The expression of both Classical (Greek and Roman) and Christian ideas during the time of Religious Reformations and Mannerism
Reformation is the change in cultural, political and social practices over a period of time. In the sixteenth century there was church reformation that resulted to creation of protestant churches. The Roman catholic church was dominant before reformation began, and was headed by a Pope. It was originally known as Classical which composed the Greek and Roman which the reformers were protesting against. Some of these reformers were Martin Luther and John Calvin. The reformers had a lot of base reasons to perform the reformations. The reformations faced different interpretation and reaction from both the Roman and the Protestants, that is they had different and clear expressions of ideas and facts. Mannerism is a way of life. The cultural ways and manners of both the Romans and the protestant were different and they changed over the reformation. These reformations created events whose effects are still effective till date and gave birth to ideas which are very much part of the modern world.
This essay discusses the church reformation, its causes, its impact and of importance the expression of ideas from both the Romans and the reformatted movement towards the reform and renewal with Christianity was religious in its concerns and consequently highly theological in its expressions. The reformation focused on a religious dimension. One of the major reformers was Martin Luther, whose reforming actions lasted long after his death. After the publication of of the 95 thesis, which contained the causes of the reformation, the religious movement and the reformed churches continued to spread. The reformers identified themselves as evangelicals and continued with their religious activities in communities that were part of the universal catholic church. In the later years, the term protestants were used in the already reformed evangelical churches. In the 17th century the reformed churches defined and separated themselves as separate and designated church bodies. As Wright states, the Roman Catholic church “maintained in the eighteenth century, despite the problems caused by Jansenism” ( p.187).
Reformation can be interpreted in different ways. A protestant historian regards reformation as a religious movement that aimed at ensuring the purity of the primitive Christianity, evidenced in the new testament of the Christian’s bible. However, this explanation leaves out the fact that other economic, political, social and intellectual factors helped facilitate the movement. Secular historians (people who do not believe in religion) consider secondary factors in their interpretation of the reformation. Some historians argue that reformation came upon as a result of the attempt of Roman Papacy to exploit the Germans economically, to the Papacy’s advantage. Political historians interpreted reformation as a result of nation state revolting, to them reformation was simply a political event caused by increase in nationalism.
Various events and factors came together to make reformation a reality. By 1500, the foundations of the old society were fading and a new society with changing political, economic, intellectual and religious behavior was slowly coming to place. The changes were historical as to be revolutionary both in their extent and their impact upon their order.
Some of the factors that facilitated reformation were, to begin with political factors. Views were changing in political realism. Independent states greatly opposed the domination by a Universal state (Roman Catholic) and a universal religious leader (Pope).Therefore, these states were willing to support reformation to increase control over the National Church. This resulted to emergence of nation states each of which was insistent on their own independence and sovereignty. Economic change also facilitated reformation. In the middle ages, the economy of Europe’s countries was agricultural and wealth was rated on the basis on land. By 1500 the economy developed to money economy. A Lot of middle-class merchants emerged, and they began supporting the reformation by giving out wealth and resources in churches. They engaged in reformation rather than give their wealth to the international church. Social changes affected reformation in that by 1500, merchants rose from low society class to higher social ranks. Merchants became more dominant and prominent in the society. The strong middle-class merchants supported changes suggested by the reformers because they anticipated benefiting from these changes. These facilitated protestant reformations. Religious changes influenced reformation, where the Roman authority church was replaced by the bible’s authority, which the individual believer could read freely. The individual believer would now conduct their own religious life. The reformers found these better than the Roman Catholic way. Notably, the effects of reformation “fails to come to terms with the radical divisiveness, violence and destructiveness of the Reformation experience” (Greengrass p578).
The Roman catholic church responded through counter reformation or in other worlds catholic reformation. This was in response to the protestant reformation movements. The catholic reformation movement aimed at reform the catholic church as well as protect its traditions and beliefs against the protestant theology. The catholic reformation was quite different from the protestant movement as it mainly involved structural reconfiguration and Spiritual movement. Both reformation movements involved people expressing their views and belief.
Church reformation led to changes in the church and emergence of other religious groups such as Protestants and the Christian group. Its effect and impact is felt to date as it led to change in religious beliefs and practices as well as mannerism. A lot of factors led to reformation and it faced different reactions and expressions from both the Catholics and the Protestants. As noted, diversity in beliefs is on the rise. Individuals have different believes. Therefore, church reformation resulted to notable effects within the church system.
Greengrass, Mark. “The Reformation (2016); or, Religious Change in Early Modern Europe from a Safe Distance.” History 100.342 (2015): 573-583.
Wright, Anthony D. The Counter-Reformation: Catholic Europe and the Non-Christian World. Routledge, 2017.