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Reformation in England and Germany - Essay Example

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The reformation started long back during the 12th century when Bishop Grossetete and Wycliffe disobeyed the commands of Pope of Rome, which controlled all the churches around the world. Even the protests initiated during 12th century, the reformers were either suppressed or killed during that period…
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Devraj M. 05 March 2009 Reformation in England and Germany Causes for the 16th Century Reformation in England and Germany The reformation started long back during the 12th century when Bishop Grossetete and Wycliffe disobeyed the commands of Pope of Rome, which controlled all the churches around the world. Even the protests initiated during 12th century, the reformers were either suppressed or killed during that period. (Carter, 1860:37-41) There were numerous efforts to change the ideology that Bible should be laid in the hands of priests and not be made available to the public. The church remained wealthy and the public was suppressed by their rulings. Even the Kings of various countries had to abide by their commands. The revolt was gradual process which started during 12th century and was somewhat achieved in the 16th century with the great works of reformers and various sacrifices around the world.
Martin Luther in one of his works 'Ninety Five Thesis' complained about the greed and corruption taking place in the Church and mailed this to local bishops to take action against such indulgences.(www.nga.gov) Luther initiated Protestant revolution and emphasized on private devotion rather than emotional experience of God. Lutheran ideas initially spread disarray, rebel among civilians as they believed that such religious dissent would bring civil war and spiritual danger. Lutheran ideas were gradually accepted as a revolt to put an end to Papacy of Rome. Various reformation movements took place in Germany in 1522 and 1524 which made a moderately impressed the rebellions. (www.orlutheran.com) Peasants' War during 1524 was an attempt to put an end to economic suppression and papal diplomacy. Various meetings between the Lutheran reformers and Emperor and Roman Catholic did not yield any results. Charles V, with the help of Pope and Duke Maurice of Saxony attacked Schmalkaldic League, a defensive association of Protestant princes which ended in religious Peace of Augsburg in 1555 and Lutheranism gained official recognition which ultimately destroyed the Papal authority in Western Europe. (www.faculty.ncu.edu.jm) It was during the 16th Century i.e. 1531; King Henry VIII declared himself as the head of English Church as the Pope Clement VII did not responded to divorce sanction sought by the King, so that he can marry again. This act by the King Henry VIII put an end to any ruling by Pope over the England Church and passed an act in the Parliament establishing an independent Anglican Church. His marriage with his six wives benefited him with one son Edward VI, Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I. (Dr. Tankard, 2006) During his regime, Lutherans and Roman Catholics who refused to recognize ecclesiastical supremacy of king were executed. King Edward VI reinstated the protestant doctrines in Anglican Church and a complete vernacular Book of Common Prayer was issued. Mary I tried to restore the Roman Catholicism as the State religion executing protestant which was later restored by Queen Elizabeth I in 1563 and Roman Catholics were persecuted. Anglican Church was restored by reducing the 42 articles adapted under Edward VI to 39 articles. (www.faculty.ncu.edu.jm)
Aftermath of reformation, protestant values laid the foundation for democratic governments, traditional religious restrictions on trade and banking were removed, national languages and literature was greatly advanced, and education system was established and religion became merely a expression of belief. (www.faculty.ncu.edu.jm) The reformation in England and Germany were the cause of dissent and dissatisfaction over the administration of Pope. Martin Luther in his '95 thesis' has accused the Papal authority of greed, and indulgencies. King Henry VIII destroyed the Papal supremacy in England by establishing Anglican Church and stood as the head. The need to sought permission for each and every action by the society including King from the Pope was another cause leading to revolution.
Works Cited
Carter, Thomas. History of the Great Reformation in England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, France, and Italy. 1860. Carlton & Porter. New York Public Library. p. 37-41
Dr. Keith Tankard. Reformation in England. 21 June 2006 Knowledge4Africa.com 04 March 2009. < http://knowledge4africa.com/worldhistory/reformation06.htm> Dr. Richard. P. Bucher Facts about the 95 Theses or the Disputation Against Indulgences. Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. Lexington.KY.
Nga.gov. National Gallery of Art. 15th - and Early 16th Century Germany. 05 March 2009
Northern Caribbean University. Reformation. 04 March 2009.
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