Protestant Reformation

By Carmen DiCarlo

Background Information

  • Before the Protestant Reformation, Europe was held together by the Roman Catholic Church (religiously)
  • The Catholic Church was rich and powerful, it preserved Europe's culture
  • In the late Roman Empire and the early Middle ages, missionaries converted several European people to Christianity
  • The church suffered economic problems because the administrative structure required a lot of money to support it
  • The church used devices that hurt spiritual nature- (sold important positions of the church)
  • Religious life suffered
  • Critics of the church- John Wycliffe in England, John Hus in Bohemia, & Girolamo Savonarola- protested the abuses
  • For 30 years there was only 2 popes and after 1409, a third was created in Pisa, Italy- Which caused confusion
  • Some Catholic leaders believed that the church should be ruled by church councils other than popes
  • The councils called for a "reform in head and members"
  • Monarchs broke away from pope- in Western Europe kings increased power over own people and against pope, and built armies
  • As cities grew wealthy and independent, they threw off the control of local lords, and many turned to kinds or emperor for protection

Martin Luther (important figure to know)

  • Born November 10th 1483, in Eisleben, Saxony and died in 1546
  • Martin Luther was the leader of the Protestant Reformation, a religious movement in the 1500's
  • Was a German theologian (expert in theology- the study of God, religion, and the universe)
  • He taught people that they are justified (righteous in the eyes of God)
  • He believed that people could only be saved through faith of Jesus Christ
  • He taught that God justifies human beings- God makes them righteous through kindness to them
  • Became involved in churches but never established a church
  • Was a German monk that protested practices of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Luther rejected the authority of the pope
  • Was a key detail in the Protestant Reformation
Introduction to the Protestant Reformation: Setting the Stage (1 of 4)

The Introduction to the Protestant Reformation video

In the video you are going to watch, it will give you a better understanding of the event that occurred. STOP THE VIDEO AT 1:58

Information about Protest

  • Was a dispute about proper understanding of Christian Religion
  • Was controversy over the proper interpretation of Christian Faith
  • The Roman Catholic Church viewed the Reformation as a rebellion and revolution
  • Catholic and Protestants fought and thought their side was right
  • They had riots
  • Four doctrines were created that showed why reformers thought the Roman Catholic Church was wrong- called "Five Solas"- (this is how they took a stand)
  • In 1517, Martin Luther protested the practices of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Martin Luther wrote "Ninety-Five Theses" and posted it on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany
  • It was statements that attacked the sale of indulgences (forgiving from some of the penalty of sins)
  • In Worms, Germany, Luther was ordered to take backs hat he said and wrote
  • In May, 1521- the emperor signed the Edict of Worms- a doctrine that declared Luther to be outlaw who anyone could kill without getting punished
  • Fredrick the Wise, Prince of Saxony, "feared" a revolt and protected Luther and continued the Protestant (one who protests) movement until death
  • Ended with formal decisions by political rulers
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Effects of the Protest

  • Europe was divided between Catholic Counties of the south and Protestant countries of the north
  • The religious movement was viewed as a "turning point in history"
  • Arose economic, political, and social problems and thoughts
  • Political controversy about legal status of new Reformation churches
  • Developed reforms in the Catholic Church
  • Religious diversity
  • Reflected growth of nationalism
  • Contributed to growth of industry and commerce in 1700s and 1800s

"How did the participants demonstrate their belief system through their protests?"

The participate that I am mainly focusing on in the Protestant Reformation was Martin Luther. Martin Luther demonstrated his belief system through their protests by posting the "Ninety-Five Theses" on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg Germany. This showed people his beliefs and what he thought about the sale of indulgences, even if it caused controversy. When someone ordered him to take it down, he refused. Another way this was demonstrated was when the "Five Solas" was created. This showed why the reformers thought the Roman Catholic Church was wrong.