THE Reformation

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Introduction – 300 years of Reform

CH2002 – Reformation Church History

Dieter Mitternacht

300 years of Reform

1400 to 1700

including

THE Reformation


Introduction – 300 years of Reform

CH2002 – Reformation Church History

1. Myths of “the” Reformation

1.1 For Millions of Protestants

Spiritual liberation

• The end of a corrupt and oppressive rule by a corrupt clergy

• The end of superstition and psychologically burdensome belief

• A return to the pure sources of Christianity, esp. the Bible

• Access to the God’s word on vernacular translations

• A direct relationship to Jesus Christ, bypassing clerical mediators

1.2 Secular supporters

Intellectual liberation

• The beginning of modern individualism – read the Bible by yourself

• Beginning of modern capitalism – prosperity as blessing

• Beginning of modern science – no deference to ancient authorities,

the soil of the enlightenment

• An early bourgeois revolution against feudal aristocracy,

preparing for the revolution of the proletariat

Dieter Mitternacht

Sources: Marshal, Eire


Introduction – 300 years of Reform

CH2002 – Reformation Church History

1. Myths of “the” Reformation

1.1 For Millions of Protestants

1.2 Secular supporters

1.3 For many Catholics

A destructive movement

Luther, the wild boar who crashes around in the vineyard of the Lord (Papal bull 1520)

• Destroyed priceless artistic and cultural heritage

• Brought down precious structures of community (guilds, brotherhoods, rituals)

1.4 Secular Critics

New forms of repression

• The beginning of modern fundamentalism and illiberalism

– insistence on the literal and true meaning of scripture

• Reinforcement of patriarchal authority in the home

• Closing of career paths for women (convents)

1.5 Some Ecumenists

• It was all an unfortunate mistake

• There was no real disagreement between Luther and his opponents

Dieter Mitternacht


Introduction – 300 years of Reform

CH2002 – Reformation Church History

1. Myths of “the” Reformation

2. Historiography

2.1 Protestant historians

Reformation = the rise and triumph of Protestantism

the abolishment and replacement of a thoroughly corrupt,

even demonic, Catholic church

2.2 Catholic historians

Reform = any improvement that does not challenge the Church’s authority structure

Protestants were not reformers but rebels and heretics

The crucial reforms of the 16 th century were implemented at

the Council of Trent.

Dieter Mitternacht

2.3 Counter reformation

Negative term first used by the protestant historian L. von Ranke, around 1850, to define

Catholicism’s attempts at reform in a Hegelian dialectical way as an opposing movement,

engaged in mortal conflict with the Protestants

2.4 Catholic Reformation

Positive term used by Catholic church historians, since 1960s (Vatican II), to emphasize the

continuity between medieval and Early modern Catholicism

2.5 Reformations (plural)

Most common today, the term is used in the plural, indicating efforts of reform in catholic

as well as protestant societies in Europe during the 300 year period from 1400 to 1700 CE.


Introduction – 300 years of Reform

CH2002 – Reformation Church History

1. Myths of “the” Reformation

2. Historiography

3. Reforms before the Reformation

3.1 Circumstances: Abuses and failings

• Papacy – epitome of corruption; popular Latin pun played on Roma as an acronym for the

proverb Radix omnium malorum avaritia: “avarice (greed) is the root of all evil.”

• Bishops – absenteeism; pluralism (holding several offices); nepotism;

simony (selling church offices)

Dieter Mitternacht

• Secular clergy – indistinguishable life style; cf. John Colet (English humanist 1466–1519):

They give themselves to feasting and banqueting; spend themselves in vain babbling, take

part in sports and plays, devote themselves to hunting and hawking; are drowned in the

delights of this world; patronize those who cater for their pleasure … mixed up and

confused with the laity, they lead, under a priestly exterior, the mere life of a layman.

• Regular Clergy (monastics) – somewhat more disciplined, but also known for

corruption and scandals

3.2 Circumstances: General awareness and Printing Press

• in the 15 th century the abuses and failings of the Church became more noticeable, more

openly discussed, and more deeply resented by a wider spectrum of people.


Introduction – 300 years of Reform

CH2002 – Reformation Church History

1. Myths of “the” Reformation

2. Historiography

3. Reforms before the Reformation

3.1 Circumstances: Abuses and failings

3.2 Circumstances: General awareness and Printing Press

3.3 Religious, political and societal concerns

Reformatio in capite et in membris (reformation in head and limbs)

Religion was intricately woven into nearly every aspect of life in medieval Europe

Thus all religious reformers were also social, cultural, and political reformers.

Dieter Mitternacht


Introduction – 300 years of Reform

CH2002 – Reformation Church History

1. Myths of “the” Reformation

2. Historiography

3. Reforms before the Reformation

3.1 Circumstances: Abuses and failings

3.2 Circumstances: General awareness and Printing Press

3.3 Religious, political and societal concerns

3.4 Officially accepted Reform efforts

• Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) & Franciscans: emphasis on poverty, penance and prayer,

preaching the gospel, and caring for the sick and poor; introduction of nativity scene.

• 12 th century Gregorian reform, papal actions (Gregory VII 1073-85) for clerical celibacy

for the purpose of moral integrity and independence of the clergy

• 14 th century Conciliar reform efforts: Pisa 1409, Constance 1414-18 – end the crisis of

leadership and reunite the Church

• Christian humanists: Desiderius Erasmus, John Colet, St. Thomas More, Devotio

moderna

Dieter Mitternacht

• Fifth Lateran Council in 1512, Opening address by Egidio da Viterbo: The Church needs

to turn back to “its old purity, its ancient brilliance, its original splendor, and its own

sources,” … “celestial and human things … crave renewal”


Introduction – 300 years of Reform

CH2002 – Reformation Church History

1. Myths of “the” Reformation

2. Historiography

3. Reforms before the Reformation

3.1 Circumstances: Abuses and failings

3.2 Circumstances: General awareness and Printing Press

3.3 Religious, political and societal concerns

3.4 Officially accepted Reform efforts

3.5 Rejected reform efforts

• Peter Waldo, French merchant from Lyon (c. 1140 – c. 1218) & the Waldensians

Dieter Mitternacht

emphasis on simplicity voluntary poverty, notably that “No man can serve two

masters, God and mammon;”

strict adherence to the Bible, commissioned the first translation of the NT into the

vernacular;

strong condemnations of Papal excesses and Catholic dogmas, including purgatory

and transubstantiation.

His followers are called Waldensians, a Christian spiritual movement of the Middle

Ages, descendants of which still exist in various regions of southern Europe.

First received in Rome by pope Alexander III, but then condemned by pope Luis III

in 1184.

The Waldensians were then persecited in various European countries during the

12th, 13th, and 14th centuries


A Period of Reformations

CH2002 – Reformation Church History

1. Myths of “the” Reformation

2. Historiography

3. Reforms before the Reformation

3.1 Circumstances: Abuses and failings

3.2 Circumstances: General awareness and Printing Press

3.3 Religious, political and societal concerns

3.4 Accepted Reform efforts

3.5 Officially rejected reform efforts

• Peter Waldo, french merchant from Lyon (c. 1140 – c. 1218) & the Waldensians

• John Wyclif (d. 1384) and the Lollards: Supreme authority of Scripture; no worldly

authority for clergymen

• Jan Hus (killed in Constance, 1415) and the Hussites: No foreign overlordship or Roman

jurisdiction in Bohemia

• Girolamo Savonarola (1452–1498), Italian Dominican friar, Scholastic, and influential

contributor to the politics of Florence; executed in 1498.

His parish church in San Marco was crowded to overflowing during his celebration

of Mass and at his sermons

known for destruction of what he considered immoral art

Dieter Mitternacht

preached vehemently against the moral corruption of much of the clergy at the

time.


A Period of Reformations

CH2002 – Reformation Church History

1. Myths of “the” Reformation

2. Historiography

3. Reforms before the Reformation

4. Protestant dissent and reform

4.1 Beginnings

• The protest began as a religious dispute concerning redemption, and more specifically

indulgences, i.e. the remission of penalties in the afterlife (routinely granted by the

popes since the time of the First Crusade in 1096).

• The dispute developed into a rebellion against Pope Leo X and the Catholic Church

4.2 Most frequently debated issues

• the authority of the Pope

• the hierarchy of the Church

• the institution of monasticism

• the teachings of the medieval theologians

• the validity of several sacraments, including that of confession

• the existence of purgatory

• the practice of praying for the dead and of praying to the saints as intercessors

• the use of Latin in ritual

• the custom of clerical celibacy

• the observance of fasts, vows, and pilgrimages

• the veneration of images and relics

• belief in miracles and wonders

Dieter Mitternacht


A Period of Reformations

CH2002 – Reformation Church History

1. Myths of “the” Reformation

2. Historiography

3. Reforms before the Reformation

4. Protestant dissent and reform

4.1 Beginnings

4.2 Most frequently debated issues

4.3 A plurality of 16 th century reformations

What we now call the Protestant Reformation was in large measure a revolt against the

authority of the clerical hierarchy of the Catholic Church that occurred in distinct national,

regional and local contexts:

• Lutherans: parts of Germany and all of Scandinavia; state-run Churches.

Dieter Mitternacht

• Reformed: scattered throughout Europe, beginnings with Ulrich Zwingli (1484–1531) in

Switzerland and John Calvin (1509–64) in many different places.

Eventually, half of Switzerland, all of Scotland, the Dutch Republic, and sizable minorities

in France, England, Hungary, and Poland.

• Anglicans: Established by King Henry VIII (1491–1547), with the English monarch as

supreme head of the Church of England.


A Period of Reformations

CH2002 – Reformation Church History

1. Myths of “the” Reformation

2. Historiography

3. Reforms before the Reformation

4. Protestant dissent and reform

4.1 Beginnings

4.2 Most frequently debated issues

4.3 A plurality of 16 th century reformations

• Lutherans

• Reformed

• Anglicans

• Radicals: Usually subdivided into Anabaptists, Spiritualists, and Anti-Trinitarians

a very broad spectrum of religious dissenters who:

Reject Catholicism

Reject other Protestant Churches

Reject the symbiosis of Church and State

Dieter Mitternacht

Believe in gathered Churches (only of true believers)

Believe in baptism as adults

Some spiritualists believed that genuine believers did not need a Church at all.


A Period of Reformations

CH2002 – Reformation Church History

1. Myths of “the” Reformation

2. Historiography

3. Reforms before the Reformation

4. Protestant dissent and reform

4.1 Beginnings

4.2 Most frequently debated issues

4.3 A plurality of 16 th century reformations

4.4 The concerns of ordinary folk – not just theology

Effect on political structures

Effects on societal relations

Effect on rituals for everyday life

Effects on marriage, family and gender relations

4.5 Conflict in Europe global export of religious divisions

Hungary, Bohemia, the Baltic states, Poland

Discovery of the new world

Establishment of Catholic Christianity in the Philippines

Conflict in Europe buttressed the global export of religious divisions

4.6 The formation of identity by means of division and conflict

A key principle in European culture

Calendar divisions (Julian, Gregorian)

Cius regio eius religio

Difference of ritual practices

etc.

Dieter Mitternacht


Introduction – 300 years of Reform

CH2002 – Reformation Church History

L

Dieter Mitternacht

5. Major

persons

Martin Luther Katarina Bora Johan Staupitz

Melanchton

A B Karlstadt

S

Huldrych Zwingli

Jean Calvin

Thomas Müntzer

Caspar Schwenkfeld

Erasmus

R

A

Theodore Beza

John Knox

Balthasar Hubmaier

Menno Simons

Ignatius of Loyola

K

Emperor Charles V

Frederick of Sachsen

Gustav Wasa of Sweden

Henry VIII of England

Teresa of Avila


Introduction – 300 years of Reform

CH2002 – Reformation Church History

480 1490 1500 1510 1520 1530 1540 1550 1560 1570

1483 Luther 1505

1517 1521 1529

1546

Zwingli

6. Major dates

and events

1509

Popes

Pius III

Innocent VIII Alexander VI Julius II Leo X

1524-25

Calvin

1521

1505 Luther enters Augustinian Monastery

1517 Oct 31 Luther posts the 95 Theses in Wittenberg

1519 Jan 1 Zwingli begins pastorate in Zürich

1521 Jan 3 Papal bull against Luther’s teachings and writings

Apr 18 Diet of Worms, Luther excommunicated

May 8 Imperial Edict, Luther kidnapped to Wartburg, Junker Jörg

1522 Completion of NT to German; Pope Hadrian initiates Cath Reform

1524-25 Peasants’ War

1525 Schwenckfeld breaks with Luther, advocating “spiritual” sacraments

Müntzer tortured and killed

1526 First printing of Tyndale’s transl. of the NT

Gustav Vasa, king of Sweden, breaks with the old faith, NT into Swedish

1528 Hubmaier burned in Vienna

1529 Diet of Speyer, ”The Protestants”; Luther’s Catechisms

Oct, Luther and Zwingli meet to discuss the Eucharist

1530 Diet of Augsburg, Confession

1531 The Schmalkaldic League, formation, Zwingli killed in war in Kappel

1526

1530

1484 1519 1529 1531

Britain, France, Netherlands

1536

1525 1528 1536

1526

1534

Hadrian VI

Marcellus II

Clement VII Paul III JuliusIII PaulIV Pius IV St. Pius V Gregory XI

1540

1542 1545-46

1553

1556

1553

1555

1564

1559 1572

1562- 98

1551-52 1562-63

Dieter Mitternacht

1577

1534 Henry VIII, Act of Supremacy, Establishment of the Church of England

Ignatius of Loyola founds the Jesuit Order

1536 Calvin to Geneva, 1 st ed. of Institutes, Menno Simons gathers survivors

1540 Papal recognition of the Society of Jesus

1542 Pope Paul III establishes the Roman Inquisition

1545-7, 1551-2, 1562-3 Council of Trent

1546 Beginning of Schmalkaldic War, Luther’s death

1553 Accession of Mary Tudor in England; burning of Servetus in Geneva

1555 Religious peace of Augsburg, cuius regio, eius religio

1556 Ridley, Latimer, Cranmer killed

1559 John Knox begins reforms in Scotland

1562-98 French Wars of Religion

1567 Church of Scotland adopted by Scotish Parliament

1572 Bartholomew’s Day Massacre

1577 Formula of Concord

1579 Union of Utrecht (7 provinces unite in the Protestant faith)

1593 Church of Sweden officially endorses the Augsburg confession

1579


Introduction – 300 years of Reform

CH2002 – Reformation Church History

Dieter Mitternacht

7. Major places

Schmalkalden

Manresa


Introduction – 300 years of Reform

CH2002 – Reformation Church History


4. Major persons

5. Major dates and events

6. Major places

8. Major theological concerns

Dieter Mitternacht

8.1 Sola Gratia, Sola Fide

• no works righteousness

• no freedom of the will

• no capacity to influence God’s judgment

• predestination (Calvin’s logical conclusion):

Scripture, then, clearly shows that God once established by His eternal and unchangeable

plan those whom He long before determined once and for all to receive into salvation; and

those whom, on the other hand, he would devote to destruction. (Institutes of the Christian

Religion, III, 21.7)

8.2 Sola Scriptura – ecclesiastical implications

all clergy are ministers (servants) of the Word and the community, not priests who mediate

salvation to a subservient laity. Instead, clerical authority is derived from the laity.

Martin Luther:

Now we who have been baptized are all uniformly priests in virtue of that very fact. The only

addition received by the priests is the office of preaching, and even this with our consent. (The

Babylonian Captivity of the Church)


Introduction – 300 years of Reform

CH2002 – Reformation Church History


4. Major persons

5. Major dates and events

6. Major places

8. Major theological concerns

5.1 Sola Gratia, Sola Fide

5.2 Sola Scriptura – ecclesiastical implications

8.3 Spirit and Matter (worship, sacraments)

• Luther – in favor of a sacramentally centered faith, real presence, but spiritualized

interpretation of ritual, reduced sacraments from 7 to 2 (baptism and Eucharist).

• Zwingli – “the divine cannot be conveyed through finite matter” (finitum non est capax

infiniti)

• Calvin – “Whatever holds down and confines the senses to the earth is contrary to the

covenant of God; in which, inviting us to Himself, He permits us to think of nothing but

what is spiritual.”

• Sebastian Frank – spiritualist who argued that ritual was unnecessary altogether:

“Why should God wish to restore the outworn sacraments and take them back from the

Antichrist [the Pope], yea, and contrary to his nature (which is Spirit and inward), yield to

weak material elements?” (Letter to John Campanus).

Bible = “the paper pope”

Dieter Mitternacht


Introduction – 300 years of Reform

CH2002 – Reformation Church History


8. Major places

9. Major denominations after the Reformation

Dieter Mitternacht


Introduction – 300 years of Reform

CH2002 – Reformation Church History


8. Major places

9. Major denominations after the Reformation

Dieter Mitternacht


Introduction – 300 years of Reform

CH2002 – Reformation Church History

10. Greek Orthodox perspective

Dieter Mitternacht

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