The Importance of the Renaissance to the Reformation in Germany

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The Importance of the Renaissance to the Reformation in Germany

The reformation was a movement that fundamentally challenged the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. The role of the clergy was undermined and the relationships between national countries and the Roman Catholic Church were threatened.

The renaissance began in Italy during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries through patronage and the flourishing society, and Rome achieved cultural prominence. It later spread throughout Europe and began a rediscovery of classical thoughts and influenced painters, such as Raphael and Michelangelo, sculptors such as Donatello and writers, such as Johann Reuchlin, Ulrich Von Hutten and Desiderius
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This was significant, as the church had seen itself as the sole interpreter of the bible; this made the bible the main authority for religious belief and not the church. The circulation of literature also meant that much of the laity had access to knowledge and so become literate and consequentially the Catholic Church's monopoly over education and communicating was broken up.

Martin Luther, a scholar and Augustian Friar, had also been influenced by the renaissance and humanism and had developed his own ideas about salvation, the treasury of merits and the issues taught by the Roman Catholic Church. His ideas were based upon the scriptures, sola scriptura, as these were the only things that were beyond fallibility, he believed that original texts should also be studied. Luther also believed that it was by man's own faith that he could achieve eternal salvation, sola fide, and that god alone decided a man's fate, therefore good deeds and the purchasing of indulgences and merits were worthless.

In 1517, Johann Tetzel came to England, authorised by the Archbishop Albrecht to sell indulgences, to raise money for he debts he owed to Rome. Selling of indulgences exacerbated Luther. He felt that the Roman Catholic Church, who were supposedly trying to help people reach eternal salvation; were not fulfilling its duty, as a truly repentant Christian had already gained remission from
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