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The Protestant Reformation

Powerful Essays
The Protestant Reformation during the sixteenth century established a schism between Christian beliefs that lead to the emergence of divergent interpretations of the Bible. Through this transformation the Papacy was prosecuted for its unrelenting and restricted renditions of the gospel that was seen to oppress the populace and corrupt the true meaning of God’s Word. Though there were individuals such as Desiderius Erasmus who greatly criticized the Catholic Church yet remained loyal there were others who broke away entirely. With the increasing dissatisfaction across Europe factions began to be founded providing elucidation on the “truthful” interpretations of the Bible. Two various factions were known as Lutheranism after German priest Martin Luther and Calvinism after John Calvin a French theologian. These new ideologies shared a basic belief system in reference of humanity’s position with God and their place on earth. However, there was also various interpretations of the bible amongst the newly formed Protestant groups. In response of the emerging Protestant groups the Catholic Church established counter agencies in the pursuit of reconverting Protestants and the conversion of Pagans such as the Mayans and Aztecs. The various views expressed through the primary documents explored in this analysis demonstrate the conflicting and complex nature of religion and humanity and how individuals attempt to reconcile the two in their truest forms.

Faithful members of the Catholic church such as Desiderius Erasmus criticized the temporal practices of the church and its members. Erasmus took issue with the theologians believing them to be a “race of men...incredibly arrogant and touchy.”1 He was disgusted with the use of power by the e...

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...gs/LutherPAPALetal.htm (accessed October 10, 2011).

10 Luther. 11 Luther. 12 Calvin, John. Excerpts from The Institutes. Cohen. HYPERLINK “http://home.flash.net/~cohan/readings/calvinINSTITUTE&ORDINANCE.htm” http://home.flash.net/cohen/readings/CalvinINSTITUTES&ORDINANCES.htm (accessed October 10, 2011).13 Calvin, John. “Predestination.” Modern History Sourcebook. HYPERLINK “http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/calvin-predest.html” http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/calvin-predest.html (accessed October 10, 2011).14 Calvin, John. Excerpts from The Institutes. Cohen. HYPERLINK “http://home.flash.net/~cohan/readings/calvinINSTITUTE&ORDINANCE.htm” http://home.flash.net/cohen/readings/CalvinINSTITUTES&ORDINANCES.htm (accessed October 10, 2011).

Documents of the Christian Church, 3rd ed., Henry Bettenson, ed. pp. 364-367. 1999. 16 Documents of the Christian Church
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