The sixteenth century was a time of change. The People of the west thrived and devoted themselves to the betterment of philosophy, art, literature and science. These advancements greatly challenged the importance of politics and religion. As the people became educated and aware they began to question what they were told; they realized that if they didn’t agree with ideas or rules, then they could revolt and create a “better” way. This resulted in the Lutheran Reformation that spread into the Protestant Reformation, in turn inspiring the Catholic Reformation, more commonly known as the Counter Reformation. While they were both the reorganization of religious beliefs within the Catholic Church, with the intention of bringing God back to the centers
Ignorance was the norm, intellectual life was nearly non-existent. The Church was a dominant and powerful presence in Europe at the height of its power, though sinful and barbaric as it was. As the Renaissance spread through Europe, individuals became educated and fought to break the stronghold the Church held over the continent. Power in the Church declined as intellectuals came to criticize it, garnering supporters and ending the centuries of religious unity in Europe. This rebirth, this period of flowering creativity and thinking led to great changes and improvements as individuals focused on the “here and now” rather than religious affairs.
This corruption led to people losing faith and believing the church was unimportant, resulting in the Reformation. Both these diseases led caused very important movements to be put into action.
The introduction of Martin Luther and John Calvin in the 16th century brought with it the beginning of the Reformation. The Catholic Church’s response to the Reformation demonstrated the Church’s reaction to Renaissance overall. The Catholic Church needed to draw away all this negativity with a Counter Reformation. To differentiate itself and condemn the principles of Protestantism, Pope Paul III created a council known as the Council of Trent. The Jesuits combined the ideas of traditional monastic discipline with a dedication to teach and preach.
The Protestant Reformation had a huge impact in all Europe in the sixteen century, but which ones were the factors that lead to it? It is very important to highlight that the European Christianity was falling into a noticeable corruption of its popes and some other high position members. Robbery, and even warriors were among of some factors that took the Cristian Church to a declining path. One of these examples was the Pope Julius II, which one won the nickname “the warrior pope” because he led armies against people. Furthermore, the church was not the only factor promoting this reformation, some other social changes were occurring with the masses in Europe; many of the peasants were being free especially in the western Europe. Also, due to
Martin Luther was responsible for the church's eventual reform in the 16th century. Though he started as a monk and was highly devoted to the church, he quickly noticed the high levels of corruption and greed throughout the catholic church. Luther set out to change the ways of the church to better fit the needs of the people who served it. After separating himself from the church, he wrote a document called the 95 theses. The 95 theses was a list of 95 things that the church was doing that was either a form of corruption or wrongdoing. Luther took this list and nailed it to the door of one of the biggest churches in Rome.
In the 1500s, the Catholic Church headed by the pope with its central institution located in Rome was very powerful and one of the wealthiest church in Europe. It united most of the people across Europe and had a major political role in every decision making that concerns the state. But, as the church gained more power and wealth, its hierarchy of top officials also became corrupt and greedy. Eventually, people started to get angry and frustrated over its corruption and started a religious rebellion against the church. The conflict among the people and the church began to escalate therefore causing a ripple effect throughout the world. It was time for a new change.
The new form of Christianity played a major role during the Renaissance period. As people discover a new way of thinking, they began to question many of the teachings present in medieval Christianity. The new form of Christianity ran by Martin Luther’s was well known by the Protestant Reformation, however; with many Catholics and Protestants wanting a change in the church they campaigned for a shift from the medieval learning and medieval form of Christianity. However, a complete overview of the doctrines was not consented by all within the church. Many Catholics wanted to reform the church from within, but Martin Luther and his follower disagreement of church policies led him to break away from the Catholic Church.
During the early sixteenth century the Church began to experience loss of respect and many challenges due to the corruption within the church. Many began to think the church was dying. This would cause the reformation. Throughout the age of reformation, the political and social spheres of Europe were also significantly affected, as well as the religious movement, through Martin Luther, the printing press, and the opinions of the people. The reformation is often viewed as a religious movement, yet it also affected the political and social aspects of Europe as well.
For example, the New York Times Article “Vatican Science Panel Told by Pope: Galileo was Right” mentions, “Moving formally to rectify a wrong, Pope John Paul II acknowledged in a speech today that the Roman Catholic Church had erred in condemning Galileo 359 years ago for asserting that the Earth revolves around the Sun.” This excerpt states that Galileo’s theories about the sun centered universe was correct. The church admits to their mistake and have recognized the truth in Galileo’s beliefs. In addition, the article includes a comment form Pope John Paul, “This led them to unduly transpose into the realm of the doctrine of faith, a question which in fact pertained to scientific investigation.” This means that the Roman Catholic Church at the time was in the wrong and had interpreted the scriptures incorrectly.
New ideas about religion, politics, and culture, swept across Europe in the sixteenth century. The cultural norm began changing in ways that have affected even modern day society. People began questioning powers, especially in church. A major part of the Reformation was the call to purify the church. Many important and notable people drove this cause, and they acted as reformers.