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The Role of the Laity in the Pre-Reformation Parish - Term Paper Example

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This paper seeks to describe the role of the laity before and on the eve of the Reformation, in order to gain a more enlightened understanding of the implications of the day’s political upheavals in the life of the common man. The laity caught the crux of a religious and political paradigm shift. …
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The Role of the Laity in the Pre-Reformation Parish
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Download file to see previous pages Henry VIII was personally a loyal follower of the Catholic teaching and married to Catherine of Aragon, Spanish and Catholic. On the other side of the dramatic plot is the Protestant circle, which included Thomas Cromwell, Archbishop Cranmer, Anne Boleyn, and her family. Anne’s outspoken support for protestant reform and her open desire for a break with Rome to legitimize the annulment of Henry’s marriage to Catherine cast her in the center of a bitter contest between those who traditionally held power and those who craved to wrest it. Had Anne born Henry a son and heir the outcome may have been different; however, the deformed son was premature and stillborn, Anne was convicted of high treason and subsequently executed, and Jane Seymour became the new queen. However, though an effort was made, Henry had not been able to make amends with the French, was excommunicated by Rome, and faced the threat of invasion by the combined might of the new alliance between France and the Holy Roman Empire

As a result of Henry’s ex-communication, the pope absolved all Catholics from obedience to him. Henry thus faced at home a divided populace with the apparent legitimate right to disobey him, as well as a threat from outside British shores. Realizing this, Cromwell moved into action. He formed alliances with the protestant German princes, and promoted Protestantism at home, with apparent force and cruelty, by the dissolution of monasteries and by the issuance of injunctions for regulating individual parish churches.1
The laity thus caught the crux of a religious and political paradigm shift that was to have profound repercussions on the daily lives of ordinary citizens. This discussion seeks to describe the role of the laity before and on the eve of the Reformation, in order to gain a more enlightened understanding of the implications of the day’s political upheavals in the life of the common man. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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