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The Reformation Essay, Research Paper
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Essay A Essay Assignment: The Reformation
The Reformation would have eventually occurred without Martin Luther. This was because the ideas of reform itself was not new, and that the educated and the nobility both saw the abuses and corruption that existed in the sixteenth century church. Also, the educated lay people called for reform because their religious needs were not being met; at least one of them could have the possibility of being the catalyst of the Reformation if it was not for Luther.
According to Saint Paul and Saint Augustine, the concept of reform might have been as old as Christianity itself. Many reformers, that preceded Luther, shared similar ideas (such as John Wyclif, Peter Waldo, and Savonarola). Amongst them was John of Hus of Prague, whose life and proposals had the most resemblance to those of Luther s. Therefore, the Reformation could (theoretically) have begun in the early fifteenth century (one century before Luther came into existence). Before the Reformation, there were also numerous groups and individuals within the church that worked for reform; such as the “Brethren of the Common Life”, “Oratories of Divine Love”, and Spanish Cardinal Francisco Jimenez. Many of them made endeavors in augmenting the standards of clerical education and morality. Although they did not work toward institutional reform, eventually they would have recognized the disorders of the church, and include in their objectives to obtaining institutional reforms as well. Thus, carrying out the Reformation by themselves and without Martin Luther.
Martin Luther was not the first to realize the evils of the church, during the sixteenth century. Most of the educated and the upper-class also saw these clerical disorders within the church. A majority of them were humanists, who had denounced the corruption in the church in their writing. An excellent example of such a humanist would be Desiderius Erasmus. In his “In Praise of Folly”, Erasmus reprimanded both the clergy and the religious in failing to recognize the true purpose of the Christian life: the imitation of Christ. Also, many princes and kings had experienced this when they were denied of meeting in a free council with the pope. With such knowledge of the church and resources, many of these people were fully capable of bringing about the Reformation.
During the sixteenth century, a number of educated lay people were
dissatisfied with Catholicism. This great deal of discontent was due to the failure of the church to accommodate to the religious needs of its believers.
It was only a matter of time before these people would have initialized the Reformation, in order for them to satisfy their religious needs.
The Reformation assuredly would have happened even without Martin Luther due to the popularity of the idea of reform and the views of the educated toward the church s unscrupulous actions in the sixteenth century. If the Reformation had actually taken place without Luther, the teachings and ideologies of Protestantism could have been different.
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