The Protestant Reformation

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1 The Protestant Reformation

2 Gutenberg s Printing Press The Gutenberg Printing Press led to a rise in literacy throughout Europe and the mass printing of the Bible More European Christians could then read the bible to have a greater understanding of their religion.

3 Corruption in the Catholic Church Many had entered the clergy to gain power and wealth rather than because of faith. They sometimes held more church positions than they could properly fulfill, or had secret spouses or children. The Pope and members of the Church hierarchy acted more like secular princes than spiritual leaders. The spirit of inquiry of the Renaissance, as well as knowledge of the widespread corruption of the Church, led to new challenges to the Pope s authority

4 Early Reformers People like Erasmus in Holland and Sir Thomas Moore in England sought reform within the Catholic Church. Church leaders were slow to respond

5 Indulgences The Catholic Church had fallen into the practice of selling indulgences pardons from punishment for committing a sin, allowing a sinner to enter heaven The Pope was using money from the sale of indulgences to construct St. Peter s Basilica in Rome.

6 Johann Tetzel One priest particularly embodied the corruption of the Church, Johann Tetzel Tetzel championed practices like selling indulgences for future sins Tetzel created rhymes describing the practice of selling indulgences: "As soon a coin in the bowl rings, a soul from purgatory springs."

7 Martin Luther Martin Luther was a monk, who decided to make clear his objections with Catholic corruption, namely, the practice of selling indulgences In 1517, Luther posted Ninety-Five Theses on a church door in Germany. His theses challenged the Pope s right to sell indulgences 6. The Pope cannot forgive any guilt, except by declaring and showing that it has been forgiven by God. If his right to grant forgiveness in these cases were disregarded, the guilt would certainly remain unforgiven 28. It is certainly possible that when the money clinks in the bottom of the chest, avarice and greed increase

8 Martin Luther Those who believe that they can be certain of their salvation because they have indulgence letters will be eternally damned, together with their teachers Luther believed that neither priests nor the Pope had special powers to provide salvation to individuals. Luther concluded that only through faith in God could a person be saved and go to Heaven. Luther believed each individual must read and understand the Bible for himself to achieve this faith Luther s ideas spread very quickly as his 95 theses were mass produced and he continued to write, challenging the Church s authority

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10 The Church's Response to Luther Because of his writings, the Pope excommunicated Luther expelling him from the Church. Luther was then summoned to appear before Charles V (the Holy Roman Emperor) and representatives of the German states at the city of Worms. When Luther refused to recant at this Diet (assembly) of Worms, Charles V banned him as an outlaw. Despite the Church s efforts, Luther s message became very popular It spread quickly, meaning different things to different people

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12 Lutheran Church Luther received protection from many German princes, who helped him spread his message Luther established the Lutheran Church, which would encourage each person to read and understand the bible for themselves To assist with this, Luther translated the New Testament into German and wrote many pamphlets to persuade others The reformers became known as Protestants Many German princes adopted Protestantism, using this as an opportunity to seize Church lands and close monasteries

13 Gutenberg's printing press helped Luther spread his ideas throughout Europe Other reformers followed Luther s lead, but had different interpretations of Christianity. This gave rise to many later reformers creating many different protestant churches

14 John Calvin John Calvin started a new Protestant Church in Geneva. Calvin argued that since God was all-knowing, it was predestined (already decided by God) who would be saved and who would be damned. Only the Elect would be saved Calvinists encouraged hard work and a strict moral code. They saw worldly success as a sign of God s favor.

15 The Anglican Church In England, King Henry VIII fell in love with Anne Boleyn. However, Henry VIII was married to Catherine of Aragon. Henry VIII asked the Pope for a divorce, but the Pope refused. Henry VIII responded by seizing all Church lands, closing English monasteries, and declaring himself the head of the English Church with the Act of Supremacy in 1534 With himself as the head of the Anglican Church, he divorced Catherine of Aragon

16 Effects of the Reformation End of Religious Unity The religious unity of Western Europe, which had lasted for a thousand year, was shattered forever. Europe s religious differences led to a century of warfare between Protestants & Catholics Growth of Royal Power Without a powerful central church, the power of European kings began to grow. For example, in England, Henry VIII felt empowered to start his own church Persecution Rulers tried to ensure that their subjects were all of one faith. This often led to the persecution of religious minorities

17 Most Important effect of Protestant Reformation More power to the individual If people could be entrusted with the responsibility of their own salvation, then what other things might individuals be trusted with Political power for individuals Economic independence and power to the individual

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