January 27, 2012
Religion in the 16th Century
Historians regard the 16th Century as the century in which the rise of the West occurred. In Europe, the Protestant Reformation initiated by Martin Luther gave a major shock to the authority of the Papacy and the Rome Catholic Church. The European politics were dominated by religious conflicts. Why the power of the religion could have such a great impact on the Western World at that time and eventually lead to the Thirty Years’ War towards the end of the century? Perhaps we can find the key from the contents and connotations of the bibliography during that period of time. By reading several materials assigned in the source book Perspectives from the Past, I found that no matter what kind of religions, Protestant or Calvinism, their goals can be concluded as the same: to reform the Roman Catholic Church or even to create new churches instead. In 16th century, religion was expected to play a central role in the lives of individual Christians. According to Sebastian Lotzer, the gospel does not cause rebellions and uproars, because it tells of Christ, the promised Messiah, whose words and life teaches nothing but love, peace, patience and unity. Saint Ignatius of Loyola also mentioned in The Spiritual Exercises, “All judgment laid aside, we ought to have our mind ready and prompt to obey, in all, the true Spouse of Church our Lord, which is our holy Mother the Church Hierarchical.” As we can see, the religion was highly respected and expected by people at that time. The power and authority of Roman Catholic Church were even over the imperial power. But during that time, Catholic Church was gradually losing the faith from people. Finally, the revolution against the religious authority happened. In The Twelve Articles of the Peasants of Swabia (the Articles) by Sebastian Lotzer, the peasants showed their great dissatisfaction and grievance to the landlords and...