HIST 2220 Study Notes 4.docx
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INTRODUCTION TO THE REFORMATION
Note: the overlaps in topics!
o Late Medieval religion --> Reformation
o Humanism --> Reformation
o "New Worlds" and Reformation happen at the same time!
Cortes (1485-1547) and Luther (1483-1546) - they are exact contemporaries! The Conquest of Mexico happens as Luther starts getting into
Part One: The Results of the Reformation...
o "A complex movement of such magnitude that no area of Europe or field of thought or activity was unaffected by it"
o Religious ideas but massive political and social ramifications as well
o The Reformation touches essentially everyone in contrast with the Renaissance and the New World
o In 1500, Christianity is very complex and very old
1200 years since Constantine
700 years since Charlemagne
400 years since the Crusades began
300 years since Francis of Assisi
All of these layers are jostling together!
o One result of the Reformation was the purging of this variety in favour of uniformity, but different people want different
o Split of western Christendom into three major "Confessions" with different institutions, membership and belief
Note: These are just the three MAIN ones, there are several more!
o "Confessional Pluralism" in Europe, but no confessional toleration
o "Theological Road-rage"!
Some examples of propaganda (see handout)
No real attempt to heal splits until ecumenical movements of the 20th C.
o The result of the Reformation = the fracturing of Europe
o So... How did this happen??
Part Two: Picking up the Threads...
o Late Medieval heresies
Remember! Wycliff and Huss!
Ideas quickly become politicized
All this plays out on a bigger stage in 16th century Europe!
o Late Medieval papacy
Remember! Babylonian Captivity and The Great Schism!
Papacy survives this but there is no self-reform
Late 15th C. Popes act more like Italian Renaissance Princes
Meanwhile, Kings and rulers elsewhere are starting to take more control of churches and are eyeing their money
Remember! Concern with philology and textual criticism
Christianity is a religion based on texts, humanists will work on them
Example: Lorenzo Valla and the "Donation of Constantine"
o Thought to be a document drawn up by Constantine in which he gives dominion to the Pope
o Valla subjects it to careful philological analysis
o He finds out that it is a FAKE! He demonstrates that it could not have been written in the 4th C.
o He says that it is forged in a later period (think of the Implications!)
Example: Erasmus and the "Novum Testamentum"
o Valla = Italian / Erasmus = Dutch ...Humanist Ideas have spread North!
o Erasmus (1469-1536) is known as the "Prince of the Humanists"
o His great work was a new edition and translation of the Greek New Testament
o He uses knowledge of Greek and careful philological analysis
o Text changes! New translation challenges points of the late Medieval Christian practice
o John the Baptist, before Jesus' ministry tells the people "METANOEITE!" - This is a Greek work that
translated into the Latin term "POENTIENTIAM AGITE", which in turn translated into the English "DO
o "Penance": the saying of prayers, going on pilgrimage, giving alms, etc was a means to account for your sins
and make you right with God
o A side-alley of Penance is "Indulgences": the idea is that the Pope can release you from Penance - buy an
indulgence and the Pope will switch some of the merit earned by the Saints to you (idea started way back in
Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.
o "Treasure House of Merit" - "if you buy some indulgence then some of this merit will be yours and you can
o The idea that John the Baptist said "DO PENANCE" - there are very few biblical supports for this!
o Erasmus says that the translation is actually "REPENT!" (Latin: "RESIPISCITE")
o Reformers are going to insist that only what is in the Bible is valid and purge everything else!
LUTHER AND THE BEGINNINGS OF THE REFORMATION...
"Almost all other Reformations grew out of Luther's and shared essential contents with it"
"Until 1524, the Reformation largely bore Luther's imprint" (- Martin Brecht)
In the 16th C. we finally have the density of primary sources needed to trace events in detail
o There are Luther's own writings, but also a lot was written about him
o We can't answer all questions, but we can find out many things like...
Luther's relationship with his father
Luther's obsession with the Devil and Scatology
o What if we could trace the beginnings of the Crusades in similar detail?
Luther's Home: Saxony...
o Germany was a patchwork of territories controlled by Princes, Knights, Archbishops, "Free-cities" (no one rules them), and the
Emperor oversees all
o Saxony is one of the more powerful Princedoms ruled by the "Elector of Saxony", so called because he is just one of seven men who
choose the Emperor
o Luther's support from the Elector will save his life...where this happens makes a big difference!
Luther's father and the Law...
o His father is a miner and prosperous farmer
o He has high hopes for his son and sends him to Law School in Erfurt
o In 1505, Luther changes his course and his father is furious for years!
Luther the Monk...
o "the most devout monk in Germany"
o At an Augustinian house, a brand of monasticism that stresses pastoral care
o Endless fasting, etc worries his fellow monks
o he reads Augustine, who tells him that everyone is going to HELL! Nothing can be done about it! Grace is a free gift for people that
Luther the Lecturer...
o In 1511, Luther is sent to the University of Wittenberg
o It had just been founded by Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony
o Augustinian monks are to staff the University
o Luther gets his PhD in Theology
o He lectures on the set texts
o In 1515, the assignment is Paul's Letter to the Romans
Luther the Worried Priest...
o Luther has parishioners as well as students to worry about
o Something happens in 1517 that gets him VERY worried!
o An Archbishop in trouble, a Pope needs money, and a deal is struck
Archbishop Albrecht borrowed money from Jacob Frugger and could not pay it back
He tried to borrow from the Pope, but the Pope doesn't have money because he's building the Basilica.
So, the Pope sells indulgences and gets a man named Tetzel to sell them for him - the Pope get's half the profit and Albrecht
gets the other half.
Tetzel had a jingle! "As soon as your coin in my coffer rings, a soul up from purgatory springs!"
This was an abuse of power! Luther is concerned!
o Luther writes his 95 Theses, debating several points...
o We don't know about "the door" (that Luther supposedly nailed his Theses to...) but they were printed and circulated and Luther
forwarded them to the Archbishop...who just so happens to be ALBRECHT! Who then sends them to the POPE! Both of them
Luther in Hot Water...
o Luther is seen as defying papal authority
o Dominicans (who never much liked the Augustinians) write their own Theses attacking Luther's position
o And a debate begins: Luther has a public debate with J. Eck, the Popes man in Leipzig (1519)
o In 1520, Luther receives a Papal Bull of excommunication, which Luther burns!
Luther goes for Broke...
o Luther writes works outlining his ideas
o He argues salvation by faith alone and that the supreme authority is the Bible
o He rejects and argues against 1) Transubstantiation, 2) The differences between clergy and laity, and 3) the Right of the Pope to
o All of this is in white-hot rhetoric
o His writing circulate widely and quickly
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o The Diet of Worms (1521)
This is his final hearing before being declared an outlaw
Will he recant what he has written? He had been cheered all along the way from Wittenberg to Worms
"The most memorable words that Luther never uttered" (Here I stand, I can do no other. God help me, Amen)
Luther the Marked Man...
o He has 48 hours of safe conduct so he races to get home, but he vanishes!
o Fredrick the Wise comes to the Rescue!(He hides Luther...) Why?
o "Junker Johann" (Luther's Alias) "writes like a demon...with a demon?!"
o Luther's translation immensely influential on the development of the German language itself
o In the 11 months that Luther was holed up in Wartburg, his ideas are spreading...
By 1530, 6 million copies of Luther's pamphlets are in circulation!
And there is a man in Zurich, Switzerland...
And there are riots going on back in Wittenberg
o Luther sneaks back to Wittenberg in 1522
He manages to get things calmed down
He is safe there and stays there for most of the rest of his life
But! Things are not calm elsewhere!
"WILDWUCHS!" ("Wild-fire Growth!")
CLIMATE CHANGE AND HUMAN HISTORY...(See Handout)
How did climate fluctuate in Medieval and Early Modern Europe?
What were some important interactions between shifts in climate and life in the Medieval and Early Modern periods?
Reconstruction historical climates...
o Can use tree rings, pollen deposits, ice damage, etc...
o Old records, censuses, death and birth records, etc...
Precipitation: rose while evaporation slowed in the coldest parts of the Little Ice Age
Culture: a huge increase in witch trials during colder decades. Meanwhile, more cases of S.A.D. and associated rises in suicides
Disease: starvation weakens the immune system and so the range of disease vectors changes
Agriculture: shorter growing seasons, but farmers could adapt...
The Dutch Republic:
o The republic was the cultural and economic center of Europe and perhaps the world from the 1500's to the 1680's
o An urbanized capitalist economy based on the exploitation of water, heat, and wind...
o Expeditions in the 1500's influenced by the distribution of sea ice (which ended in failure)
o But! Spitsbergen was discovered, while the conquest of the North Pole was NOT discovered
The Dutch East-India Trading Company (VOC):
o The world's largest corporation for nearly two centuries
o Increased easterly winds in the Northeastern Atlantic quickened ship journeys
o Journey times FROM the Baltic were quickened during the Little Ice Age Minima, while journeys TO the Baltic were slowed
o Storms or sea ice could sink or delay ships
Transportation in the Republic:
o The Republic's economy relied on a network of canals serviced by horse drawn barges (the "Trekvart")
o Farmers also need small boats to deliver goods
o Freezing halted the Trekvart but farmers adapted with sleds!
o The migration of herring in the 16th C. and the rise of North Sea fisheries
o During the 16th C., herring migrated from the coast of Norway to the North Sea
o During the colder decades, whales concentrated along the edge of the packed ice waiting for it to open up - this made them easier
o During the warmer years, whales spread out across the Greenland Sea, foiling hunters
Climate Change and Warfare:
o English and Dutch ships had different vulnerabilities to the weather
o Anglo-Dutch tactics both emphasized acquiring the wind...
o "The Four Days Fight"...
o "The Raid on the Medway"...
o "The Third Anglo-Dutch War"...
o Climate change is NOT a direct cause of human action it does not make history...
o The weather that accompanies a climate shift can EXPAND or LIMIT the range of possible human activity...
PRINCES, RADICALS, AND A GUY NAMED CALVIN...
Luther's revolt... cities start jumping on the bandwagon... then, the Peasants Revolt...
Now, Princes start getting involved!
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