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[5] The Reformation.doc

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Kenneth Bartlett

October 18, 2010 The Reformation - Try to get close to the world where Christ lived (rather than Roman-inspired life when he lived) - Christianity = should be simpler, no use for excessive clergy - Utopia, etc. (Thomas More and Erasmus) --> how they think Christianity should be b/c Church is corrupted - However, this weakened the already-weakened structure of Roman Church (weakened by above and the fact that it doesn’t fulfill the needs of the people the same way as before: when people move to towns and engage in commerce, the Church just “doesn’t do it” for them, doesn’t provide comfort) - Erasmus made people question their faith: led to rise of Martin Luther/Lutheranism - Schism: many Christians weren’t sure which Pope to follow - solution is to follow neither and find God themselves - Follow preachers that offer immediate approach to God without help of Church - Lutheran revolt: took place in Germany - Principalities there - secular + ecclesiastical (priests etc.) - Development of ideas - can even challenge Roman Church - Who was Martin Luther? • Martin Luther (1483-1546) • Father raised them to middle-class through mining • Father saw potential in Luther --> sent him to law school • Luther was struck by lightning one night; he vowed that if he lives he will devote his life to God and will become a monk (is this true?) • Obsessed with his own sense of sin and guilt --> monk = level of spiritual comfort and con- trol; might achieve inner peace • He felt so unworthy to perform a Mass; he thought God should strike him down because he was such a sinner • Became a great scriptural scholar: doctor of theology, taught other scholars • Taught at Wittenberg --> where he brought about his great Revelation • He needed some comfort; doubted greatly • Luther determined - faith alone was sufficient to merit salvation (Catholic practices: penance, fasting...) • Indulgences = documents purchased to lessen your time in purgatory • Saints were so good they didn’t need all their goodness to get to heaven; surplus is distrib- uted by Pope to people; you give up something of your own to get an indulgence • Indulgence sales = half of money went to aristocrats, half went to Pope • Luther didn’t like the idea of indulgence: remission of sins through paying money • Nailed “95 Theses” = what pissed him off about the society (challenging indulgences; ability of Church to remit sins for cash payment) • Pope Leo X heard about Luther but didn’t take him seriously • 1520 - Luther declared complete separation of German church from Rome • Pope excommunicated him • 1521: Summoned by Emperor Charles in Diet (Imperial Parliament) of Worms • Charles wanted Luther’s books burned; Luther was quite popular because people agreed with what he said • Duke of Saxony (feudal lord): protected him • Luther translated the Bible into German (vernacular) • Private revolt --> institutional revolt (anyone who wanted to follow his example could) • Founded new church (new religion?): Lutheranism/Lutheran Church • Peasantry revolted against landlords, inspired by Luther (they expected Luther to back them up but he didn’t - he said they were disturbing the secular order and said they should be duly punished) - Why did Luther do this? - He needed the support of t
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