The Influence of Protestant Reformation

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Prior to the Reformation

The Catholic Church used a variety of strategies to combat purported errors. Death, banishment, or repentance were the most common penalties. Additionally, it had brought lists of books that were appropriate and books that were subversive. The Catholic Church underwent major changes as a result of the German Reformation. It prompted Johannes Gutenberg to create the printing machine. The subsequent events featured a series of reactive incidents. First, Martin Luther released his ninety-five theses opposing the sale of indulgences and papal abuses by Catholic officials. He also urged people to peruse the Bible on their own. Subsequently, the Bible was translated into German and was easily accessible to the masses. "Luther’s message emerged onto a scene of a supportive environment with the printing press serving as the technology to advance his cause" (Scialabba 73).

Changes in Art or Painting Style

Prior to the Reformation, the Church had patronage over all forms of art and music. The Church deemed that art was designed to be educational or enlightening. Since the general congregation lacked personal access to the Scriptures, the Church held that the aim of art and music was to provide the uneducated with a knowledge base on Christianity. The Reformation music and art opposed the Renaissance and Catholic types of art. The Reformation used theocentric art. For instance, Reformation artists painted the world and life from a realistic perspective. They did not idealize or glorify the creature but showed things in their actual form and manner. They did not gloss over sin as was common in paintings during that time. According to Francis Shaeffer: "At its core, therefore, the Reformation was removing of the humanist distortions which had entered the church" (Wilsey 33).

Influence of Reformation on Europe

Moreover, the Reformation in Germany also influenced the rest of Europe. Two other prominent ideological thinkers emerged: John Calvin in France and Ulrich Zwingli in Switzerland. Each made publications of their own perceptions, which led to the emergence of new churches that represented doctrines that were contradictory to the Lutheran and Roman Catholic viewpoints (Scialabba 75). Eventually, the public became more integrated with the printing press. Consequently, the Catholic Church was no longer the center of information and knowledge.

The Protestant Reformation gave birth to rebellion

The established church and the throne. "In England Henry VIII’s children fought to retain control over the throne whereas in France the people who politically resented the throne formed alliances with religious nonconformists" (Fide et al., 9).

Counter Argument

The counter argument for the massive implication of the Protestant Reformation conceived by Martin Luther is that the movement did not have as much of a significance or authority as is perceived in the contemporary society. In effect, the reason why the Protestant Reformation was as successful as it was all across Europe is attributed to circumstantial factors (Gonzalez 27). Essentially, Luther introduced his movement at a time when the people were in desperate need of reforms. They were tired of the hegemony of the Roman Catholic and desired more religious and political freedom. Hence, the success of the most initial Reformation in Germany was merely a streak of good fortune due to opportune timing.

Works cited

Fide, Sola., Sciptura, Sola., Christus, Solus., Gratia, Sola., & Soli, Gloria. The Protestant Reformation: a guide for teachers and students.

Gonzalez, Justo L. A History of Christian Thought Volume III: From the Protestant Reformation to the Twentieth Century. Abingdon Press, 2010.

Scialabba, Karen. The Protestant Reformation and Catholic Publishing: a framework for contemporary understanding. Journal of Religious and Theological Information 12:3-4, 71-89. 2013. Print.

Wilsey, John. The Impact of the Reformation on the Fine Arts. Faculty Publications and Presentations. 2006. Print.

July 07, 2023

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