Cause - Course - Consequence

The Reformation was the political, religious, cultural, and intellectual mayhem that spilt Catholic Europe and set in place the structures and beliefs that would expound the continent in the modern age.


The Bible In Vernacular Language

St. Jerome translated the Bible into Latin, and then translated it into vernacular language. By vernacular language, he meant the language of the common people, not profanity. St. Jerome's intent was that people were able to read and understand the Bible. In a thousand years or so, the Bible in vulgar Language became the official language of the Catholic Church.

Papal Insignia

The Papal insignia was a representation of the keys to the kingdom of Heaven. It is said that, Jesus gave the keys to St. Peter and passed it down, through many people, to the current Pope; therefore the Pope's authority came straight from Jesus. But this caused the Catholic Church to have a religious monopoly and the monopolies caused the Church to be a bit off.

The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church had become the main governing authority in Europe, but also started to disconnect from the average person and from other classes because of the corruption that was occurring within the church. The Catholic Church started to corrupt because of simony, nepotism, absenteeism, uneducated priests, and the sale of indulgences.

Left: Simony Right: Indulgences

Simony was the sale of church offices and nepotism was the giving of church offices to one's family members. Absenteeism became a problem in the church, because sometimes someone from the congregation would go to the church but, no one would be there including the priest. If a priest(s) were present, they were probably not educated; and that created a problem because they were not able to read and understand the Bible. Sometimes a priest would get their position because of the people they knew, and not because of the priests' merit. Indulgences were a major problem due to the Pope acting on Christ's authority as his vicar. The pope thought he had the authority to forgive sins and the forgiveness were being sold by indulgences.

The Printing Press

The printing press was created by a man named, Johannes Gutenberg. Instead of hand-coping the things that you write over and over, it allowed the people to take it to the local printer and be able to get hundreds of copies. The printing press allowed people to spread opinions and ideas that were contrary of the Church's teachings and made it harder to silence the people who had those contrary opinions. The first major work that was printed was the Gutenberg Bible, and created 180 copies of it, that were people were able to get their hands on.

Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his “Ninety-Five Theses” in Wittenberg, Germany on the door of the Castle Church. These written theses were a list of proclamations that conveyed and demonstrated Luther’s concern regarding the practices that took place within the church and the corruption that was happening.


During the Protestant Reformation there were many different beliefs that were spreading among eastern Europe. There were many different peoples ideas and belief that came in to play and played an important role throughout this time period.

Martin Luther

Luther during the Reformation was important because he was the one who basically stopped the corruption in the church. He disagreed with the ideas of indulgences and because of that he creates this 95 these which is is 95 arguments against indulgences of the church.

Diet of Worms

The Diet of worms was a result to Luther's 95 these. At that time Charles V was the Holy Roman Emperor, where he gathered a council in the city of Vorms in Germany. Charles V summoned Luther and giving him the option of a safe passage and wont be arrested if he testifies in front of the council.

Zurich Zwingli

Zwingli's ideas were very similar to those of Luther. He looked to scripture as the sole authority, not the church. He differed from Luther in Eucharist, Luther believed flesh + blood of Christ presents in the bread + wine, and Zwingli believed Flesh + blood of Christ symbolized by the bread + wine. He also believed in Anabaptism- which was that baptism must not take place in infancy, but later in life as a conscientious faith.

John Calvin

Calvin also played an important role during the Reformation. He believed in the doctrine of predestination- Which was the idea that the elect is chosen by God and an individual's actions do not determine ones will, and that God choses who will go to heaven even before they are born. He wrote the Institutes of Christian Religion where he combines scripture and logic.

John Wycliff

Wycliffe was important because he translated the Bible into english which what we now as the King James version of the Bible. It was important for the Bible to be translated so people were able to read the Bible themselves instead of relying on others. The importance for others to read the Bible themselves were because of the fact that there were so many churches and popes around Europe and there were so many people that could not read, what the pope said, the common people would believe. The danger of that is that the some popes would interpret the Bible wrong and if they interpreted it wrong for themselves the message coming from the pope would be wrong to the common individual.

William Tyndale

English scholar who became a leading figure in Protestant reform in the years leading up to his execution. He is well known for his translation of the Bible into English.

Max Weber

Max Weber was a German sociologist and political economist who is best known for his theory of the development of Western capitalism that is based on the "Protestant Ethic." In addition, Weber wrote widely on law and religion, including groundbreaking work on the importance of bureaucracy in modern society.

John Huss

the most important 15th-century Czech religious Reformer, whose work was transitional between the medieval and the Reformation periods and anticipated the Lutheran Reformation by a full century. He was embroiled in the bitter controversy of the Western Schism (1378–1417) for his entire career, and he was convicted of heresy at the Council of Constance and burned at the stake.


Iconoclasm was the destruction or removal of statues and painting from churches. The reason that some of these arts were destroyed by there donors were because they represent religiously that which they now reject as unbiblical. But iconoclasm was not just a bad thing because it created a new style of art called baroque.


Art in the beginning of the reformation began to take a wrong turn and began to look similar to the Renaissance, but throughout the Reformation we see the change in art from a secular view to a more Biblical view.

  • Rembrandt: Dutch Baroque painter and printmaker, one of the greatest storytellers in the history of art. Rembrandt is also known as a painter of light and shade and as an artist who favored an uncompromising realism that would lead some critics to claim that he preferred ugliness to beauty. He also liked to paint himself in to some of his arts.
  • Albrecht Durer: Painter, printmaker, and theorist of the German Renaissance. He also established his reputation and influence across Europe when he was still in his twenties, due to his high-quality woodcut prints
  • Bernini: Italian artist who was perhaps the greatest sculptor of the 17th century and an outstanding architect as well. Bernini created the Baroque style of sculpture and developed it to such an extent that other artists are of only minor importance in a discussion of that style.
  • Peter Paul Reubens: Flemish/Netherlandish draughtsman and painter. He is widely considered as the most notable artist of Flemish Baroque art school.
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder: German renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcarving and engraving. He was court painter to the Electors of Saxony for most of his career, and is known for his portraits, both of German princes and those of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation, whose because he embraced with enthusiasm, becoming a close friend of Martin Luther. He also painted religious subjects, first in the Catholic tradition, and later trying to find new ways of conveying Lutheran religious concerns in art.
  • El Greco/The Burial of Count Orgaz: painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance.


Music became very popular during the reformation it becomes vastly known in the church and we see that through a two prominent musicians.

  • Johann Sebastian Bach: One of the most magnificent baroque-era composer that is revered through the ages for his work's musical complexities and stylistic innovations.
  • Georg Friedrich Handel: German-born English composer of the late Baroque era, noted particularly for his operas, oratorios, and instrumental compositions. He wrote the most famous of all oratorios, Messiah (1741), and is also known for such occasional pieces as Water Music (1717) and Music for the Royal Fireworks (1749).



Because of the lack of support for the catholic church, the church was no longer the singular governing power over the western world. Countries such as England saw the Reformation as a opportunity to leave the Catholic Church. Also since the Catholic Church was no longer in complete control many different individuals were able to begin to contribute to politics and society.


During the Reformation the Bible was changed in to many different vernacular languages. Because of this ability to be able to read the Bible education became very important. People also no longer relied to the clergy to teach them about God because they could no read the Bible for themselves. This allowed the common people to be able to talk to one another about God. Lastly the Reformation changed society because it cause a breakdown of Feudalism.


The Reformation changed religion in three areas. The first area was that individuals were now able to read the Bible on their own and take control of their own faith. They no longer relied on the clergy to interpret the Bible for them. Because people were now able to read the Bible for themselves this allowed room for different interpretations of it. This then lead to the second area which was the start of different denominations. Today there are many different denominations. The last area is the the change in doctrine. The Protestants believed in the Five Solas. This new doctrine has shaped many Christian denominations.


The main goal of the Reformation was to stop the buying and selling of indulgences. The Reformers did partially succeed in this goal. Because of this the amount of money going into the Catholic Church decreased.


The Catholic Church combated the Reformation with a Counter-Reformation. During this Counter-Reformation the baroque style came about. The baroque style is all about over romanticizing everything.

By: Destiny, Tiffany & Kelsi


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