Religious Reform in the Middle Ages

Topics: Protestant Reformation, Christianity, Catholic Church Pages: 4 (1449 words) Published: April 18, 2007
Religious Reform in the Middle Ages

During the middle ages there had been much controversy circling around religion, mainly around the Catholic Church. Many people felt trapped within the church, which sparked many religious ideologists to seek ways around the Catholic beliefs, and still have a relationship with God. During this age a new religion began to emerge from the Catholic faith, Protestantism, which sparked much controversy for many people living in Europe at the time. This era brought many revolutions and sparks a time of enlightenment when it came to religion. For most of the middles ages the majority of Europe was run under the Catholic Church, but it wasn't until the 16th century that critics began to question its practices of power and wealth. One of the first Christian humanists to go against the teachings of the Church was Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536), a priest from Holland, who felt that some of its elements were in need of reform. Erasmus disagreed with the idea that people should hear the teachings of the Bible from a priest, but instead believed that people should read the Bible directly to make their own interpretations. Another significant person who took on the role of bringing Protestantism into Europe was Martin Luther (1483-1546). Luther, a priest from Germany, felt that although he did whatever he could to lead a good Christian life, he could never achieve spiritual salvation. Luther found it hard to find comfort in the Catholic Church, where he was taught, "people were saved only though Gods mercy, not through their own efforts to live as a good Christian." Although the Catholic Church tried to pressure these beliefs into his head, Luther believed that one had to have a personal relationship with God to reach ultimate salvation; using faith alone to save ones soul. It was then that Luther began to challenge the beliefs of the Catholic Church. One major principle that Luther felt was appalling about the Catholic Church was their...
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