Church Reformation Essay

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The Protestant Reformation

The Protestant Reformation: What it was, why it happened and why it was necessary. The Protestant Reformation has been called "the most momentous upheaval in the history of Christianity." It was a parting of the ways for two large groups of Christians who differed in their approach to the worship of Christ. At the time, the Protestant reformers saw the church- the Catholic church, or the "universal church- " as lacking in its ways. The church was corrupt then, all the way up to the pope, and had lost touch with the people of Europe. The leaders of the Reformation sought to reform the church and its teachings according to the Scriptures and the writings of the Apostles. They sought to simplify the church…show more content…

This was the time of tall, sweeping Gothic cathedrals adorned with gargoyles and devils. Everywhere the people looked, they saw death, and it became the sole thought in their minds- that and what came after death. With the spreading literacy among the clergy and nobility of the times came new literature. For hundreds of ears the only literature that had existed were those books saved from the destruction of the Dark Ages by the church and the monasteries. Now, scholars began to write new books- all of it, of course, religious in nature. One of the most influential books of the time was The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. The book gave "clear and simple instruction for modeling a Christian spiritual life on that of Christ" (The Volume Library, 1950. However, the way that it did this was to present the mind set of "a sober awareness of death and a general view that life is a veil of tears" (Carmody, 331). While The Imitation was not the progenitor of the mood for the next several hundred years, it certainly contributed to it. Everything in life became a form of suffering in imitation of Christ. It soon became that even the tiniest act or motion during church service became a holy symbol of part of Christ's pain. This was also the time of the greatest pilgrimages in history. People all over Europe travelled great distances to

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