Thesis: Roman Catholicism and the Reformation

Sample Thesis

Words 14,161

This is an excerpt from a thesis on Roman catholicism and the Reformation. The Reformation took place over the better part of a century and encompassed both religious and political changes of great significance.  This brief section will take the position that the Reformation was both a religious and a political phenomenon and that in both its forms and roles it was of enormous importance to the period in which it took place and to the subsequent history of mankind.

Scholars have often debated the question of whether the Protestant was a political or a religious phenomenon.  Hans J. Hillerbrand[1] has stated that there is no doubt that the Protestant Reformation was an occasion of dramatic change marking one of the greatest epochs in the history of Western civilization.  The Reformation took place over the better part of a century and encompassed both religious and political changes of great significance.  This brief section will take the position that the Reformation was both a religious and a political phenomenon and that in both its forms and roles it was of enormous importance to the period in which it took place and to the subsequent history of mankind.

Prior to the advent of the Reformation people were intensely religious; religion and religious observation occupied a central position in the lives of people of all classes, economic status, and position within society.[2] Writers and theologians like St. Ignatius of Loyola spent years developing a formal theology that could respond to all of the questions that man might ask regarding the nature of God, of religion, of being human, and of achieving salvation. According to Ignatius, the end goal of all of man’s actions ought to be the pursuit of salvation and the glorification of God.[3] The Roman Catholic Church was not only the dominant spiritual body and authority; it was also a major political authority as well, with significant and extensive influence over the actions of monarchs, nobles, and national governments.[4] Such matters as royal marriages, royal successions and crownings, international treaties and agreements, and domestic fiscal policy all came, to some degree or another, under the scrutiny and influence of the Church in general and the Pope, as titular head of the Church, in particular.

[1] Hillerbrand, Hans J., Editor.  The Protestant Reformation.  (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1968), pp. xi-iii.

[2] Hillerbrand, op cit., p. xiii.

[3] Mottola, Anthony, Translator.  The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. (New       York: Doubleday, 1964).

[4] Chowdorow, Stanley; Know, MacGregor; Schirokauer, Conrad; Strayer, Joseph, R.; & Gatzke, Hans W.  The Mainstream of Civilization to 1715.  (San Diego:  Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, 1989), p. 488- 489.

Kindly order custom made Essays, Term Papers, Research Papers, Thesis, Dissertation, Assignment, Book Reports, Reviews, Presentations, Projects, Case Studies, Coursework, Homework, Creative Writing, Critical Thinking, on the essay topic by clicking on the order page.

 

See also