The Reformation

Topics: Protestant Reformation, Roman Catholic Church, Catholic Church Pages: 5 (1827 words) Published: September 10, 2013
Q: 'Discuss the significance of the Reformation for the development of Christian thought with reference to at least one major figure. What were some of the key issues involved? The Reformation of Europe offered a fresh and liberating outlook on Christian thought and brought with it many significant changes. With the Reformation came changes concerning peoples thoughts and ideas about the Catholic Church and they began to voice their opinions. The Protestant faith was formed from these changes. The priest, Martin Luther was one of the first reformists with his own interpretations and influences which helped to outline the theology of the Protestant faith for all of Europe. The Roman Catholic faith was formed roughly in the 4 c B.C. Christianity, as it was called after the name was given to the people who followed the Jewish then baptised leader, Jesus Christ. The Romans adopted Christianity and began the worship of one God rather than their previous pagan gods and goddesses. As Rome’s empire expanded, they began to Christianise all their citizens so as to maintain control and unity amongst the many vast areas they had conquered. Religion played a huge role people’s everyday lives. It controlled society and it controlled kingdoms. The Pope, who was claimed by the ‘Catholic Church was by then declared as the “Vicar of Christ”, or his personal representative’. The Pope was Gods representative on earth and had the divinely given power to decide people’s fate judging their actions in their current life to determine whether they would wind up either in heaven, hell or purgatory in the next life-The afterlife. The Church taught that “it alone” was God’s instrument and representative on Earth and salvation could only be found by its Means. With this huge amount of power, the pope had the ability to control and monopolise kings and kingdoms all throughout Europe. A prominent figure to note before delving into the Reformation development is the Bishop Augustine of Hippo. Born in 354 A.D in the country currently known as Algeria, Augustine had a pagan father and a strongly Christian mother. Augustine was an influence upon the Catholic Church although a lot of his ideas weren’t fully adopted into the faith itself. His theories upon the freedom of the individual and predestination were not accepted into the Catholic faith but other ideas of his were adopted into the Churches doctrines. Augustine was a significant figure in the theology behind Protestant reformist Martin Luther and his ideas that lead to the Reformation. Parts of Matins theology was adopted into the Protestant faith, particularly focussing upon the idea of predestination. As the Church began to become more tyrannical and powerful, a protest movement was beginning to take form. This was called the Reformation. It was a protest against the Catholic Church and the Reformation was to reform the current ideas that were in place. One of the forefathers of the Reformist movement was Martin Luther. Before entering priesthood, Martin had the intentions of becoming a lawyer upon his father’s instruction. He defied his father wishes and became an Augustan monk in 1508. As Martin entered the monastery at such a young age, he was a devout follower. Although he struggled to understand how he should love God when he was afraid of him. As his spirituality began to bring him unto the brink of despair, Luther was encouraged to take up a further education and was enrolled in the University of Wittenberg. He became a professor in 1512 with a degree in theology. With this new lease on life he began to write lectures based heavily upon the scriptures and the Bible. In one of his lectures he wrote down, ‘In the presence of God it is not by just works that one becomes just, but, having been made just, one does just deeds’. He began to think and come up with his own ideas about the doctrines within the Church. From this, Luther began to develop his own ideas and formulate them into a doctrine...
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