The Reformation Revision Notes – Junior Cert

The Reformation Revision Notes – Junior Cert

 Reasons for the Reformation

  1. Wealth of the Church. Owned 1/3 of German land. Tithes.

  2. Renaissance encouraged questioning.

  3. Printing press spread ideas.

  4. Kings wanted less interference.

  5. Abuses (nepotism, simony, absenteeism, pluralism, sale of indulgences etc).


Story of Martin Luther (special study)

A German, studied to be a lawyer but became an Augustinian monk. Professor of Theology at Wittenberg. He studied the Bible and concluded ‘salvation by faith alone’.

John Tetzel selling indulgences. ½ the proceeds to St. Peter’s and ½ to Archbishop of Mainz to repay loans for simony (buying dioceses).95 theses on church door.

Public debate with John Eck (Luther questioned papal infallibility).

Emperor Charles V guaranteed safe passage to the Diet of Worms. Luther declared an outlaw. Frederick the Wise of Saxony put him in Wartburg Castle for a year for his own safety. Luther spent the time translating the Bible into German.

Lutheran princes protested (protestant) that they should control religion in their own states. War resulted which ended in the Peace of Augsburg, which decided that ‘the religion of the prince is the religion of the people’

Luther’s beliefs:

  • The Bible and not the hierarchy is the source of religious knowledge.

  • Salvation by faith alone.

  • 2 sacraments only, Baptism and Eucharist.

  • Married clergy.

  • Church services in the vernacular.

John Calvin

Influenced by Luther. Had to leave France. Geneva ‘the city of God’.

Calvin’s beliefs: Outlined in The Institutes of the Christian Religion were similar to Luther’s with the exception of Predestination (the elect went to heaven), but a much more strict approach.

Pastors or ministers preached. Teachers taught. Deacons looked after the sick and elderly. Elders watched the behaviour of the people.

John Knox brought Calvinism to Scotland (Presbyterian Church). In France Calvinists were called Huguenots. In England they were called Puritans.

Henry VIII

TCatherine of Aragon. 1 daughter, no sons. Emperor Charles V (Catherine’s nephew) would not let the Pope annul the marriage.

Cranmer became Archbishop of Canterbury and granted a divorce. Henry married Anne Boleyn and was excommunicated.

Act of Supremacy made the king head of the Church. Thomas More beheaded.

Henry closed the monasteries because: it made him very rich, some were corrupt and they were loyal to the Pope.


The Counter-Reformation

The Council of Trent.

A meeting of the hierarchy in Italy to discuss Catholic beliefs and discipline.

It concluded that the teachings were OK but the abuses were banned.

It increased the divisions with Protestants and led to wars of religion.

The Jesuits.

Ignatius of Loyola wrote Spiritual Exercises to train priests.

The new order was highly trained and organised along military lines (governor general).

They concentrated on teaching the sons of nobles and wealthy people.

They were missionaries.

The Court of Inquisition.

Its aim was to end heresy in Spain and Italy.

It used: San Benito (itchy garment), torture and burning at the stake (Auto da Fé)

Results of the Reformation

  • Europe divided. North mainly Protestant.

  • Wars of Religion. The Thirty Years War.

  • Persecution.

  • Education. Protestant wanted everyone to read the Bible.

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