The Reformation Essay

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The Reformation Religious ideas have developed from every society known since the Sumerians, with theological ideas evolving as communities progressed and changed. Throughout recorded history there have been dissenters and revolt to every religious institution. However, the Reformation of the sixteenth century religious institutions led to changes in social, political and cultural life that have profoundly effected Western Civilization (McKay, Hill, Buckler, A History of Western Society, page 451). By the early sixteenth century, church and state had become inextricably intertwined. Both factions were removed from the greatest percentage of the population by wide margins in education, nutrition, mobility, and income.…show more content…
Martin Luther himself was a member of the Catholic church, a trained priest. Luther was literate, educated, trained by the Church, but also, the son of a lower-class miner who empathized with and was respected by peasants. The theological issues questioned by the "Protestants" were primary to the faith and power held by the Church. First, is salvation attained by faith and good works, as the Catholic Church maintained (and profited from by selling "indulgences" as good works), or by faith alone as Luther asserted. Second, does authority over the people rest with the Church or on the Word of God (the Bible) alone, as interpreted by the individual. This idea THE REFORMATION WAS A GREAT MILESTONE ON THE ROAD TO PROGRESS Page Two directly questioned the authority of the Church. Third, does the Church consist of the hierarchical clergy of the Church or the community of Christian believers. Fourth, is the monastic life superior to secular life, or do all vocations have equal merit, as Luther argued. Theology was adapting from one dictatorial faith ruling the masses to different sects empowered by their individual faith and better suited to their society. As a leader of peoples yearning for salvation, Luther's revolt, which led to the secularization of Christianity, is more of a progression of Christianity, than a "protest." By 1521 Luther had a vast number of
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