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HIS109Y1 lecture notes from academic year 2010-11

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Kenneth Bartlett

HIS 109 Oct. 18 , 2010 The Reformation Coming of a critique of the Church Desire to return to the apostolic Church stronger in the North Began to focus in on the idea of a simpler form of Christianity Thomas More and Erasmus attempt to restore something like the apostolic simplicity of Christianity Weakened a tottering structure of the Church Men like Erasmus weakened the institutional Roman Church Weakened by not only events, but by the fact that it wasn’t meeting the spiritual needs of urban townsmen Wanted new forms of comfort, things to get through the night, however’ Church was not providing this Erasmus prompted people to question their faith, setting the prelude to Martin Luther During the period of the Schism a large number of Christians did not know whom to follow, decided to approach God more individually amounting to heretical sects led by charismatic leaders Idea that the individual could approach God directly becomes widespread Germany & Martin Luther Germany divided into principalities that were secular This fragmentation meant that there was an opportunity to develop new religions Luther became a monk after being struck by lightening (wanted to find a measure of comfort, inner peace, and control) Became a superb scriptural scholar At Wittenberg that Luther brings about a great revolution (convinced of his own sin he felt that he needed to find a measure of comfort) Faith alone sufficient enough to acquire salvation (traditional practices of the church were useless) Revolution sparked when a monk came to Wittenberg to sell indulgences (theological belief of the treasury of merit) Purchasing indulgences (“excess of goodness”) was an act of penance Half of the profits went to monks, the other half to the Pope for the re-building of St. Peter’s Basilica Luther saw the selling of indulgences and was outraged, thus; he wrote his 95 theses in 1517 After this happened, more and more people began to hear about this monk that was challenging the selling of indulgences, and the Church being the only institution to provide salvation In 1520 Luther went too far in his address to German Christian nobles to separate Germany from the Roman Church Luther was excommunicated and summoned to the Diet of Worms to answer charges that he was condemned as a heretic Luther translated the Bible into German to make it more widely available, he and his disciples worked out the religion of Lutheranism (institutionalized his personal revolt) Peasantry in Germany revolted against their landlords, calling upon Luther to support them (wanted to elect their own pastors) Luther did not agree with what they were doing Luther desperately needed the support of German authority and magistrates in order to spread his religious method Chose the forces of princely rule and encouraged lords and princes to slaughter the peasants that revolted Luther saw himself as a reformer of religion bringing it back to its roots Not a revolution that sought out to reconstruct society All followers of Luther benefitted, acquiring the lands of the Church made them richer Diets of Speyer & Augsburg Protest decrees against the Reformation Schmalkaldic League (1531) Protestants formed to revolt against Lutheranism At the Diet of Augsburg, the religion of a territory’s prince determined the religion of his subjects Lutheran revolt was in the interest of princes Half of Germany became Protestant Broke the unity of the Church New religions evolved Ulrich Zwingli (Switzerland) Began attacking the Roman Church, things the Church did not based on scriptural evidence Wanted to simplify Christianity Did not want clerical celibacy, Eucharist (nothing magical happenings, they are simply memorials) A new Church was being formed (Zwingli & Luther could not agree on this) Led to a dark period in European history Zwingli’s ideology spread rapidly throughout Switzerland (his religion did not develop as he intended) Believed people naturally gravitate towards sin, had to be watched and controlled Zwingli established a council of lay magistrates to supervise public behaviour, exercise all the powers that once belonged to the Roman Catholic Church All aspects of life were overseen One’s life and conscious belonged to the state Princes, kings, and magistrates filled power vacuum that was created Control of the secular state in every aspect Religious aspirations may have been freed, however; there was greater control of the state John Calvin Was converted to Protestantism, forced into exile after being charged of heresy in France, and fled to Switzerland Answer only to authorities that could be found in the Bible Idea of preordained salvation becomes a central element in Calvinist theology Calvin insisted that the state must control one’s actions, things that were not pleasing to God had to abolished All frivolous activities were defined as un-Godly, and if you were caught doing these sins in Geneva you were in a lot of trouble Needed a way of crowd control, thus; he instituted public confessions Geneva was
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