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Europe After The Reformation

The religious heterogeneity that Europe confronted after the Reformation (and the fracturing of Western Christianity) posed serious political, religious, and cultural dilemmas for Europeans.

1. What were these dilemmas of religious difference, and what were their outcomes and results?
2. How did the French, Dutch and Germans resolve (or attempt to resolve) these problems?
3. What impact did conflict over religious difference have on the historical development of Europe?

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1517-1994 is considered the reformation era (modern era of Christianity) - Martin Luther & John Calvin lay the seeds of modern Protestantism, England breaks away from the Catholic Church

Background: Before reformation, historical upheaval resulted in rethinking as to how society should be organized. Religious heterogeneity was one major trends that posed serious serious political, religious, and cultural dilemmas for Europeans. This was the case leading up and following the Protestant Reformation. Following the breakdown of monastic institutions and scholasticism in late medieval Europe, accentuated by the "Babylonian Captivity" of the Avignon Papacy, the Great Schism, and the failure of conciliar reform, the sixteenth century saw the fermenting of a great cultural debate about religious reforms and later fundamental religious values. Historians would generally assume that the failure to reform (too many vested interests, lack of coordination in the reforming coalition) would eventually lead to a greater upheaval or even revolution, since the system must eventually be adjusted or disintegrate, and the failure of the Conciliar movement led to the Protestant Reformation in the European West. These frustrated reformist movements ranged from nominalism, modern devotion, to humanism occurring in conjunction with economic, political and demographic forces that contributed to a growing disaffection with the wealth and power of the elite clergy, sensitizing the population to the financial and moral corruption of the secular Renaissance church. (1)

1. Protestants generally trace their separation from the Roman Catholic Church to the 16th century, which is sometimes called the magisterial Reformation because the movement received support from the magistrates, the ruling authorities (as opposed to the radical Reformation, which had no state sponsorship).
2. The protest erupted suddenly, in many places at once but particularly in Germany, during a time of threatened Islamic invasionĀ¹ which distracted German princes in particular. To some degree, the protest can be explained by the events of the previous two centuries in Western Europe.
3. The protest began when Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk and professor at the University of Wittenberg, called in 1517 for reopening of debate on the sale of indulgences. (Tradition holds that he nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle's Church, which served as a pin board for university-related announcements.)
4. Luther's dissent marked a sudden outbreak with new and irresistible force of discontent which had been pushed underground but not ...

Solution Summary

By responding to the three questions, this solution addresses aspects of the religious heterogeneity that Europe confronted after the Reformation (and the fracturing of Western Christianity) posed serious political, religious, and cultural dilemmas for Europeans.

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