with elements of Unitarianism and German Romanticism. Writer Ralph Waldo Emerson was the primary practitioner of the movement, which The Inquisition was a powerful office set up within the Catholic Church to root out and punish heresy throughout Europe and the Americas.
Beginning in the 12th century and continuing for hundreds of years, the Inquisition is infamous for the severity of its tortures and its This Day In History. Among other privileges, he or she has the authority to approve the appointment of archbishops and other church leaders. The Church of England contends that the Bible is the principle foundation of all Christian faith and thought. Followers embrace the sacraments of baptism and holy communion. The Church claims to be both Catholic and Reformed.
It upholds teachings found in early Christian doctrines, such as the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed. The Church of England sustains a traditional Catholic order system that includes ordained bishops, priests and deacons. The Church follows an episcopal form of government. Provinces are separated into dioceses, which are headed by bishops and include parishes. The Archbishop of Canterbury is thought to be the most senior cleric in the Church. That argument quickly developed into a broader one about the ways in which Christians could gain salvation.
Luther argued that salvation had to be by faith alone, without any reliance on good works, like indulgences. The Catholic Church insisted that faith had to be supported by works before one could gain salvation. Luther further argued that the only authority that could resolve this dispute was the Bible , while the Catholic Church insisted that the Bible had to be supplemented by tradition, of which the church held custody. Luther also insisted on the priesthood of all believers, arguing that believers could gain salvation by themselves, rather than relying on priests as intermediaries.
Luther was excommunicated by the Catholic Church, and new churches were quickly established that followed his leadership and refused to recognize the traditional authority of the pope and his appointees. Luther continued teaching in Wittenberg. He prepared a fresh translation into German of the Bible and wrote an enormous number of works, ranging from learned biblical commentaries to inflammatory polemical pamphlets, developing further his theology. He became one of the most popular published scholars of all time.
The churches Luther had inspired were supported by local governments within the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, the political entity controlling most of what we would call Germany and more. Some of these governments were run by princes, including the government of Electoral Saxony, where Luther lived, and the government of Hesse in western Germany.
Many of them were run by city councils, within imperial free cities that had received charters from the imperial government to run their own affairs. Luther also gained support in neighboring kingdoms, particularly in Scandinavia. A few cities in southern Germany and Switzerland followed the somewhat different leadership of Huldrych Zwingli — , the principal preacher in the most important church in Zurich, within the Swiss Confederation. So did some of the principalities in that area, as well as people in other countries. One particularly zealous group of religious reformers developed within France.
They followed Zwingli especially in his sacramental theology, in his insistence that in the central Christian sacrament of communion, Christ was present only in spirit. He rejected the notion that the body and blood of Jesus could be transubstantiated into the elements of bread and wine served in this sacrament, as Catholic theologians claimed, or could even exist "in, with, and under" the elements as Luther and his followers claimed. Either interpretation of what happened was to Zwingli a form of idolatry, an invitation to people to adore man-made objects like bread and wine as if they were gods.
And idolatry, the Bible makes clear, is condemned by God himself. In , posters attacking the Catholic Mass as a form of idolatry were posted throughout France, even on the door of the king's own bedroom. That posting led to savage persecution, with substantial numbers of the Protestants who had supported this argument put to death as heretics or forced to leave the country.
One of those who left France was John Calvin , a highly educated French lawyer and humanist who had become a Protestant. He fled to Basel in Switzerland, where he taught himself theology and wrote a book summarizing the Protestant position, called the Christianae religionis institutio ; Institutes of the Christian Religion.
That book won him a new job, after one false start, directing the Reformed Church of Geneva. Geneva had revolted from the government of a prince-bishop and had become an independent republic in alliance with the Swiss cantons. Calvin persuaded the Genevans to create a new form of church government and a new liturgy, and before long a new institution of higher education, an Academy, in which he became a leading teacher.
Like Luther, he also became a best-selling author, writing learned biblical commentaries and inflammatory pamphlets, as well as expanding and revising his Institutes. Meanwhile Zwingli had died at a relatively young age, as a chaplain to troops belonging to Zurich engaged in a war with Swiss Catholics. Calvin became the most prominent spokesman for the Reformed branch of Protestantism.
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Calvin is probably best known as a theologian for his commitment to predestination, the doctrine that God deserves the sole credit for choosing eternal salvation for every individual who gains it. He added to that relatively orthodox doctrine the idea that God also deserves the sole credit for choosing eternal damnation for every individual who receives it. In other words, he taught double predestination, predestination of the saved and of the damned.
He also taught that God had made his decision on whether or not to save or damn each individual before the beginning of time, before these individuals were even created. Calvin is also known as a church leader for his insistence on discipline, his belief that every individual Christian must not only adopt true belief but also behave in a truly Christian manner. To that end he insisted that Geneva create a new institution charged with maintaining discipline, called the Consistory.
And he insisted that this new institution must have real powers, the power to excommunicate any sinner who misbehaved, without any provision for appeal, and to recommend expulsion from the city of sinners who refused to repent and reconcile themselves with the Consistory. This insistence on discipline became a mark of the true church to many of Calvin's followers. Lutherans and Zwinglians said that the only marks of a true church are the teaching of true doctrine and the correct observation of the sacraments.
Many Calvinists insisted that there had to be a third mark, the mark of discipline. Calvinism became the most influential form of Protestant Christianity in much of Switzerland, parts of Germany, the Netherlands , Scotland , Hungary , and selected parts of France. The Church of England broke with Rome over an entirely different issue. Catherine had been his brother's wife, and Henry felt that his marriage to her, which was against church law but permitted by an earlier pope, was the reason she had produced no male heirs. Clement refused to act on this request, so Henry's government broke all connections with the papacy, and, with the Act of Supremacy, made the king head of the Church of England , which remained Catholic in other respects.
The government of Henry's son, Edward VI r. Edward was succeeded by his sister Mary r. Mary was succeeded by yet another sister, Elizabeth I r. Another group of early Protestants called themselves names like "Brethren," but were often called by their enemies "Anabaptists" and are generally called by modern scholars "radicals.
Infant baptism had become customary through the Middle Ages , in part because of a growing belief that everyone is born with the taint of original sin , and that this taint must be washed away by baptism before there is any hope for salvation. Any person who remained unbaptized on death, therefore, ran the risk of damnation without any hope of salvation, or perhaps, in the minds of some theologians, to relegation to a place called Limbo that was neither heaven nor hell.
Infant baptism also had the advantage of making all individuals immediate members of the community, without any period of probation. By insisting on believers' baptism, Anabaptists changed both the theological and the social meaning of baptism, and that upset a good many people. Anabaptists were often savagely persecuted for their beliefs, beginning in Zwingli's Zurich where an early group of them emerged.
They seldom gained the protection of any government. Numbers of them also known as Mennonites, who became ardent pacifists, managed to survive in the Netherlands and neighboring parts of Germany, tolerated but not permitted to participate actively in society. Meanwhile, Roman Catholics reacted to all these changes by digging themselves in and drawing the lines of permissible belief more strictly than ever before.
That work was accomplished primarily in the Council of Trent , which met between and , under close direction from a series of popes, and prepared a set of theological decrees and disciplinary canons. Most of the decrees adopted ways of defining Catholic beliefs originally developed by Thomas Aquinas , in preference to alternative views originally developed by William of Ockham , Duns Scotus, and other medieval theologians that been widely accepted before the Reformation.
The canons required organizational reforms.
ANTECEDENTS OF THE REFORMATION
One doctrine of particularly wide practical consequence that Catholics refused to abandon was celibacy. They believed that it was a higher way of life for those who could manage it. They insisted that all secular priests remain celibate, and they also wished to continue communities of contemplative monks and nuns, as well as active friars and sisters, that devoted themselves entirely to the work of the church and did not establish families.
Almost all Protestants found the lifestyle of celibacy both unnatural and unnecessary. They wanted their ministers to marry and lead normal family lives, to join society and no longer live in a legally separate caste. And Protestant governments confiscated monasteries and convents, turning them into schools or hospitals, or simply selling the properties.
This reduced the range of lifestyle options open to the general population in Protestant lands, particularly for women, who now had little choice but to marry and become housewives.
Re-forming the Center: American Protestantism, 1900 to the Present
Protestants also changed the institution of marriage in several ways. It was no longer permanent, and could be dissolved in divorce, either for adultery or desertion, at the request of either the husband or wife. In practice, however, divorce remained relatively rare. By the end of the sixteenth century each of the surviving religious groups identified itself with a succinct statement of belief called a confession. For Lutherans it was the Augsburg Confession , first advanced in at a meeting of the Diet, the representative body governing the Holy Roman Empire.
It was further expanded and refined late in the century in a statement promulgated in , called the Formula of Concord. For the Calvinists there were a variety of national formulations, including the Heidelberg catechism of in Germany, and Confessions for the Swiss , the French , the Dutch , and the Scottish For Anglicans it was the Thirty-Nine Articles adopted in For Anabaptists there were a variety of local doctrinal statements, for example the Schleitheim Articles of For Catholics there were the decrees and canons of the Council of Trent , as promulgated by popes after The promulgation of confessions and the insistence on their use to control the belief of government employees, clergymen, and teachers, became one of the distinguishing features of the religious landscape in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.
It helped states to consolidate their power, both against their neighbors and against supranational institutions like the Holy Roman Empire and the papacy. It made of this period an era of confessionalism and confessionalization. The resulting tensions led to a number of religious wars, in France between and , in the Netherlands between and , and within the Holy Roman Empire between and Only when governments stopped making decisions on religious grounds and moved to making them on more secular grounds, by in most areas, did this age of confessionalism end.
Pockets of confessionalism remained in parts of Europe, however, and some of them survive into the present. It can be argued that the Reformation has not as yet completely ended. See also Christianity ; Religion ; Religion and the State. Christ's Churches Purely Reformed. New Haven , Conn. Leiden and New York : Brill, — Brecht, Martin.
Martin Luther , translated by James L. Shaaf, 3 vols. Minneapolis and Philadelphia: Fortress Press, — The English Reformation. New York : Schocken Books, Duffy, Eamon.
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Geschichte des Konzils von Trient, 4 vols. Freiburg: Herder, — London: T. Nelson, — Kingdon, Robert M. Adultery and Divorce in Calvin's Geneva. Potter, G. Schilling, Heinz. Kirksville, Mo. Leiden and New York : E.
Brill, Wiesner, Merry E. Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe. Williams, George Huntston. The Radical Reformation, 3rd ed. Reformation, religious revolution that took place in Western Europe in the 16th cent. It arose from objections to doctrines and practices in the medieval church see Roman Catholic Church and ultimately led to the freedom of dissent see Protestantism. Background The preparation for the movement was long. Opponents of orthodox views had asserted themselves over centuries, and in the 14th cent.
John Wyclif had led a dissident movement. His ideas were amplified later by John Huss in Bohemia, who was burned at the stake by order of the Council of Constance. After his death his followers in Bohemia upheld his cause in the long and bitterly fought Hussite Wars. These dwindled into compromise, but Huss's challenge to the orthodox view of the Eucharist and the revolutionary effect of the wars did not disappear. New forces fanned discontent with the church and the medieval order of society. There had long been outcries against abuses in the church, especially the blatant worldliness of some of the clergy, the emphasis on money, and the oppressiveness, not only intellectual but economic, of members of the church hierarchy.
In the 15th cent. Although the movement failed, the number of those wishing reform nevertheless grew steadily. The desire for change was increased by the appearance of humanism and the spirit of the Renaissance. Study of the ancient Greek and Hebrew texts concentrated attention on the Bible and evoked a new critical spirit, exemplified in such men as Lorenzo Valla and Johann Reuchlin. The Renaissance also tended to develop an emphasis on the individual. The later humanists were outspoken in their attacks on the abuses in the church; Desiderius Erasmus was, perhaps, the most prominent, but there were many others, including the humanists at Oxford.
The intimate connection between the new learning and the Reformation itself is shown in the pursuits of men who were to be prominent in the Reformation in central Europe; Ulrich von Hutten and Philip Melanchthon were outstanding figures in humanism, and Huldreich Zwingli arrived at opposition to the church mainly through the study of Greek and Hebrew. The very founding of the Univ. The introduction of printing in Western Europe allowed more widespread dissemination of criticism.
Printing was to hasten the Reformation, and the Reformation in turn was to spread printing further. In secular matters the opposition between church and state was centuries old, but it had begun to take a new turn with the building of strong nations. In Germany this opposition to the power of the church was coupled in the minds of many princes with opposition to that other supranational body, the Holy Roman Empire , and the princes were to play a decisive part in the ecclesiastical rebellion.
The rise of the cities and of the power of merchants and the middle class generally not only upset the old medieval order of things but created much discontent with the scholastic views on finance and economic affairs that fettered the enterprise of the men in search of wealth. The economy of Europe was expanding and forcing cracks in the more or less rigid walls of the system. Scholars of the 20th cent. There were, however, many influences at work, and the field was well prepared by Nevertheless, it was with suddenness and surprise that the Reformation began.
He protested. On Oct. Luther's action was not as yet a revolt against the church but a movement for reform within. It was, however, much more than an objection to the money-grabbing and secular policies of the clergy. Luther had already become convinced that in certain matters of doctrine the purity of the ancient church had been perverted by self-seeking popes and clergy. His disagreement with the church on matters of doctrine soon became apparent. In Luther in a dispute with Johann Eck openly espoused doctrines that were implicit in his theses, and he denied the authority of the church in religious matters.
In the pope issued a bull of excommunication against Luther, and the Holy Roman emperor, Charles V , thundered against the rebel. Luther defied them, publicly burned the bull of excommunication, and issued vigorous pamphlets assailing the papacy and the doctrine of the sacraments.
The breach was thus made in , and the meeting of the Diet of Worms see Worms, Diet of not only failed to produce a compromise but forced many doubters into the camp of the rebels. Luther was declared an outlaw, but the threat was empty; under the protection of the powerful Frederick III , elector of Saxony, he was spirited off to the safety of the Wartburg.
Economic, Spiritual, and Political Motives The revolt was spreading with incredible speed over central and N Germany and almost immediately extended beyond the German borders. All the elements of discontent and rebellion coalesced. The learned, such as Luther himself, Melanchthon, and Martin Bucer , saw the opportunity to express and expand their own views.
The nobles were enabled to cast off allegiance to the Holy Roman emperor and to enrich themselves by seizing the immense landed estates of the church. Too much can be—and has been—made out of this economic motive, however, for many of the princes belonged to the intellectual group that had been stirred to critical rejection of church doctrines, and they were perhaps better aware than the common people of the venality and money-mindedness of many of the clergy.
Many of the pious, increased in number by a spontaneous religious revival in the late 15th cent. The new insistence on reading the word of God in the Bible placed a greater responsibility on the individual. Those who were feeling the first and welcome experience of nationalism were anxious to shake off the hand of Rome.
Absolutist rulers, particularly in Scandinavia, welcomed the opportunity to end the interference of the church in state affairs; by creating national churches they were able to escape outside influence. Merchants and capitalists found the air of individual freedom exhilarating. The peasants, chafing under the old restrictions of feudalism, lifted up their heads in hope that the new dispensation would take away their burdens.
In in the Colloquy of Marburg , Luther and Melanchthon on the one side and Zwingli and Johannes Oecolampadius on the other discussed the nature of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper the Protestant form of the Catholic Eucharist but failed to come to an agreement. The fundamental principle that every man could arrive at truth by study of the Bible also led many to more radical conclusions than those that Luther adopted.
The preacher known as Carlstadt from the place of his birth argued for a more thoroughgoing dismissal of old practices and doctrines in Wittenberg itself and caused Luther to emerge from his retirement to halt the progress of radicalism. The Peasants' War —25 showed plainly the rifts within the ranks of the rebels, and Luther, forced to choose between the revolutionary peasants and their opponents, the princes, chose the princes and orderly governance. After their revolution had been brutally put down and the leaders tortured and executed, many of the revolutionary peasants returned to Roman Catholicism , but many continued to foster more radical sects, such as the Anabaptists.
In general the princes were able to dictate what religion should prevail in their territories, and they opposed vigorously the attempt of the Holy Roman emperor to force them back into the old church. The Knights' War —23 , led by Franz von Sickingen against the ecclesiastical princes, ended in failure, but the determination of Charles V to extirpate Lutheranism ultimately ended in even more abject failure. The imperial Diet of Speyer in found no answer to the division of the empire, and when a new Diet of Speyer in ordered that the emperor's ruling against the heretics should be enforced, the Lutheran princes issued a defiant protest from which the term Protestant is derived.
The Diet of Augsburg in was equally fruitless in producing a compromise between Catholic and Lutheran princes, but it did produce the Confession of Augsburg see creed , which was drafted by Melanchthon and became the official statement of Lutheran faith. The conflict in the empire led the Protestant princes to form a defensive union against the emperor in the Schmalkaldic League, in which the chief figures were Philip of Hesse and John Frederick I of Saxony.
The league was put down in the Schmalkaldic War —47 , which did not, however, in the least solve the problem. Emperor Charles V, in an effort to prolong the uneasy peace, proposed to the Protestants that there be an interim agreement against change until a general church council could legislate on the dispute. This was the so-called Augsburg Interim , which did not take effect because it was rejected by the Protestant princes.
The confusion that political considerations brought to the religious issue is perhaps best seen in the career of Maurice , duke of Saxony, who fought first on one side, then on the other. A sort of peace of exhaustion and compromise was reached in the Peace of Augsburg ; see Augsburg, Peace of. The settlement was at best uneasy and was not to endure except in principle. The conflict was merged with many other issues in the later Thirty Years War — Geneva had become in the headquarters of John Calvin , who is considered by many the greatest theologian of Protestantism.
His Institutes of the Christian Religion, published at Basel in , marked a new era in thought. He differed from Luther principally in the doctrine of predestination the foregone choosing by God of the elect to be saved , in the austerity of the life of the godly, and in the emphasis on theocratic government see Calvinism. His influence was immediate and enormous. France, which had hardly been touched by Lutheranism, was fired by Calvinist doctrine, and the Protestant minority, called the Huguenots , waged fierce battle against the Catholic majority in the Wars of Religion until toleration was won when the Huguenot leader Henry of Navarre turned Catholic, became King Henry IV , and issued the Edict of Nantes.
Calvinism superseded Lutheranism in the Netherlands, where the religious revolt was coupled with revulsion at the policies of Charles V and his successor, Philip II of Spain. Through bloody wars independence and Calvinism gained the upper hand in the N Low Countries. It spread also to Hungary and Poland and took root in parts of Germany. It proved quite impossible to reconcile the finely wrought theology of Calvinism with Lutheran doctrines, for Lutheranism rejected predestination and clung to part of the sacramental system see Lord's Supper. Calvinist thought did greatly influence the course of the Reformation in the British Isles and the present United States.
There was also a conflict of Lutheranism and Calvinism with the more radical and emotional groups, and the enthusiasm of preachers who interpreted Scripture in their own way met with a cool reception among the Calvinists. The divisions within Protestantism were from the beginning sharp, and attempts to reconcile Calvinist, Lutheran, and other doctrine had only partial success.
Chapter 9: The Protestant Ministry in America: 1850 to the Present, by Robert S. Michaelsen
Moreover, in England the Reformation went its own course. It was there much more closely connected with the conflict of church and state than was the Reformation on the Continent. Currents of Calvinistic thought were, however, strong in England. The Reformation was begun with the creation of a state church and the dissolution of the monasteries.
It was given Calvinist touches under Edward VI , suffered a complete reversal under Mary I , and reached a sort of balance under Elizabeth I with some persecution of both Catholics and Calvinists. The process was to work itself out slowly later in the English civil war , just as the fierce hatreds between Protestant and Protestant as well as between Catholic and Protestant were to be worked out later on the Continent.
The burning of Servetus was a sample of the internal strife within Protestantism itself. The divisions within the churches of the Reformation also served to forward the Counter Reformation within the Roman Catholic Church , which rewon Poland, Hungary, most of Bohemia, and part of Germany.
The end of the Thirty Years War in the Peace of Westphalia see Westphalia, Peace of in brought some stabilization, but the force of the Reformation did not end then. It has continued to exert influence to the present day, with its emphasis on personal responsibility and individual freedom, its refusal to take authority for granted, and its ultimate influence in breaking the hold of the church on life and consequent secularization of life and attitudes.
Bibliography See T. Lindsay, History of the Reformation 2 vol. Smith, The Age of the Reformation , repr. Hyma, The Christian Renaissance ; R. Murray, The Political Consequences of the Reformation , repr. Tawney, Religion and the Rise of Capitalism ; M. Bainton, The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century , repr. Coulton, Art and the Reformation rev.
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Lucas, The Renaissance and the Reformation 2d ed. Grimm, The Reformation Era, — rev. Elton, Reformation Europe, — ; A. Sykes, The Crisis of the Reformation ; H. Hillerbrand, The World of the Reformation ; L. Spitz, The Protestant Reformation, — ; D. Collinson, The Reformation The Protestant Reformation began in Germany in , following Martin Luther 's attempt to provoke discussion about reforming the Catholic Church. It rapidly blossomed into an international struggle, resulting in the permanent destruction of Catholic unity in Europe and the creation of many new Christian denominations and sects.
By the early s, once it was clear that the break with the Catholic Church was permanent, the reformers faced the challenge of creating stable new churches that could endure the religious conflict of the sixteenth century. Children were a critical component in the response to this challenge. The reformers were anxious to ensure that the children of their churches would be properly and completely nurtured and educated in the newly defined Christian faith. Protestant reformers saw the family as the fundamental unit for fostering both religious belief and social stability; therefore, they directed more attention to children and families than had the late-medieval Catholic Church.
As envisioned by the reformers, the ideal family was a patriarchy in which fathers held ultimate responsibility and authority, but within which mothers were also held accountable for the nurture and education of their offspring. The reformers viewed children as tainted with original sin , like all human beings, yet educable and in need of careful oversight to protect them from the temptations and vices of the world. They insisted on the duty of both fathers and mothers to teach their children Christian beliefs and practices and to discipline them with love and restraint, always with the support of the church community.
Another significant contribution was the insistence on the importance of basic education and the attempt to spread literacy so that reformed Christians would be able to read the Bible for themselves. Most reformers, including Martin Luther in Germany and John Calvin in Geneva, kept the rite of infant baptism as a sacrament in their churches. The more "radical" or Anabaptist reformers, such as Menno Simons in the Netherlands and northern Germany, rejected infant baptism and asserted that a person had to proclaim his or her faith and choose to be baptized as an adolescent or adult.
While Luther and Calvin maintained the practice of infant baptism, they each altered the Catholic interpretation of what occurred during the sacrament, indicating a changed understanding of the nature of children. Medieval Catholics believed that the sacrament of baptism washed away the original sin that weighed upon the soul of a newborn child. In contrast, the Protestant reformers emphasized the burden that original sin placed on all human beings, including baptized children.
There was no exact Protestant consensus on the effects of baptism, but generally they held that it was not an act of purification that automatically protected the child from future harm, but rather a sign of God 's grace and covenant with the child, the parents, and the wider church community. The baptismal ceremony also marked the commitment of parents and community to raise the child in the Christian faith.
Children were considered to be particularly susceptible to the distractions and vices of the world, and adolescents even more so. For this reason they required careful supervision and loving discipline to help them learn piety and Christian responsibility. Another change that occurred with the Protestant Reformation was the delay of confirmation until adolescence.
While confirmation was no longer understood to be a sacrament, Protestant churches still marked a child's profession of faith and official entrance into the church with some ceremony. In medieval Catholicism, children received confirmation sometime between the moment of baptism and age seven. The reformers held that such an act required that the child have achieved some level of spiritual maturity, which they generally believed coincided approximately with physical maturity. In delaying confirmation until adolescence in the most extreme cases until the age of eighteen , the reformers were pushing back the age of discretion, thereby extending the time during which children were not held fully responsible for their actions.
Both the delay of confirmation, in the case of Luther and Calvin, and the delay of baptism, in the case of the Anabaptists, made the proper education of children imperative. A main premise of the Protestant Reformation was that individual Christians could communicate directly with God through prayer and study of the Scripture.
The reformers sought to foster this relationship by providing catechisms and establishing schools to teach both boys and girls to read. Luther and Calvin each, in their efforts to aid in the training of children, produced catechisms that could be used by parents and ministers to teach children and adults in need of religious instruction. Such catechisms were written in the form of questions and responses about the basic tenets of the Christian faith. They were printed in the vernacular for example, German or English, rather than Latin , in simple language, and could be expeditiously published and distributed across a region with the aid of the printing press, which had been in use in Europe since the s.
Both boys and girls were expected to learn such catechisms at home, at church, and even at school. Girls' schools and coeducational schools were both established during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but schools for boys appeared more rapidly. Girls were more often expected to receive their education at home, focusing on the catechism in order to learn pious behavior.
Scholars continue to debate the effectiveness of these efforts at education and indoctrination in different parts of Europe. It is generally agreed that, while the reformers' efforts at education did not succeed as perfectly or completely as they hoped, literacy rates across sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe improved more quickly in Protestant areas than in Catholic areas.
Ultimately, the schools created during the Reformation became a part of the standard European educational systems. Luther, Calvin, and Simons all insisted upon the obligation of children to respect, obey, and assist their parents. Parents had a corresponding duty to love, nurture, and discipline their children, both for the protection of the children and in the interest of creating a stable community.
It is noteworthy that this obligation extended to illegitimate children as well. While Catholic authorities were more willing to expend resources on caring for abandoned children in the interest of protecting the honor of unwed mothers, Protestant officials went to great lengths to ensure that parents took responsibility for raising their children born out of wedlock. Corporal punishment, including beating, was acceptable in moderation in order to help children learn to resist the many vices that the world pressed upon them.
But extreme abuse, neglect, and overindulgence were all seen as threats to children. To combat these various extremes, the reformers emphasized the notion that nurturing their children according to Protestant teachings was one way that Christian parents served God. Calvin wrote, "Unless men regard their children as the gift of God, they are careless and reluctant in providing for their support" quoted in Pitkin, p.
In the case of Anabaptists, children depended upon their parents not for Christian instruction that built upon their baptism, but rather for the education in the Christian faith that would one day enable them to choose to be baptized. While the issue of infant baptism was a significant division between Anabaptists and other Protestants, in practice they took similar steps to raise their children as both faithful Christians and responsible citizens.
Simons advised Anabaptist parents regarding their children, "If they transgress, reprove them sharply. If they are childish, bear them patiently. If they are of teachable age, instruct them in a Christian fashion. Dedicate them to the Lord from youth" quoted in Miller, p. Reformers' thoughts on child care were made popular by numerous books on child rearing.
Church and state authorities attempted to reinforce these ideas through such instruments as the consistories, or morals courts, established in Reformed "Calvinist" communities. But despite these efforts, it is important to remember that the reformers' views were not consistently put into practice by all Protestant parents. Indeed, it is likely that few parents — fathers or mothers — lived up to the reformers' mandate to instruct their children fully in Protestant theology and beliefs.
While reformers sometimes criticized parents for disciplining their children too harshly, a more frequent complaint was that parents were indulging their children, and thus neglecting their spiritual and moral welfare. Another area of dispute involved selecting godparents for a newborn child. Calvin and the Genevan reformers insisted that parents should choose godparents only from among the Reformed community, so that they might serve as spiritual mentors for children.
But, maintaining earlier traditions, some parents insisted upon inviting relatives from Catholic towns to be godparents. Finally, the belief that baptism cleansed a child of original sin and was a prerequisite for salvation persisted among some Protestants, despite the reformers' teachings to the contrary. Practices such as "reviving" dead infants in order to baptize them continued throughout the early modern period. Nonetheless, the Protestant Reformation had significant and lasting effects on the treatment of and attitudes toward children in early modern Europe.
Where the reformers clashed with parents regarding their children, it was because both parents and church officials had strong opinions about the best way to raise a child to become a responsible citizen, a faithful Christian, and a dutiful son or daughter. The Protestant reformers began efforts at widespread education that would come to the forefront once again during the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. They emphasized the notion that childhood was a period of nurture, discipline, and learning.
And they reiterated frequently the mutual obligation that parents and children had toward one another. Ben-Amos, Ilana Krausman.
Adolescence and Youth in Early Modern England. Fletcher, Anthony. Diana Wood. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell. Harrington, Joel. Luke, Carmen. Marshall, Sherrin. Joseph M. Hawes and N. Ray Hiner. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Miller, Keith Graber. Marcia J. Grand Rapids , MI: W. Ozment, Steven.
America's Changing Religious Landscape | Pew Research Center
Pitkin, Barbara. Pollock, Linda. Marzio Barbagli and David I. Strauss, Gerald. Tudor , Philippa. Watt, Jeffrey R. Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe, 2nd ed. New York : Cambridge University Press. Reformation, the. Movements for reform in the Christian Church in the West, in the early 16th cent. This was arguably the greatest crisis in Christendom before the challenges of the present time. Modern scholarship no longer seeks to spell out the causes of a reformation movement in simplistic terms, and it is very important to think of reformations in the plural.
This was deeply affected and called in question by the invention of the printing press. Prominent in the critical appraisal of the debate, with its distance from pastoral involvement, was Desiderius Erasmus c. He sought a textual basis for faith. His influence was also felt throughout the Catholic Church , not least in his work on the New Testament , writing a critical exposition of the received text. He wanted lay people to read the Bible. In this he was helped by the invention of printing.
But it was for others to work out what the pastoral and theological consequences would be of accurate, widely available Bibles, especially when translated into the vernacular. The lead from university to parish was made by Luther. He is usually remembered for his outburst against the selling of indulgences , and for his challenge to Johann Tetzel c. Moving away from Augustine , he understood justification as the instantaneous realization that sinners are forgiven and made righteous by the work of the crucified Christ.
By imputation, fallen humanity had been reconciled in Christ to God the Creator. The unmerited grace of the Almighty is conveyed to sinners because of the atoning work of Christ on the Cross Sermon of the Threefold Righteousness , Luther's stand as a reformer is far clearer in the Christocentric emphasis of the Heidelberg Disputation Apr.
Nothing in W. Christendom was quite the same again. He was saved by another of the key factors in the reformations: the lay ruler of his country, Friedrich, Elector of Ernestine Saxony from to , smuggled him into exile. In two tracts of , he had already sought to recruit both secular authority and sympathetic clergy. A third, the celebrated Treatise of the Liberty of a Christian Man , commended the new faith to those who would know Christ. Another reformer, Ulrich Zwingli — , addressed himself to a very different task in his Swiss City State, with different results: Zwingli in Zurich illustrates the way a people's priest Leutpriester might work with the civic authorities and, by public disputation, defeat the bishop and his representative in debate.
The argument that popular demand could legitimately accomplish the will of God vox populi being accounted vox Dei enabled Zwingli to abolish the Mass in Zurich and to secularize convents and monasteries to fund the common chest. Again distinct but of huge consequence for the W. Church was the work and ministry of John Calvin —64 , who promoted John Knox the reformer in Scotland , c. Calvin, just after he had published The Institutes Christianae Religionis Institutae , , was diverted to Geneva because of troop movements in the Italian Wars.
By , when the authorities reacted again and repudiated the reform party, he reached Strasburg, enjoying an influential three-year stay with Martin Bucer — The pause was not to last. For the next twenty-five years he became a prophet of Christian order, denouncing the religion of Rome as a legal tyranny and as entirely false by the standards of The Acts of the Apostles and of the organization of the primitive Church. The influence of Calvin was direct through his College of Geneva, founded in to prepare pastors to promote biblical theology throughout Europe and later, via England , Scotland, and Holland, to evangelize the New World.
The definitive edition of The Institutes was published in that year and adopted as a training text. Calvin succeeded in reaching a measure of agreement with Zwingli in Consensus Tigurinus and thus did something to correct the divisive effects of the number of different Protestant reformations. Unlike the Protestant reformation in Europe, the reformation in England focused first on the needs of the ruler and only secondly on a desire to change theological formulae and lay piety.
He used the Parliament of England to help him, and he put in positions of strategic importance Thomas Cromwell c. They steered a largely reluctant king toward the dissolution of the monasteries , a number of restatements of doctrine, and most importantly the order that a Bible in English should be put in every church By the time Henry died a Litany in English had been produced, but under his son, Edward VI, liturgical reform began in earnest, with the Book of Common Prayer of , revised in Had the boy-king lived, reformation in England would have been different: his death in illustrates the crucial importance of supportive secular authority.
Edward was succeeded by the daughter of Catherine of Aragon , Mary. She reinstated the power of the papacy and a medieval liturgy in Latin. Cranmer was burned, and the stage was set for the restoration of Catholicism. It was not to be. In Mary was succeeded in England by Elizabeth —, r. Elizabeth owed her birth to her father's repudiation of Rome, and she knew the pain that religious upheaval caused. Under her, with the help of Parliament and of Matthew Parker , her able Archbishop of Canterbury, a Protestant settlement of religion was established by law.
The Book of Common Prayer of was adopted with emendations; the Church was to be episcopally governed under the Queen and Parliament. The theological enquiry and defence of the settlement resumed, notably at the hands of John Jewel —71 and Richard Hooker — Gradually parishes in England came into step. Throughout the 16th cent. This spontaneous movement to reform the religious life, to re-evangelize Protestant countries, and to convert the newly discovered peoples of America and of the East, was associated with the emergence of the new religious Order of Jesuits , under Ignatius of Loyola.
The attempts by the Council of Trent —7, —2, to heal the rifts in Christian unity were a failure, but the Council achieved new definitions of justification and a revised liturgy. Papal sovereignty became more firmly entrenched, with permanent status being given to Congregations committees of cardinals such as those which formed the Inquisition and Index to safeguard Catholic faith and practice.
The resulting transformation of Europe at the hands of different reformers was the rending of the seamless robe. This was the price paid for a Catholic Church no longer as corrupt in its head and members as it had been when Erasmus surveyed it. All the reformations, Protestant or Catholic, needed to use education to their own advantage: schools were founded and refounded, and the advance of literacy meant that reason ultimately replaced indoctrination.
The Reformation also did much to awaken social conscience, although not with immediate effect. Philanthropy was on both sides of a great divide —no mean harvest yielded by those whose new-found commitment resulted in lives of thank-offering after the assurance of salvation. Cultural achievement is more difficult to estimate.
There were advances in portraiture and music , as with Cranach — and the Bach family. Above all else, the revolution in printing, a process updated with moveable type and new paper, promoted a quite different spirituality, to give heart and transforming faith that must ultimately symbolize the magnitude of this significant crisis in Christendom. The Church of England , established by statute in , was unambiguously protestant.
However, hindsight, and the diversity of later Anglicanism, has led many to argue that the Church of England stands somehow midway between catholic and reformed traditions. Before the Reformation The church in England c. Many parish churches were extravagantly rebuilt, and lavished with vessels and ornaments which foreign visitors thought worthy of a cathedral. Kings and popes usually got on well: royal orators and cardinals-protector handled the nation's business at the curia, and royal nominees were accepted for major church posts.
The early English reformers The fame of the German Reformation leader Martin Luther — caught the imagination of some English followers in the s. Churchmen including Thomas Bilney c. However, their support was confined to young university students and those with foreign connections. They posed no threat, though Thomas Wolsey burned heretic books publicly, and Thomas More wrote against Tyndale. This policy required theoretical justification if the king was to carry such a profoundly catholic nation into schism. Thomas Cromwell recruited a number of young humanist writers, whose propaganda pieces criticized both the papacy and some aspects of the old cults, such as papal indulgences.
Though Thomas Cromwell's commissioners who toured the doomed monasteries in —6 mocked spurious relics and hunted dissolute monks, the ensuing abolition of the monastic order had no declared religious rationale. Nevertheless, Henry never ceased to trust his reform-minded archbishop Thomas Cranmer , and even suggested to a bemused ambassador in that he and the French king might together abolish the mass.
Public protestantism under Edward VI All ambiguity was swept away in the next reign. Revision of the mass-book began almost at once, leading in to the publication of Cranmer's first, very cautious, Book of Common Prayer. Meanwhile royal commissioners ruthlessly stripped parish churches of most of the ornaments and furniture associated with the old cult. Distinguished continental reformers such as Martin Bucer and Pier Martire Vermigli settled in the universities and influenced further changes in worship.
In a revision of the Prayer Book simplified the apparatus of worship to the barest protestant essentials, and its abusive anti-papal rhetoric left no room for doubt. The Forty-Two Articles of Doctrine in set out reformed beliefs. Catholicism restored, — Mary I inherited religious legislation, in her eyes ultra vires and void, which took some eighteen months to reverse. Nevertheless, priests and laity restored the mass at the mere breath of royal suggestion. Once owners of monastic lands were assured of their titles, papal authority was received back with some enthusiasm.
Protestantism remained confined to cells mostly in southern and eastern England. The impact of the campaign which burned c. Many counties saw no burnings or only a few; latterly they took place in London at dawn, attended only by groups of demonstrators from the clandestine congregation. A precarious settlement, — Elizabeth, daughter of Anne Boleyn and legatee of the schism, found the catholic hierarchy much more stubborn than in —3. Re-establishment of the royal supremacy and abolition of the mass required an almost clean sweep of the episcopate, and careful management of Parliament, which wrecked the proposals several times.
It is now generally accepted that catholic resistance was the chief reason for the delay, caution, and occasional ambiguity of the Elizabethan church settlement. The anti-papal abuse of the Prayer Book was excised from the version; ineffectual efforts were made to restore some vestments and restrain priestly marriage. Even the Thirty-Nine Articles approved by convocation in were altered by the queen herself, probably to placate conservatives.
The making of a protestant people The new bishops chosen by Elizabeth from leading reformed clergy in , and most protestant zealots, assumed that the concessions made to tradition were temporary sops, to be discarded once the regime was secure. To their increasing horror and bewilderment, they found that the queen obstinately refused to strip away the veneer of ritual, and tried to stick it back where it was removed illegally.
She feared that combative, doctrinaire protestant preaching still risked alienating parts of the kingdom and sparking a religious war: the restoration of the mass during the northern earls' revolt of , and her excommunication by the pope in , lent these fears substance. Euan Cameron. Cameron, E. A movement that set Christian religious leaders against the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church , and which reached the height of its influence during the late Renaissance.
In essence, Protestants rejected the authority of the pope and transformed the meaning of religious faith, rejecting the traditional role of the priest and the sacraments. The Protestant Reformation was prompted by the new scholarship that emerged in the early Renaissance.
Traditional medieval philosophy attempted to perfect and explain religious doctrine, never to question it. The new humanism introduced debate and investigation into the subject of religious doctrine. Philosophers and writers disagreed on the nature of the soul, on the ideas of sin and salvation, the nature of Christ as a manifestation of God , and the relation of religious and secular authority. This questioning was further spurred by the invention of the printing press and the wider circulation of new books and ideas.
Protestantism also grew out of a drive for reform of Catholic institutions in the fifteenth century.