The Different Aspects of Protestant Reformation Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:24:05
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Beginning in 1517, a reform movement was established under the Roman Empire, regarding the Protestant Reformation. The reform targeted cultural, economic, political and religious aspects of Protestantism. It was in 1648 when it ended in Peace of Westphalia. The primary protagonist of the Protestant Reformation was Martin Luther, a monk from Germany, who began the movement as an attempt to reconstruct the teachings of the Catholic Church.


One of the positive effects of the Protestant reformation was the elevation of the level of education, wherein the value of the classical education was refreshed. These ancient classics contributed to thought and learning. Instead of offering scholasticism to the students, they offered the rhetorics and Humanism, which are actually effective in shaping the minds of the learners.

Because of this, there was a mild swaying about the interpretation of the bible by Luther, since people got critical in their study of the biblical languages, with the closer look on the literary aspect of the texts. Desiderius Erasmus criticized the abuses made by Luther and suggested the study of the church fathers and the bible altogether. It was in the Renaissance period that Johann Gutenberg invented the printing instrument, one of the great inventions of that period that contributed to the spread of the reformation ideas.


            The political necessities of Henry VIII were some of the factor affected by the Protestant Reformation. He was known to be a sincere Catholic, having written a book containing criticisms against Luther and his teachings. Since the reformation at that time was very strong that many believers were converted and the issue of the infallibility of the Pope was at its peak, he thought of it as something negative, that it may affect his popularity and people might withdraw support from him whenever he retained his stand against Protestant teachings and remain his bind to the Papacy. In line with this, he feared of being criticized of having only one child, a heir that would be the one to get his crown of kingship.

The Church did not allow him a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, making him decide to reject the power of Rome on the Church of England. Through the act of Supremacy, he became the Supreme Head of the Church of England. Huge areas and amounts of church properties were given to the noble. This was still to maintain strong bonds with them to form an alliance to avoid conflicts to their power. Those who opposed to Henrician reformation were executed (e.g. Thomas More and John Fisher).


            Direct biblical interpretations were the way for Protestantism to attack the religious dogma of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church was for some centuries the main purveyor of in Europe of the non-secular humanism. The religious tradition of the Catholic Church, regarding the Canonization of Saints and many of its historic traditions were the components of the faith that was criticized by the movement, specifically in the forming of its liturgy. The Roman Catholics fought against the restoration of their faith, and the more against it were the most prominent Protestants: Wycliffe, Jan Hus, etc. No wonder why their teachings regarding the reformation were in the texts. The reformers put emphasis on the faith alone concept, which contradicts the teachings of the Catholics that good works and the faith, should come hand in hand in order to achieve salvation.

They also incorporated the idea of priesthood of all believers, that removes the special power of the church, especially the priests, to save someone from damnation by forgiving them of their sins. It was the movements claim, and the claim of Protestantism itself, that an individual is responsible for himself as how he communicates with God, and that Christ being the way towards God is unbiblical. They moved for their own interpretation of the bible for it to be understood much better by the common people since they noticed that the version being used by the Roman Catholics was the source of error.


            The Protestant Reformation has a huge effect on the religious aspect, as well as the cultural and political aspect of the society. The religion itself served as the root of all the important events that happened during that period. Religion therefore plays an important role in shaping the behavior of the society. The Protestant Reformation had good arguments regarding the betterment of the understanding of faith, yet had some flaws detected by the cultural aspect of its effects. The reformation movement served as a key to have a better understanding of religion for the Roman Catholicism. People in England were able to learn about their needs and what they needed to improve in terms of their faith.

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