By: Moriah M. and Lupe S.

The Protestant Reformation was the 16th-century religious, political, intellectual and cultural upheaval that splintered Catholic Europe, setting in place the structures and beliefs that would define the continent in the modern era. In northern and central Europe, reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin and Henry VIII challenged papal authority and questioned the Catholic Church’s ability to define Christian practice. They argued for a religious and political redistribution of power into the hands of Bible- and pamphlet-reading pastors and princes. The disruption triggered wars, persecutions and the so-called Counter-Reformation, the Catholic Church’s delayed but forceful response to the Protestants.

Martin Luther

Historians usually date the start of the Protestant Reformation to the 1517 publication of Martin Luther’s “95 Theses.” Its ending can be placed anywhere from the 1555 Peace of Augsburg, which allowed for the coexistence of Catholicism and Lutheranism in Germany, to the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years’ War. The key ideas of the Reformation. A call to purify the church and a belief that the Bible, not tradition, should be the sole source of spiritual authority. However, Luther and the other reformers became the first to skillfully use the power of the printing press to give their ideas a wide audience.
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John Calvin

Calvin's theology was similar to Luther's in many respects, but there were enough fundamental differences to result in a separate church. Probably the best known aspect of Calvinist theology regards predestination, which Calvin interpreted strictly; while there's some debate over the differences on this point between Luther and Calvin, there's no doubt that it became a distinguishing point among the followers of each. More significant were the differences in the relationship between church and state, with Calvin placing much more authority with the clergy and Luther placing the greater emphasis for church regulation with the prince.
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Henry VIII of England

The Roman Catholic faith believed in marriage for life. It did not recognize, let alone support, divorce. Those who were widowed were free to re-marry; this was an entirely different issue. But husbands could not simply decide that their marriage was not working, divorce their wife and re-marry. The Roman Catholic Church simply did not allow it. So created a Anglican church so he could get a divorce.
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Galileo Galilei

His questioning of Aristotelian and Ptolemaic concepts of physics and astronomy, his studies of motion, his refinement of the telescope, and his subsequent discoveries about the universe were to have far-reaching, influential effects on the way people think about the earth and the heavens. Galileo's ideas also got him into trouble: condemned by the Inquisition for espousing a heliocentric world system, which violated Catholic Church teachings that the Earth was the center of the universe, he spent the last years of his life under house arrest.
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Johannes Gutenberg

Is the inventor of the Gutenberg press, an innovative printing machine that used movable type. His invention helped spread the ideas and beliefs of the Protestant Reformers fifty years after his death.