Protestant Reformation vs Civil Rights Movement

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Bostwick 1
Christian Bostwick
Mrs. Burley
World Cultures
19 December 2010
Protestant Reformation VS Civil Rights Movement
The Protestant Reformation (PR) and the Civil Rights Movement (CR) are very similar and different in many ways. The PR had Martin Luther a German priest and professor of theology who initiated the Protestant Reformation. The CR had Martin Luther King jr. an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the Civil Rights Movement. Some people say that it was MLK’s destiny to be a leader but others say it was a coincidence. But in the end both impacted the world greatly.

The Reformation in Europe officially began in 1517 with Martin Luther (1483-1546) and his 95 Theses. This was a debate over the Christian religion. At the time there was a difference in power. Roman Catholicism stands with the Pope as central and appointed by God. Luther’s arguments referred to a direct relationship with God and using the local languages to speak to the people in sermons. Luther’s arguments remove the absolute power from the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church in general. The revenue from the taxes paid to the Church would be reduced with Luther’s ideas, in part because of the removal of buying souls out of purgatory. If purgatory exists, then the Pope should empty it out of goodness and love, and not for the reason of money. There is also the removal of the power of buying one’s pardon from the Church. The focus shifts from buying pardons to spending that time and money for works of mercy and love.

Bostwick 1
The Church had power over the masses of people because they had the bible and they could control who read it but the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg aloud the bible to be affordable to almost everybody. The church now lost political power too. Previously taxes were collected from the people and paid to the kings, who in turn paid the Pope. In return they received monetary assistance when...
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