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The most important causes of the Protestant Reformation - Essay Example

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This essay describes that Protestant Reformation manifested itself in two forms. First of all, it was reformation of church life which was pursued by the city council. Secondly, it was radical reformation of the church life, conducted independently by the secular authorities…
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The most important causes of the Protestant Reformation
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The most important causes of the Protestant Reformation
At the beginning of the XVI century the biggest crisis of the Roman Catholic Church came. All society of that time required converting the church. So the "Protestant Reformation" was a movement for religious reforms in XVI century in Europe. It attempted to create new, alternative church, which would reflect more accurately the early Christian or biblical ideals. By this they meant renunciation of the church on the secular authority, the observance of ecclesiastical laws, restricting of the clergy discipline, improving morality, renunciation of scholasticism frills, destroying indulgences, spreading of the religious education among the people, the restoration of piety in the church, and so on.
Protestant Reformation manifested itself in two forms. First of all, it was reformation of church life which was pursued by the city council or through the secular power of the prince along with creation of the national church. Secondly, it was radical reformation of the church life, conducted independently by the secular authorities. This was primarily Anabaptism in its many varieties, as well as it was Baptism, Pietism and other religious movements.
One of the most important reasons for Protestant Reformation was religious one. The greed to money, drunkenness and fornication became constant companions for Church representatives. The great degradation of the priesthood's and monks' morality took place. Not all priests kept the vow of celibacy, thus they were engaged in sexual intercourse. Such a phenomena was spread not just among the ordinary priests, but also among the papacy. In addition, corruption in Church was common-spread. Popes skillfully played on the religious feelings of ordinary people taking advantage of their ignorance and lack of knowledge of the Scriptures. That is why the sale of indulgences was introduced on various occasions. Finally, there were some doctrinal reasons for reforms (Hillerbrand, 34). It was caused by Church teaching about salvation, which changed rapidly comparing to the early Christian and biblical views. Instead of preaching the gospel that Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of the people and gave them the gift of forgiveness and eternal life through faith, the priesthood introduced the indulgences, using which the enter to the kingdom of God was being sold.
In addition, some social and economic reasons for the Reformation existed. The era of development began and a new production of the manufacturing as well as the invention of printing took its place. While the biblical texts, as well as works of Augustine, various pamphlets, leaflets began to spread widely among intellectuals and ordinary people, the discontent grew, because people, while reading the Word of God and comparing it with what the priests taught, found contradictions. Moreover, the capitalist middle class of merchants and industrialists started to form, and it was a stratum of people who powerfully and strongly defended their interests that differ from the interests of the medieval nobility focused only on luxury and consumption (Hillerbrand, 27). To this should be added the growing dissatisfaction that nearly all states gave to the papal throne enormous funds. Finally, in the cities the bourgeois class formed, and their wealth was based on the enterprise, hard work, etc. This class louder announced his own political interests.
So, such reasons were a big driving force for the Protestant Reformation, and the desire to return doctrinal purity to Christianity was a main one.
Works Cited
1. Hillerbrand, Hans. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation. Oxford University Press, 2006. Read More
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