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3.2 A History of Christianity

The Clamour for Reform:1300-1600 CE. 3.2 A History of Christianity .

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3.2 A History of Christianity

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  1. The Clamour for Reform:1300-1600 CE 3.2 A History of Christianity

  2. A number of religious, social and environmental factors, positive and negative, came together in the 14th century which could only result in a great clamour all over the Christian world for reform of the Church and society. These included: • Widespread corruption and ignorance of Scripture in the Church • Superstitious and questionable practices such as extreme devotions to saints and the trade in relics and pilgrimages. • Un-Christian action by the Church- Crusades and Inquisitions • The establishment of Universities and building of Cathedrals • The Black Death devastates Europe and Asia • The invention of the Printing Press • The Renaissance of knowledge, the arts, science, medicine • The rise of individualism- a new worldview • The rise of the “middle class” Factors Leading to the Reformation

  3. Corruption and Ignorance • During what was called the Dark Ages for Europe, much learning was lost to Europe during invasions by barbarian forces. • Access to and knowledge of theology and the Scriptures was limited and many country priests were untrained and even illiterate- they merely learned the Latin mass by rote. • The sale of Indulgences as a corrupt substitute for penances and to gain remission for “time in purgatory” after death was widespread. Such sales were used to raise money for the Church. • freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com

  4. Relics and statues • Denied access to the Eucharist because of extreme rules regarding sex and fasting, ordinary people turned their devotion to saints, especially the Virgin Mary. • Relics of saints, often bizarre and unbelievable, were used by many monasteries and churches to attract pilgrims who brought money and sought the miraculous cures claimed by many centres with relics. • Processions and festivals of objects and statues became a regular part of church life, while the Mass became a private affair of priests hidden behind rood screens. • wdtprs.com

  5. Crusades and Inquisitions • As described in the previous section, the nine Crusades to liberate the Holy Land were primarily appalling acts of plunder, pillage, rape murder and genocide in the name of God. • The church held a trump card over anyone challenging its power and authority: eternal damnation by excommunication. If that failed, torture to force recanting and then death, known as the Holy Inquisition, became the preferred method in the Middle Ages. atlantismt2.pl

  6. Universities and Cathedrals • The first institutions generally considered to be universities were established in Italy, France, and England in the late 11th and the 12th centuries for the study of arts, law, medicine, and theology.These universities evolved from much older Christian cathedral schools and monastic schools, and it is difficult to define the date at which they became true universities. The first three universities were in Bologna, Paris and Oxford. • The building of huge Cathedrals across Europe from 1000CE onwards required development of knowledge of Engineering and Physics and other sciences, as well as skills in masonry, glassmaking and metallurgy. hubpages.com

  7. The Black Death • Bubonic plague, with no known cure, struck Europe in 1347. • In three years, this “black death” killed one quarter of Europe’s population. • Spread by rats, between 1334 and 1351 it swept over Russia, Germany, Italy, France, England, Norway, China, India and Persia. • Church officials responded in two ways: some abandoned the people and fled, seeking safety; many others died caring for the sick and dying. The populations of whole monasteries died serving the sick. • Many saw the Black Death as God’s punishment for corruption in the church and abandonment of Christian ways. • thevirtualworld.blogspot.com

  8. The Printing Press Comes to Europe • Despite the existence of printing in China for at least 500 years previously, the first printing press in Europe was invented by Johannes Gutenburg of Mainz in 1436. • This made learning open to ordinary people and the end of the “autocracy of knowledge” of the Church and nobility. • The Church did not approve of the printing of bibles, nor the printing of bibles in languages other than Latin. • In 1536, William Tyndale was declared a heretic, strangled and burned for publishing an English translation of the Bible. • mindsparke.com

  9. The Renaissance • In 1453 the Turkish Sultan invaded Constantinople. • The strictures of Islam against images and icons led to many artists and artisans fleeing to Italy. • At the same time, ironically, knowledge of Philosophy, science, medicine and literature flowed West out of Spain where the Muslim Moors had preserved it from the destruction of libraries in Europe by invading armies. • Thus began a flowering or knowledge and learning and the arts , made widely available by the printing press, that was to irrevocably change the social and religious life of all of Europe. • discussnotargue.blogspot.com

  10. The Renaissance “Man” • The term renaissance man is largely based on the various artists and scholars of the European Renaissance, who pursued multiple fields of studies. Perhaps the quintessential renaissance man of this period was Leonardo Da Vinci, who was a master of art, an engineer, an anatomy expert (for the time), and also pursued many other disciplines with great success and aplomb. • The second element of the Renaissance Man was the rise of the sense of the individual as an important element of society. One’s rank and niche in society and automatic membership of the Christian Church, gave way to the productive and devout individual whose individual faith and relationship with God was more important than salvation through the Church. • blass.com.au

  11. Martin Luther 1483-1546 • In October 1517, German Augustinian monk Martin Luther made a symbolic protest at the sale of indulgences and other corruptions of the church by nailing 95 theses to the door of the Church in Wittenburg. • Luther published a prolific number of works critiquing the church and its theology. He considered the Pope to be the anti-Christ. • He was condemned by Pope Leo X and excommunicated. • He was tried for his heresy at the Diet of Worms (1521) and declared an outlaw when he refused to recant. • Luther is seen as the Father of the Reformation of the Western Church. • Luther translated the Bible into German and wrote on Eucharist and Salvation, which, he claimed was achieved “sola scriptura”: through following the scriptures alone.

  12. Like other Protestant reformers, Luther believed these three principles: • God’s word of Authority: God had spoken to humanity and that account was in Holy Scripture. God’s word was a living, speaking Word. • Salvation as Gift: Salvation comes by grace alone, as a free and undeserved gift of Christ. • All believers are priests: There are not two levels of Christians- spiritual and lay, but one status before God: the “priesthood of all believers”. Luther’s beliefs

  13. King Henry VIII 1491-1547 • In 1534, King Henry VIII proclaimed himself head of the Church in England. • Henry’s dispute with Rome was more political than religious. He remained Catholic in most doctrinal matters. • Henry had been proclaimed “Defender of the Faith” by the Pope when he refuted Luther in 1521, but was excommunicated when he divorced Catharine of Aragon. • Under Henry, Latin was banned and the Mass and prayer were to be in English. • Henry dissolved the monasteries in England to acquire their wealth and to end what he considered corrupt practices such as use of relics and sexual aberations. • Henry required all his clerics and nobles to accept his Act of Supremacy, beheading those who refused, such as his chancellor and friend Thomas More and Archbishop John Fisher.

  14. John Calvin 1509-1564 • Calvin was introduced to the teachings of Luther and rejected Catholicism in 1533. • Moving to Switzerland, he went to Geneva to help promote the Reformation. • Rejected in Geneva he went to Strasbourg where he wrote his famous commentary on the letter to the Romans. • He returned to Geneva in 1541 but still found it hard to win converts. • Calvin wrote of an ideal society, a city of God which was both civil and religious. • He advocated a productive, devout lifestyle where gambling, dancing and drinking were restricted. • He advocated a “middle class” as the best way of living rather than nobles and peasants. • albatrus.org

  15. Desiderius Erasmus 1467-1536 • Born in Rotterdam, Erasmus was ordained an Augustinian priest in 1492. • He published the first ever Greek New Testament in 1516. • A serious scholar of Latin and Greek, his scholarship underpinned the Reformation studies of the Scriptures. • Erasmus remained committed to reforming the Church from within. He also held to Catholic doctrines such as that of free will, which some Protestant Reformers rejected in favor of the doctrine of predestination. His middle road approach disappointed and even angered many Protestants, such as Martin Luther, as well as conservative Catholics.

  16. Huldrych Zwingli 1484-1531 • A Swiss Reformer, he was deeply influenced by Erasmus. • In 1528 he published a commentary on True and False religion. • In his publications, he noted corruption in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, promoted clerical marriage, and attacked the use of images in places of worship. In 1525, Zwingli introduced a new communion liturgy to replace the mass. Zwingli also clashed with the Anabaptists, which resulted in their persecution. • Zwingli and Luther agreed on many things, but not on the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. • Zwingli was killed in a battle between Catholic and protestant groups in Switzerland in 1531. • Image: Wikipedia

  17. The Anabaptists • Their name means “re-baptisers”, was given to them by their opponents and they didn’t like or accept it. • The most radical of the reformers, they wanted not to reform the church, but restore it to the model of a family of brothers and sisters in Christ of the Acts. • They were regarded as dangerous heretics who threatened the religious and social stability of Europe, by Catholics and Protestants alike. • Hence they were persecuted and murdered in their thousands, but still they flourished. • In 1527, their leader, Michael Sattler, a former Benedictine prior, was burned at the stake. • They went about preaching in twos; rejected infant baptism, were congregational in authority, pacifist in nature and believed in the separation of church and state. • They survive today as Mennonites, Brethren and Huttites.

  18. Thomas Cranmer 1489-1556 • Cranmer was summoned to Canterbury as Archbishop by Henry VIII in 1532. He supported the Act of Supremacy. • During Cranmer's tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury, he was responsible for establishing the first doctrinal and liturgical structures of the reformed Church of England. • Under Henry's rule, Cranmer did not make many radical changes in the Church, due to power struggles between religious conservatives and reformers. • When Edward came to the throne, Cranmer was able to promote major reforms. He wrote and compiled the first two editions of the Book of Common Prayer, a complete liturgy for the English Church. • He developed new doctrinal standards in areas such as the Eucharist, clerical celibacy, the role of images in places of worship, and the veneration of saints. • Cranmer was tried for treason and heresy after Mary I came to the throne. Imprisoned for over two years and under pressure from the Church authorities, he made several recantations and apparently reconciled himself with the Roman Catholic faith. However, on the day of his execution, he dramatically withdrew his recantations, to die a heretic to Catholics and a martyr to Protestants.

  19. Martin Bucer 1491-1551 • Excommunicated Dominican and reformer at Strazbourg, Bucer was seen as one of the chief statesmen of the Reformers. • He tried to mediate between Zwingli and Luther on the Lord’s supper differences. • He attempted to unite German and Swiss reformed churches. • He worked hard to reconcile various protestant religious parties. • In 1549 he travelled to Cambridge where he advised Thomas Cranmer on the Book of Common Prayer. • Bucer had great impact on the Church of England, pointing the way towards Puritanism. • During the reign of Queen Mary, a Catholic, his body was exhumed and burned as a heretic.

  20. Philip Melancthon 1497-1560 • Professor of Greek at Wittenburg, he was Luther's colleague at Wittenburg. • He attempted reconciliation with Reformed Groups and Catholics. • He systematized Luther's theology for the Lutheran tradition.

  21. William Tyndale 1494-1536 • Tyndale was a translator of languages at Oxford and Cambridge. • Living while Henry was still loyal to Rome, he lived in exile on the Continent, where he published English New Testament. • He was strangled and burned at the stake for heresy in 1536.

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