The Protestant Reformation In Europe

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The Protestant Reformation marks a radical shift of control in the world powers of Europe that agitated the moral, political and economic organization of all societies to follow. Due to the multifaceted nature of the effects of the Protestant Reformation, the presence of a “winner” or “loser” is nebulous. The ideological evolution instigated by the Reformation lead to adjustments in all aspects of life, including the economy. In Max Weber’s seminal work, “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism”, he expounds upon the possible economic benefits of such an evolution. The numerous consequences of the Reformation in Europe overwhelmed the opportunity economic change, but the United States were capable of change and ultimately gained economic…show more content…
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. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “man collaborates in a certain fashion with the Son of God in his redemptive work. He shows himself to be a disciple of Christ by carrying the cross, daily, in the work he is called to accomplish. Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ.” (CCC 2427) An important doctrine of Calvinism, was that of predestination, stating that whether one would go to heaven or hell was already decided. The concept of predestination led to a feeling of insecurity among the people, since there was no way to ensure eternal salvation, but rather would find out at death. Thus, the Calvinists
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