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Martin Luthers Reform - Essay Example

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Martin Luthers Reform

Immediate effects of the Protestant Reformation included a division among European Christians. "The protestant reformation also generated resistance and hostility, not least from the institutions of the traditional church and its defenders" (Greengrass, 1). Prior to the Reformation, European Christians lived in a more conformed society; religion was a very large aspect of their lives and with their religion they had an understanding of their place within their communities and their world. When Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of a church in 1517, he sparked not only a reaction from the Catholic Church but a reaction from monarchs and citizens across Europe. Some monarchies, such as in Germany, Holland, and England, eventually embraced the idea of reforming the Catholic Church and allowing for the progressive views of Protestantism to reorganize their churches and religious practices (McKay, Hill, and Buckler, 12). Other monarchies were not as accepting. France and Italy, for example, clung tightly to the history and roots of the Roman Catholic Church (McKay, Hill, and Buckler, 12).
Reformists faced multiple hurdles as both the Roman Catholic Church and sympathizing monarchs wor...
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a frenzy spread through Europe that witches in allegiance with the Devil were combining forces to destroy the Christian faithThe panic of the masses, from those of the elite to the humble peasantry working together, resulted in thousands of men and women undergoing torture to force a confession from the accused witch and in many insteances resulted in the accused witch's brutal death by burning alive at the stake (Huth, 2)
The number persons being accused of witchcraft grew drastically as the Catholic Church fought to retain their hold on the political regimes throughout Europe. With this growth, few citizens were safe from the accusations as people with wealth and power were accused as often as the humble peasantry. The fear generated by these accusations and trials helped to spread the feeling of overall chaos and instability of the time.
In an immediate sense, the Protestant Reformation appeared to worsen the lives of European Christians (Ellens, 9). During Medieval Times, religion was a large part of citizens' lives. Although Luther began his protest with the goal of improving the lives of European Christians and exposing corruption within the Roman Catholic Church, immediate effects of his reforms left Christians unstable. To the Christians of Medieval Europe, their lives were thrown into chaos as radical ideas appeared to directly undermine their spiritual beliefs: beliefs that were integrated into their every day lives and often times directly affected their daily decisions and the standards of living. Prior to Luther's reform, Christians were taught that the road to salvation was paved with good acts; acts of kindness and generosity as befitting a Christian. When Luther and ...Show more


Undoubtedly, Martin Luther's call for reform of the Catholic Church sparked several movements: the two most prominent being the Protestant Reformation and the subsequent Counter-Reformation. The effects of these movements exist to this day. For example, the Protestant Reformation led to the separation of the church from power of the Monarchs, led to the demands of people for more freedom and a larger sense of democracy, and led to the Enlightenment as more people began questioning their place in society…
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Martin Luthers Reform essay example
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