Protestant Reformation Occurred As a Reaction to Essay

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Protestant Reformation occurred as a reaction to the increasing encroachment of the Catholic Church on the political, social, and economic affairs of Europeans. Although the Protestant Reformation had a strong theological and doctrinal component, it would evolve into a major turning point in history that transcended religion. The Protestant Reformation was essentially a protest made in order to reform the heart of Christianity.

It began when Martin Luther nailed 95 theses, or statements, on the door of a Church in Wittenberg, Germany. These assertions held in part that the Pope did not have absolute authority over interpreting the will or word of God. People -- ordinary believers -- could read the Bible and therefore interpret the Truth for themselves. Moreover, Luther "maintained that justification (salvation) was granted by faith alone; good works and the sacraments were not necessary in order to be saved," ("Protestant Reformation," n.d.). The Protestant doctrine that emerged rejected the selling of pardons, which was widely believed to be a corrupt Church practice.
These fundamental tenets remain part and parcel of the Protestant faiths.

More importantly than what it did for Christian life, the Protestant Reformation also changed the social, cultural, and political character of Europe. It coincided with a revolution in public consciousness, a great awakening that caused individuals to question the hierarchical authorities of Church and State. The Enlightenment soon followed, inspiring people to pursue truth through science and reason, rather than through religion. Similarly, the Reformation and the Enlightenment both spawned the modern era of democratic politics. The invention of the Gutenberg Press occurred around the same time, solidifying the core beliefs of Protestantism that it was not only okay but desirable for laypeople to read the Bible themselves. Prior to the press, the clergy and other elite cadre were the….....

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