MARS 1F90 Lecture Notes - Girolamo Savonarola, Indulgence, Ninety-Five Theses

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Lecture 8
The Reformation: Luther and Calvin
1. Introduction
a. The radical revolution in Europe in the 16th century: the Protestant Reformation
[Europe was at its radical revolution that would change the political structure
fundamentally, the impact would continue for centuries - - the reformation]
b. Europe at the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th centuries
i. Discontent, fear, and anxiety [how people felt in Europe at the time]
ii. The Great Plague [1348, before the reformation, more than a 3rd of the
population was wiped out - people remained to stay afraid of it
iii. Obsession with the idea of God’s anger and judgment [people lived in
the fear of the judgment happening at any moment]
iv. Disillusionment with the medieval church and its leadership [people
began to see the church as a place of corruption and hypocrites, seemed
only interested in making money - as a result people began to look
elsewhere for religion]
c. Early reform movements before Luther and Calvin
i. The Brothers and Sisters of Common Life [people sought to copy and
model the early Christians, live the opposite of the church with its
wealth(like the disciples)]
ii. Humanism [a response to the church, focused on humanity and restoring
iii. Erasmus:
1. true reform of the Church was only possible by returning to the
model of the early Church [tried to establish a purified
translation of the new testament - said the church had corrupted
the bible and made mistakes]
2. He still remained a member of the Church until his death (1536)
iv. Girolamo Savonarola [the monk who wanted to establish a purified
d. Enormous changes in Europe in the late 1400’s and early 1500’s
i. The voyages of discovery [before it they only thought there was one
God, didn't know of other peoples religions]
1. Columbus reaches the Americas (1492)
2. The Portugues round the tip of Africa
3. The impact of these voyages [Spain becomes a superpower -
very wealthy- because it was powerful it played its role in
resisting the reformation]
ii. The printing press
1. The printing press and the Reformation [Germany introduced it
and Luther started printing his book there]
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