The Catholic Church

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Prior to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, European power was centralized in the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. In Western Europe, everyone considered themselves to be a Catholic, even if some people did not care to devote to it on a personal level. Those who enforced the traditions and sacraments of the Church—the pope, cardinals, priests—were able to abuse their power to gain more power and wealth. The various theological teachings of the Church created a life of burden for the commoners, who were generally illiterate and uneducated. The commoners, mostly peasants, had a hard time living joyous lives because the Church did not nourish their spiritual needs. However, certain intellectual men had relatable experiences and great concern for the peasants. They decided to stand up against the Church. With compelling arguments that challenged the authority of the Catholic Church, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Voltaire shaped up fascinating revolutions that changed the overall rhythm of their societies. Martin Luther became a monk after a time of soul searching and deciding there was no need to study law. He yearned to understand true religion, but he could not do so unless he learned to read the language of the scriptures. After successful theological training, he began to question the authority of the Church, mainly because of the newly decreed indulgences to pay for the new Basilica. Luther argued that people do not need a priesthood to represent them because salvation comes from justification by faith alone. In order to enlighten the people, he wrote ninety five short theses arguing against many Church regulations. He also translated the Bible from Latin to German, which allowed the commoners to read for themselve... ... middle of paper ... governing techniques and how they incorporated religion in their rule are what made each empire unique. At one point, all three empires had some form of religious tolerance to non-Muslim faiths, which created loyal subjects and larger armies. Vast cultural advancements were results of religious tolerance as well. The major differences of the three empires were the Ottoman’s powerful navy and economic superpower, The Safavid’s architecture, and the Mughal strong religious inclusiveness and construction of the Taj Mahal. As all three empires fell behind in technological advancements and eventually housed corrupt rulers, their military and wealth declined. Although all three empires were destroyed by the twentieth century, their legacy has influenced the nations that emerged after their downfalls with great history, architectural wonders, and religious backgrounds.

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