Age of Religious Strife

Better Essays
Age of Religious Strife

Religious reformation in Germany, France, and England transformed religious liberty at the cost of Western Christian unity. Leading up to this point, there is a build up of resentment against Catholic taxation and obedience to officials of the foreign papacy in other countries of Europe. As a result of this religious strife, an increasing amount of European political warfare occurs for over 100 years. Furthermore, as faith is being questioned against the ruling monarchs, no longer is politics the only party involved in war. Subsequently, a sense of humanistic revival is found in the 15th century, laying down the path for reform among religious authority in Germany, France, and England in the 16th century.

Through combining the spiritual concerns of Martin Luther and ambitions of German monarchy, the Protestant Reformation was produced. Martin Luther, a German theologian, stirred up much controversy when he presented his 95 theses attacking abuses within the church in 1517 (Obelkevich 83). He set the stage for Protestant reform with the idea of Christianity lying in direct communication with God and not direct communication with the Pope. Lutheran reformers claimed the Bible rather than the church as the source of all religious authority. Considerably, many Lutheran followers would have stayed in the church if nonbiblical practices had been eliminated. In 1530, Lutherans and Reformed Christians confessed they could not compromise with Catholics or each other at the Diet of Augsburg (Aston 162).

Under emperors Ferdinand I and his son Maximillian II, Protestantism in Germany grew quickly (Callahan and Higgs 92). After a transition in rulers, king Charles was left ...

... middle of paper ...

...e in Europe 1650-1914. Oxford: Clarendon

Press, 1997.

- Badone, Ellen, ed. Religious Orthodoxy and Popular Faith in European Society.

New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1990.

- Callahan, William J., and David Higgs, eds. Church and society in Catholic

Europe of the Eighteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,


- Chatellier, Louis. The Europe of the Devout: The Catholic Reformation and the

Formation of a New Society. Trans. Jean Birrell. Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press, 1989.

- Obelkevich, James, ed. Religion and the People, 800-1700. Chapel Hill: The

University of North Carolina Press, 1979.

- Wolff, Richard J., and Jorg K. Hoensch, eds. Catholics, the State, and the

European Radical Right, 1919-1945. New Jersey: Atlantic Research and

Publications, 1987.
Get Access