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The Reformation: Luther and Calvin LEC 8

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Brock University
Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Andre Basson

1 MARS 1F90 Lecture 8 The Reformation: Luther and Calvin 1. Introduction th a. The radical revolution in Europe in the 16 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 15 and beginning of the 16 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 reoccurring] 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 it] 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 Florence] 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] 2 2. Books printed between 1450 and 1500 [ more books were produced then the proceeding years] 2. Martin Luther a. For the details of his early life, see your textbook b. His constant fear of God’s anger and punishment c. He decides to become a monk [almost struck by lightning] d. He enters the religious life and finally becomes a professor of New Testament e. He still feels unrighteous before God as a monk f. Johannes Tetzel and the sale of indulgences [popular for selling indulgences] g. What were indulgences?[human effort = good works; God's help = grace] i. Two become righteous before God one needed two things ii. The value of the good works of Christ and the saints [ receiving sacraments going on a pilgrimage] iii. A “mutual-aid society based on compassion for sinners” [you need God's grace to help you] Or through the good works of Christ and the saints (by the means of an indulgence, issued by the pope - could even buy indulgences for people who have already passed) h. Luther strongly objected to indulgences i. Becoming righteous before God (justification) did not depend on good works ii. Free will [humans did not have a free will and were therefore unable to do good - even free will is corrupted by sin] iii. Righteousness as a free gift from God iv. Luther’s 95 theses and attacks [the abuse of indulgence system and the corruption of the church] - put his theses on the door of the church i. The implications of Luther’s views i. The entire structure of the medieval Church is placed at risk [the church before was the main persuasion - if you don't listen you damn your soul.] ii. Righteousness by faith alone versus the sacraments, indulgences, pilgrimages, fasting, alms to the poor [if good works were irrelevant then things like sacraments, indulgences, pilgrimages, fasting, and alms to the poor also became irrelevant = the church loses control over peoples life and controlling society] j. The rift between Luther and the Church [wanted Luther to reform and let go of his view - he refused to
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