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CHAPTER 16 Religion and Science 1450–1750
In what ways did the
Protestant Reformation
transform European society,
culture, and politics?
In what ways did the Protestant Reformation
transform European society, culture, and
• Created a permanent schism within Catholic
• Gave some kings and princes a justification for
their own independence from the Church and an
opportunity to gain the lands and taxes previously held
by the Church.
In what ways did the Protestant Reformation transform
European society, culture, and politics?
• Provided the urban middle classes a new religious legitimacy for
their growing role in society.
• Common people's expression of opposition to the whole social
• Less impact on the lives of women, although it did stimulate
female education and literacy, even if there was little space for women to make
use of that education outside the family.
society, culture, and politics?
• Religious difference led to sectarian violence, to war, and ultimately
to religious coexistence.
• Successful challenge to the immense prestige and power of the
pope and the established Church encouraged a skeptical attitude toward
authority and tradition.
• Fostered religious individualism as people were encouraged to
read and interpret the scriptures themselves and to seek salvation without the
mediation of the Church.
•And why could people now READ books? Because of the full scale
implementation of the Pringing Press.
Why did Christianity take hold in some places more
than others?
The Protestant Reformation
The major goal of humanism in
northern Europe was to reform
Martin Luther’s religious reforms led
to the emergence of Protestantism.
Christian humanists believed in the
ability of human beings to reason and
improve themselves.
They wanted to reform the Catholic
This reform would occur through
developing inner piety, or religious
feeling, based on studying the works of
Christianity – not rules & rituals.
Erasmus and Christian Humanism
The best known Christian humanist was
Desiderius Erasmus.
He developed what he called “the
philosophy of Christ,” meant to show
people how to live good lives on a daily
basis rather than how to achieve salvation.
He did not wish to break from the
just reform it.
In his 1509 work The Praise of Folly,
he especially criticized the monks.
“I do not accept the authority of
popes and councils… my
conscience is captive to the
word of God. …Here I stand and
I can not do otherwise. God
help me. Amen.”
– Martin Luther April 18th, 1521
Between 1450 and 1520 a
series of popes failed to
meet the Church’s spiritual
They were more concerned
with the political interests of
the Papal States.
Julius II, the “warriorpope,” even led armies
against his enemies.
Many people were disgusted
with him and the Catholic
Church Corruption
Erasmus and Christian Humanism
Church officials seemed ignorant of
their spiritual duties, especially
instructing the faithful on achieving:
salvation –acceptance into
As a result, obtaining salvation became
almost mechanical; by collecting relics,
for example.
Venerating a saint could gain an
indulgence–release from all or
part of punishment for sin–
according to the Church of the
•Johann Tetzel’s Slogan:
•“As soon as the coin in
the coffer rings, the soul
from purgatory
Martin Luther was a monk and professor at the University of Wittenberg,
where he lectured on the Bible.
Through his study of the Bible, Luther came to reject the Catholic teaching that
both faith and good works were necessary for salvation.
He believed human deeds were powerless to affect God and that salvation
was through faith alone.
The Edict of Worms made
Luther an outlaw in the
His books were to be burned and Luther
delivered to the emperor.
Luther’s local ruler, however, protected
became the first
Protestant faith.
The Reformation in England
Not religion but politics brought about the English Reformation.
King Henry VIII wanted to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, whom he
thought could not give him a male heir.
The pope was unwilling to annul (declare invalid) his marriage, however, and
Henry turned to England’s church courts.
The archbishop of Canterbury ruled that Henry’s marriage to Catherine was null
and void.
“I need a divorce!"
(and a low carb diet)
The Reformation in England
Henry then married Anne Boleyn, who
was crowned queen & who gave birth
to a girl!
The child later would become Queen Elizabeth I.
and Christian Humanism
Anne Boleyn
•In Catherine of Aragon’s
court caught the ‘eye’ of
Henry VIII
•Could not produce male
heir &
• Anne Executed!
Erasmus and Christian Humanism
Henry was a very busy man.
But the break from Rome and the
Catholic church was centuries in the
making. The land that the Catholic
church "owned" on English soil
bothered some Englishmen. The
taxes that England had to pay to
Rome did not seem right to some
Englishmen. So this reformation was
not totally due to Henry's marriage
needs, but it was accerlated by it.
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