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The Reformation of Christianity in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

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It was not until the 16th century that eminent cracks developed among the followers and leaders of the church resulting to reformations within the church2Reformation of Christianity can thus be termed as a religious revolution that that took place in the 16th century. The greatest leaders of reformation were Martin Luther and John Calvin. With highly developed social, economic and political effects, the Reformation became the foundational basis of the Protestantism that is one of the branches of Christianity. Reformation in the late medieval Europe resulted from a complex intricate of the factor with the office of the papacy pointed as the pinnacle of the genesis of the Reformation.

Over the years before actualization of Reformation ideas, the office of the papacy had become deeply involved in the political affairs of the Western Europe3.The increased wealth and power of the church and political manipulations in the affairs of the Western Europe diminished the position of the church as a spiritual force. Abuses such as the sale of spiritual privileges and corruption among the clergy further undermined the respect of the church as a spiritual authority.

Despite the clear failures of the church, the Catholic faith still enjoyed unprecedented support and followership by the majority in Europe. The 16th century Reformation was a presidential factor with the reformers within the medieval church such as St. Francis of Assisi addressing aspects in the divergence of the faith of the church before 1517. At the onset of the 16th century, Erasmus of Rotterdam, who was a humanistic scholar, was among the chief proponents of liberal Catholic reforms. He attacked the popular superstition in the church and questioned the limitations of Christ as the supreme moral teacher.

The advocacy for liberalism within the Church is a pointer to the ongoing concern of renewal within the church even before the years of Protestantism4.Martin Luther claimed that the distinguishing factor between himself and the early reformers of the church was that, while the others attacked corruption in the life of the church, he looked at the theological root of the problem.

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preview essay on The Reformation of Christianity in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe
  • Pages: 8 (2000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: History
  • Level: Masters
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