What was the impact of Martin Luther and John Calvin? How did the Reformation of Protestantism Challenge the Roman Catholic Church and the hierarchy of Europeâs elite? How did this impact the decisions by early puritans to venture out and away from the Anglican Church (which was viewed as still imitating Catholicism) to North America and begin a new chapter in human civilization?
Martin Luther and John Calvin were two of the most important figures in the Protestant Reformation, a religious movement that challenged the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, which he nailed to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany, in 1517, sparked the Protestant Reformation. Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, published in 1536, was a systematic presentation of his theological views and became one of the most influential books of the Protestant Reformation.
The Protestant Reformation challenged the Roman Catholic Church on a number of issues, including:
- The authority of the Pope: Protestants believe that the Bible is the only source of religious authority, and they reject the Pope’s claim to be the head of the Church.
- The sale of indulgences:Â Indulgences are pardons for sins that can be bought from the Church. Protestants believe that indulgences are a corruption of the gospel, and they reject them.
- The Mass:Â The Mass is the central ritual of the Catholic Church. Protestants believe that the Mass is not a sacrifice, and they reject the idea of transubstantiation, which is the belief that the bread and wine of the Mass are literally transformed into the body and blood of Christ.
- The role of good works:Â Catholics believe that good works are necessary for salvation. Protestants believe that salvation is by grace alone, and they reject the idea that good works can earn salvation.
The Protestant Reformation also challenged the hierarchy of Europe’s elite. The Catholic Church was a powerful institution, and it was closely linked to the political and social order of Europe. The Protestant Reformation challenged the Church’s authority, and it opened up new possibilities for social and political change.
The early Puritans were a group of Protestants who were dissatisfied with the Church of England. They believed that the Church of England was still too Catholic, and they wanted to create a church that was based on the principles of the Protestant Reformation. The Puritans eventually migrated to North America, where they founded colonies such as Massachusetts Bay Colony and Plymouth Colony.
The decision by the early Puritans to venture out to North America was motivated by a number of factors, including:
- Religious freedom:Â The Puritans wanted to create a colony where they could practice their religion freely.
- Economic opportunity:Â The Puritans believed that they could find economic opportunity in North America.
- A desire for adventure:Â Some Puritans were simply seeking adventure and a new life in a new land.
The early Puritans played a significant role in the development of North America. They helped to establish the first permanent English colonies in North America, and they played a major role in the development of American democracy and culture.
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