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Cover Slide

A History of Western
Society

Chapter 14
Reform and Renewal in
the Christian Church

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The Condition of the Church (ca 1400–1517)
A. Signs of Disorder
1. Clerical immorality⎯priests frequently violated their
vows of celibacy. They were also accused of
drunkenness, gambling, and other vices.
2. Clerical ignorance⎯many priests could barely read or
write. They were less educated than most educated laity.
3. Clerical absenteeism and pluralism⎯especially in
higher-level Church officials who were often absent
from their sees. Many held more than one office at a
time, and some had bought their offices.
4. Many Italian officials in Rome held benefices in
England, France, or Germany, drawing income
therefrom, but doing little for their sees.
5. Upper levels of the Church hierarchy were dominated by
aristocrats who lived well.
Lieferinxe, Pilgrims at the Tomb of St. Sebastian

Lieferinxe, Pilgrims at the Tomb of St.


Sebastian
Josse Lieferinxe, a French painter of the
Provencal school, was active in
Marseilles from 1493 to 1508. This
ancon (devotional object), decorated
with eight scenes from the life of St.
Sebastian, was commissioned in 1497
for the church of Notre Dame des
Accoules in Marseilles. Lieferinxe took
over the painting when the original artist
died before finishing the work. This
panel was from the right section of the
great ancon. Here we see Christians,
especially those who are ill or
handicapped, flocking to the Tomb of St.
Sebastian. (Scala/Art Resource, NY)

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Matthias Gerung, Folly of Indulgences

Matthias Gerung, Folly of Indulgences


In this woodcut by Matthias Gerung
(Spottblatt auf die katholische
Geistlichkeit) the sale of indulgences is
viciously satirized. With one claw in the
holy water symbolizing the rite of
purification, and the other claw resting
on the coins paid for indulgences, the
church, in the form of a rapacious eagle
with its right hand stretched out for
offerings, writes out an indulgence with
excrement--which represents its worth.
Fools, in a false security, sit in the
animal's gaping mouth, representing hell.
(Kunstsammlung der Veste Coburg)

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I. The Condition of the Church
(ca 1400–1517)
B.Signs of Vitality
1. In Holland the Brethren of the Common Life lived
simply, aided the poor, and taught in local schools.
2. Church attendance and church donations remained
high.
3. Pope Julius II summoned an ecumenical council to
discuss Church reform (1512–1517).
II. Martin Luther and the Birth of
Protestantism
A. Luther’s Early Years
1.Luther was a conscientious friar, but
observance of the religious routine did not
bring him a sense of security in salvation.
2.Eventually he concluded that only simple
faith in Christ led to salvation.
Martin Luther and the Birth of Protestantism
B. The Ninety-five Theses
1. In Luther’s home of Wittenburg in 1517 the Church was selling
indulgences to raise money for the construction of St. Peter’s
Basilica in Rome
2. By the 1500s common people believed that when they purchased
an indulgence, they were purchasing from the Church full
remission of penalties for sin.
3. Luther rejected the notion that good works, such as donating
money to the Church through an indulgence, could lead to
salvation. He was disturbed that Church friars were misleading
the common people and wrote to his archbishop in protest.
4. In 1519 Luther challenged the authority of the Pope (and of a
general church council) in public debate. He was
excommunicated.
5. Holy Roman Emperor Charles V declared Luther an outlaw, but
Duke Frederick of Saxony sheltered him.
6. Ulrich Zwingli, a Swiss priest, joined the Reformation in 1519,
denouncing indulgences, monasticism, and celibacy. Like Luther,
Zwingli insisted the laity should read the Bible.
Martin Luther and the Birth of Protestantism
C.Protestant Thought
1. Luther maintained that God’s grace alone, without
any element of individual good works, saved people.
2. Luther held that religious authority resided in
Scripture alone, not Scripture in combination with
traditional Church teachings.
3. Luther asserted that the Church consisted of the
whole community of believers, not just the clergy.
4. Luther argued that all vocations were equally holy,
and that monasticism was not a higher vocation.
5. Luther emphasized the invisible Church of all
believers, not the visible hierarchy culminating in the
Pope.
Martin Luther and the Birth of Protestantism
6.Luther argued that there were only two, not
seven, sacraments⎯baptism, and the Eucharist.
7.The Catholic Church claimed
transubstantiation⎯that is, that the bread and
wine of the Eucharist literally became Christ’s
body and blood—but Luther disagreed.
a)Luther argued for consubstantiation⎯that
Christ was really present in the host in spirit, but
that the bread and wine were not transformed.
b)John Calvin believed with Luther in
consubstantiation.
Martin Luther and the Birth of Protestantism
D. The Social Impact of Luther’s Beliefs
1. Even before Luther city governments in Germany had
been expressing resentment of clerical privilege and
immunities.
2. Even before Luther town burghers, disgusted with the
poor quality of priestly teaching, had endowed
preacherships to support good preachers.
3. Luther’s writing that “a Christian man is the most free
lord of all” contributed to peasant unrest in Germany.
4. Following crop failures in 1523 and 1524, Swabian
peasants in 1525 demanded an end to death taxes, new
rents, and noble seizure of village common lands.
5. Luther initially backed the peasants.
Martin Luther and the Birth of Protestantism
6. When the peasants turned to violence, however, Luther
egged the lords on as they crushed the rebellions.
7. Lutheranism came to exalt the state and subordinate
church to the secular rulers.
8. Luther owed his success to the printing press, which
helped him to spread his message, and to his own
rhetorical skill.
9. Luther’s claim that all vocations have equal merit, the
Protestant rejection of monasticism and celibacy, the
insistence that all laity (including women) should read
the Bible, and Luther’s acceptance of sexual desire
(within marriage) all contributed to some improvement in
women’s circumstances.
Luther and his wife Katherine

Luther and his wife Katherine


Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) is known for his portraits. He painted the dual
portraits of Martin Luther and his wife Katharine von Bora, who married in 1525 and
had an exceptionally happy union. (Scala/Art Resource, NY)
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Germany and the Protestant
A. The Rise of the Habsburg Dynasty
Reformation
1. In 1477 the marriage of Maximilian I of the House of Habsburg
and Mary of Burgundy united the Austrian Empire with Burgundy
and the Netherlands, making the Habsburgs the strongest ruling
family in the Holy Roman (German) Empire.
2. The Habsburg Charles V (1500–1558) inherited Spain, and
Spanish possessions in Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia, in addition to
the lands mentioned above.
3. In 1519 Charles was elected Holy Roman Emperor. He believed
that it was his duty to maintain the unity of Christendom.
4. Many German princes converted to Lutheranism because it
allowed them to seize Church property.
5. Charles V focused his attention elsewhere, and he needed the help
of Protestant princes—for example, to fight off the Turkish attack
on Vienna in 1529.
6. Between 1521 and 1555 Charles V fought a series of wars with
France over Burgundy. The French supported Lutheran princes
within Germany against Charles.
7. In the Peace of Augsburg (1555) Charles accepted the religious
status quo in Germany.
The Growth of the Protestant Reformation
A. Calvinism
1. Much of northern Europe broke with the Roman Church by 1555.
2. Calvinism was the most important new form of Protestantism.
3. Proceeding from the idea of God’s absolute sovereignty and his
omnipotence, the founder of Calvinism, John Calvin, concluded
that human beings could do nothing to save themselves. God
decided at the beginning of time who would be saved and who
would not (predestination).
4. Predestination did not lead to fatalism. Rather, Calvinists,
convinced they were saved, were ready to endure great hardship in
the struggle against evil.
5. Calvin and the city government of Geneva attempted to regulate
people’s conduct in order to create a godly city on earth. Card
playing, dancing, and so on were banned.
6. The Genevan government prosecuted heretics, burning fifty-eight
at the stake between 1542 and 1546, including the Spanish heretic
Servetus.
7. The Calvinist ethic of “the calling” glorified all vocations as
pleasing to God. This doctrine encouraged hard work and vigorous
activism.
John Calvin

John Calvin
John Calvin's theology was in most
respects similar to Luther's. Both
reformers gave primary importance to
the authority of the Bible and to the idea
of predestination. This portrait of John
Calvin is attributed to the German artist
Hans Holbein the Younger (ca. 1497-
1543). It was painted around 1538, when
the 29-year-old reformer was at the
beginning of his career in Geneva, where
he stayed to participate in the reform of
the city, and then remained for the rest of
his life. (H. Henry Meeter Center for
Calvin Studies, Calvin College and
Calvin Theological Semnary)

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Calvinist worship

Calvinist worship
This painting, the Temple of
Lyons, was attributed to Jean
Perrissin (ca. 1565). The temple was
constructed in 1564 on land near the
town hall and paid for by the
Protestant community of Lyons. This
picture of a simple Calvinist service
was probably brought to Geneva by a
refugee, for the temple disappeared
after the revocation of the Edict of
Nantes. Although Calvin's followers
believed in equality and elected
officials administered the church, here
men and women are segregated.
Beside the pulpit an hourglass hangs
to time the preacher's sermon.
(Bibliotheque publique et
universitaire, Geneva)

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The Growth of the Protestant
Reformation

B.The Anabaptists
1. Anabaptists believed in adult baptism, religious
tolerance, and separation of church and state. They
shared property and admitted women as ministers.
2. Catholics, Lutherans, Calvinists, and Zwinglians
all recognized the doctrine of separation of church
and state as pointing toward a secular society, and
they persecuted Anabaptists.
The Growth of the Protestant
Reformation
C. The English Reformation
1. The Catholic Church was vigorous in early sixteenth century
England and there was less of a gap between clergy and educated
laypeople than elsewhere in Europe.
2. In 1534, in order to legitimize his divorce and subsequent
marriage to Anne Boleyn, English King Henry VIII convinced
Parliament to approve the Act of Supremacy, making him head of
the English Church.
3. Later, Henry seized monasteries and distributed their lands to the
upper classes.
4. Elizabeth I (r. 1558–1603), daughter of Henry VIII, steered a
middle course between Catholicism and the “Puritans” who
wanted a “pure” church free of Catholic influences.
Holbein, portrait of Henry VIII

Holbein, portrait of Henry VIII


This portrait of Henry VIII, painted by
Hans Holbein the Younger in 1540, is
the best known of all of Henry's
portraits. Although the king is painted
half-length, Holbein has successfully
captured Henry's regal bearing, finely
detailed dress, the impact of his 6′2"
frame, and his imperturbable, aloof
expression. (Scala/Art Resource, NY)

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The Growth of the Protestant
Reformation
D. The Establishment of the Church of Scotland
1. Scottish nobles tended to support the Reformation,
while the monarchs, King James V and his
daughter Mary (r. 1560–1567), opposed it.
2. James Knox, a minister who studied in Geneva
with Calvin, was instrumental in getting the
Scottish Parliament to set up a Calvinist church as
the official state church of Scotland
(Presbyterianism).
The Growth of the Protestant
Reformation
E. Protestantism in Ireland
1. Although the English tried to impose their church
on Ireland, the Irish resisted and remained Roman
Catholic.
F. Lutheranism in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark
1. In Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, monarchs took
the lead in initiating the Reformation.
2. The sixteenth century saw the establishment of
Lutheranism and the consolidation of the Swedish
monarchy.
3. Christian III of Denmark and Norway secularized
church property and set up a Lutheran church.
The Growth of the Protestant Reformation
G. The Reformation in Eastern Europe
1. Ethnic factors shaped the Reformation in Eastern Europe.
2. During the Counter-Reformation, a Catholic revival was
promoted in Bohemia.
3. By 1500 Poland and Lithuania were joined in a dynastic union.
4. Luther’s ideas spread to the Baltic towns and then to the
University of Cracow.
5. King Sigismund I of Poland banned Luther’s teachings,
limiting its success there.
6. Many Polish found Calvinism appealing.
7. The Counter-Reformation cemented the identification of
Poland with Catholicism.
8. Lutheranism reached Hungary via Polish merchants.
The Catholic Reformation and the
Counter-Reformation
A. The Slowness of Institutional Reform
1. Preoccupation with the Habsburg-Valois wars and resistance to
the idea of a council kept the popes from acting quickly to deal
with the Reformation.
B. The Council of Trent
1. The Council of Trent (1545–1563) reaffirmed the equal authority
of Scripture and of Church tradition. It reaffirmed also the seven
sacraments and transubstantiation.
2. The Council required bishops to reside in their own dioceses,
ended pluralism and simony, and forbade the sale of indulgences.
3. The Council ordered that for a marriage to be valid the vows had
to be exchanged publicly.
Council of Trent, School of Titian

Council of Trent, School of Titian


This sixteenth-century painting by the School of Titian depicts a well-attended meeting of the
Council of Trent. Since the early sessions were sparsely attended, this meeting seems to be a
later session. Few bishops from northern Europe, however, ever attended. The Swiss guards
(forefront) of the Vatican were founded by Pope Julius II in 1505 to defend the papacy.
(Louvre/R.M.N./Art Resource, NY)
The Catholic Reformation and the
Counter-Reformation
C. New Religious Orders
1. The new order of Ursuline nuns fought heresy with religious education
for girls.
2. Ignatius of Loyola founded the Jesuit order to fight the Reformation,
again largely through education.
D. The Congregation of the Holy Office
1. In 1542 Pope Paul III created the Sacred Congregation of the Holy
Office to manage the Roman Inquisition’s battle against heresy.
2. The Inquisition was a committee of six cardinals with authority to
investigate, judge, and punish heretics. They had authority to execute.
E. The Reformations: Revolution or Continuity?
1. Protestant historians stress that the Reformation was a radical break with
the past, as the Church fragmented.
2. Catholic historians stress continuity, noting the reform efforts underway
in the Church well before the Protestant Reformation that continued
after it had taken hold.
Pope approves Jesuit constitutions

Pope approves Jesuit constitutions


Juan de Valdes Leal (Spanish; active
mainly in Seville and Cordoba) was
famous for grimly moralizing subjects.
He also created moving religious
paintings and fine portraits. This
portrait of Ignatius Loyola is a
reasonable likeness and that of Pope
Paul III an idealization; in 1540 he was
a very old man. When the Jesuit
constitutions were read to him, the pope
supposedly murmured, "There is the
finger of God." (Institut Amatller d’Art
Hispanic)

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Coronation of Charles V in Bologna

Coronation of Charles V in Bologna


Pope Clement VII's coronation of
Charles V as emperor of the Holy
Roman empire on February 24, 1530,
shown in this painting, added a
significant dimension to Charles's
formidable stature. Charles grips a sword
and an orb, symbols of the political and
military power he already holds. The
ceremony took place in San Petronio, a
church remodeled during the
Renaissance to recall the architecture of
the Roman Empire. (Scala/Art Resource,
NY)

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Cranach, Luther and the Wittenberg Reformers

Cranach, Luther and the Wittenberg


Reformers
The massive figure of John Frederick,
Elector of Saxony, who protected and
supported Luther, dominates this group
portrait of Martin Luther and the
Wittenberg Reformers by Lucas Cranach
the Younger. Luther is on the far left; his
associate Philipp Melanchthon is in the
front row on the right. Luther's face
shows a quiet determination. (The
Toledo Museum of Art, Gift of Edward
Drummond Libbey)

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Cranach, True Church and False

Cranach, True Church and False


This woodcut by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) was designed to make clear
the distinction between the evangelical church and the papacy. On one side Christ
and his sacrifice are clearly at the center; on the other the pope and innumerable
church officials are caught in the flames of hell. (Kunstsammlung, Dresden)

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Everyday Holy Household

Everyday Holy Household


One of the most popular ideas among Protestants was that true religion should be
taught and preserved in the Christian family, presided over by the father. The detail
in this painting shows not only the interior of a Flemish home but also the role of the
father and the symbolic importance of meals eaten together. (The Shakespeare
Birthplace Trust)
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Henry VIII on deathbed

Henry VIII on deathbed


In this allegorical painting by an unknown artist, Henry VIII, on his deathbed, points to his
heir, Edward, who is surrounded by Protestant worthies, as the wave of the future. The pope
collapses, monks flee, and through the window iconoclasts knock down statues, symbolizing
terror and superstition. Since the new order lacked broad popular support, propagandistic
paintings like this were meant to sway public opinion. (Reproduced by courtesy of the
Trustees, National Portrait Gallery, London)
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Peasant Freedom

Peasant Freedom
The German peasants believed Martin
Luther's call for individual freedom of
conscience included economic and
political freedom. Their revolt of 1524-
1525 struck terror in the hearts of
German rulers. This sixteenth-century
German woodcut--the title page of an
anonymous pamphlet from the Peasants'
War, 1525--shows that the peasant army
was lightly armed; many peasants
carried only tools, pitchforks, flails, and
scythes.

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Pierre Virer preaching before Calvin

Pierre Virer preaching before Calvin


Another great reformer, the Swiss Pierre
Viret (1511-71) exercised his ministry at
Orbe, Payerne, and Lausanne before
taking refuge in Geneva. In this Limoges
enamel plaque, Viret preaches before
Calvin and others on the fourth petition
of the Lord's Prayer, "Give us this day
our daily bread." (Louvre/R.M.N./Art
Resource, NY)

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St. Sebastian and the Plague-stricken

St. Sebastian and the Plague-stricken


In his painting St. Sebastian Interceding
for the Plague-Stricken, the Flemish
artist Josse Lieferinxe portrays an
outbreak of the plague. One dying man
seems to be falling terrified to the
ground while a female bystander in the
background screams in alarm. In the
foreground the body of a dead person,
carefully shrouded, is attended by a
priest and other clerics bearing a cross.
In the background is a cart transporting
the dead to common graves. At the top
of the painting, Christ listens to the
prayers of Saint Sebastian (pierced by
arrows). (The Walters Art Gallery,
Baltimore)

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Teresa of Avila

Teresa of Avila
Between 1562 and her death in 1582, Teresa
of Avila founded or reformed fourteen houses
of nuns--no small feat for a woman in a very
sexist society. She was the first spiritual
author to provide a scientific description of
the life of prayer, from simple meditation to
mystical union with God. But for all her
mystical experiences, Teresa was a motherly,
practical, and down-to-earth woman with a
strong sense of humor. In her late thirties
Teresa had profound mystical experiences:
she heard voices and had visions in which
Christ chastised her for her frivolous life and
friends. This seventeenth-century cloisonne
enamelwork illustrates one of Teresa of
Avila's visions, where an angel seems to
pierce her heart several times. (By gracious
permission of Catherine Hamilton Kappauf)

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Chapter 14 Discussion Questions
1. Why did Protestantism and capitalism
complement each other?
2. How did the Society of Jesus combat the
influence of Protestantism?
3. What were Luther’s views on marriage and
sexuality?
4. Why did Henry VIII try to purge England of
monastic communities?
5. What role did the printing press play in the
Protestant Reformation?