Discuss the changing nature of the church in the late middle ages. Why did the tradition of religious dissent including John Wycliffe, Jan Huss and ultimately Martin Luther culminate in a formal split in the Roman Church?
The Catholic Church during this time in history was very powerful and very corrupt. The church dominated every aspect of life and it had everyone (from royalty to pheasants) convinced that the only way they could get to Heaven was if the Roman Catholic Church let them. Then they terrified everyone about the horrors of an eternal damnation in Hell. This was in effort to keep them all under control. With this in mind, they had everyone at their disposal, and they used this power to gain wealth and more power.
The biggest scandal that was bestowed by the Catholic Church was the selling of indulgences. Indulgences were prayers offered up to the souls of a deceased family member or for someone who was still alive. If a person purchased enough indulgences from the Catholic Church, then they would be admitted to Heaven. Of course, the wealthy had quite an advantage over the poor with this as they could afford to buy as many indulgences as they needed and were assured safe passage to Heaven. The pheasants, as much as they tried to skimp and save, just could not afford as many indulgences, and many of them left this world terrified of their fate. In essence, the Church made it perfectly clear that God favored the rich over the poor and there was no place in Heaven for the lower class. Of course, this could not be farther from the truth.
The church also forced tithes, or a tax of ...
This solution discusses the changing nature of the church in the Late Middle Ages.