In the early 1500’s the main religion throughout Europe was Catholicism. As time went on more people started to doubt the religion for numerous reasons. Some of which consisted of corrupt priests, indulgences, or buying a ticket to heaven, punishment for other beliefs, and the church’s interference with the monarch. Because of this, heresies became popular. With disillusion rising a Protestant Reformation began.
Although King Henry VIII was a devout Catholic, his thirst for power, selfish motives, and desire for independence all contributed to the separation from the Catholic Church and forming the Church of England. King Henry VIII defended the Catholic Church during the beginning of his reign. He was very religious and attended mass as often as five times a day. He was openly against heretics, so when he publicly denounced Martin Luther, an influential Protestant, he gained the Church as an ally. Henry even went to such extreme lengths such as burning non-Latin bibles and torturing non-Catholics in order to gain affluence from the Church.
Martin Luther Thump, Thump, Thump. These hits of a hammer on a nail would change the course of Christianity and its influence on others for the rest of time. In the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church was an influential figure which dictated daily life and spread the teachings of Jesus Christ. With the power to control how people live, the Catholic Church eventually became corrupt. The Catholic Church’s flawed ideas on how people should prove themselves worthy of God’s protection eventually led to public disapproval.
As time went by in the new colonies the excitement of being unified in the same Christian beliefs and the “new” wore off the new settlements. People started to get off the straight line of Christian beliefs that people like John Smith and John Winthrop had drawn for the settlers. There was a big gray area of what could be done and what couldn’t be done which caused problems. The judgment of the grey areas was to be left up to the leaders of the colonies which most of the time included the preacher. So anyone who didn’t follow this straight past was cited for wrong doing.
In a nutshell: The 3 R’s: Reformation, Royalty & Renaissance The first R: The Reformation The reformation of the Christian Church had a huge effect on history, causing a major schism and centuries of sectarian violence. In England and other countries many were to die for being the wrong religion. In the early 1500s in mainland Europe, a huge religious upheaval started in reaction to Roman Catholicism, the existing Christian church. Martin Luther, and many others wanted reform – hence the term Reformation. They sought a simpler kind of Christian worship, with the emphasis on the individual’s own conscience and direct relationship with God, without the intervention of the Virgin Mary and all the saints, never mind about the control of priests, cardinals and the Pope, who were seen as being too powerful, too wealthy and too corrupt.
The New England colonies were best known for being the place where Puritan religious reformers and their followers settled. The Puritans were a Protestant Christian group that believed in strict moral and religious codes and the reform of the Church of England. Due to the strict laws put into place in England, the Puritans were unable to follow through their efforts to reform the Church and many faced oppression and discrimination during that time. The Puritans saw an irredeemably corrupt Church of England so many followed John Winthrop to Massachusetts to establish their own community. On the other hand, New France was known for its fur trading and missionary work.
Homosexuals have been condemned by various religious institutions for all of recorded history, and has been continuously listed as a sin in many Christian denominations since the founding of Christianity, but it is almost always listed as a sin against nature. These people condemn homosexuality as an act of violence against nature, and it would thus make sense to place homosexuals not in the Second Circle, but in the Seventh Circle, Violence. This shows his leniency towards homosexuals, even if he does place them in Hell. This would have been highly progressive in the Middle Ages--and, for some Christian denominations today, it still would be progressive. Though it lists a hierarchy of those condemned to Hell, Dante’s Inferno shows how he was more lenient than many of his contemporaries, both in his ranking of sins, and his placement of sins in different Circles of Hell.
However, there are new religions and new gods being brought up quite frequently. A specific religion is christianity. Christianity was very unlike other religions, particularly because of their monotheistic views. Christians were seen as threat to the Romans at this time prior to around 381, which is around when Christianity became a common religion. Although Christians were good citizens, and people who wanted to follow Jesus, they were constantly impacted by aspects of the Roman culture.
Throughout the Elizabethan era, Christianity played a pivotal role in the development of government and support (or lack thereof) of individuals. The Puritans attempted to close theaters, and, according to scholar R. Balfour Daniels “sought to circumscribe life and hold it in with a stern and austere restraint” (Daniels, 41). Additionally, Elizabethan England had three contradictory and competing forms of Christianity. The Anglican Church, also known as Protestantism, was used in government and the official religion of the Queen, and any who criticized it were often killed. Puritans opposed the Protestants, and Catholics, the more traditional sect, was practiced by a significant minority (Raffel, 38-39).
The Church in that time period was overrun with corruption and avarice, leading it to sacrifice its spiritual integrity for money. Plenary indulgences were being sold in order to pay for the luxuries desired by the clergy, the very men who had taken upon themselves vows of poverty in the service of God. Martin Luther sought a reform of the Catholic Church, and desired to bring it back to its original truths and teachings, but instead founded his own church, opening the door to the establishment of numerous denominations. Of these, Calvinism, centered mostly in France and the Low Countries, became increasingly popular. Calvinism adopted the Catholic Church’s opinions regarding the dignity of human labor.