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Western Civilization (1300-1700): The Protestant Reformation - Term Paper Example

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The Protestant Reformation is definitely one of the many events that took place during the Western Civilization. This is a historical event that took place in the 16th-century. It concerns the split within Western Christianity during the Western Civilization. …
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Western Civilization (1300-1700): The Protestant Reformation
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Western Civilization (1300-1700): The Protestant Reformation

Download file to see previous pages... It was initiated by Martin Luther from Germany, who was later joined John Calvin from France, and other early Protestants. They were up against the Roman Catholic Church’s doctrines as well as rituals. They also protested against the Church’s ecclesiastical structures. Accordingly, they pushed for the establishment of national Protestant churches. The reformation is also believed to have been triggered by some earlier events in the Western world. Examples of such events were the Black Death and the Western Schism. These events had successfully corrupted the people’s faith that they had had on the Roman Catholic Church. Together with other pressing issues within the Church saw the beginning of sharp criticism of the Church, and eventually the formation of Protestantism.1 The Protestant Reformation has been an issue with great debates all over the world. My paper seeks to discus how it reformatted the course of the Western Civilization. This task will take into consideration how it influenced people’s perception of the Catholic Church and the doctrines as well as rituals it proposed to replace some of the controversial Catholic ones. It will also take into consideration how it influenced people’s general view about life during this period and their relationship with one another across the region. The Protestant Reformation, no doubt, ended the religious monopoly which had been enjoyed by the Catholic Church. It also remarkably reduced the Church’s domination on the intellectual way of thinking. Having started in Germany and later spreading to other parts of Europe, this reformation carried with it a lot of political instability in the region. Fierce wars had arisen between the Catholics and the Protestants, making the region a fragile territory. The war also extended to various states depending on whether they were Protestants or Catholics. There were intentional murders and fatal mistreatments carried out on the people on the two sides. An ugly scene would emerge when Protestants started killing fellow Protestants on the grounds that their religious beliefs were different. In addition, some political leaders had strongly subscribed to the belief that only religious unity would assure them of peace in their territories. As such, they fought against the reformation as much as possible. It is this belief that saw Calvinists of France and England chasing away Catholics from their territories. There was also an ugly scenario in the regions within Ireland and the Roman Empire, where both Protestants and Catholics found themselves in the deadly Thirty Years War, which left thousands dead. In the war were France and Denmark, as well as Sweden, within the German territory.2 The Papacy also responded to the spread of Protestantism by putting armed groups in place to eliminate the emerging Protestant faiths such as the Jesuits. This too compounded the lack of peace in West Europe as well as creating political instability in the area. Spain, on the other hand, was the superpower of the period. She was mainly composed of Catholics. She enforced Catholicism on her conquered territories such as Netherlands and Belgium. She responded fiercely against the expansion of Protestantism in this region. As a result, the Dutch rebellion emerged, leading to more political instability in the region.3 The reformation also had a considerable impact on the institution of marriage. Both the Protestants and the Catholics preached the sacredness of marriage. However, Protestants could not understand why people would remain celibates if they were not strong enough to uphold celibacy. Therefore, they advocated marriage as a control for sexual immorality. The family came to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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