Protestant Reformation

Essay by luiss009 May 2006

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Religion is a predominant force in our world today. It also had a strong impact on the lives of those alive during the Protestant Reformation. Many changes were brought along by this historical chain of events.

Recently, many incidents have occurred to change the way people view religion. Examples include the Holocaust and, more recently, the Branch-Davidians in Waco, Texas. Even a more spectacular event in history occurred when a group of people decided that just because everyone around them had said it was so, that did not mean that they should blindly follow this idea. The Reformation was led in three different countries by three different men who varied in the reasons for their country's need for reformation.

"The Reformation was an attempt to recover a lost golden age of primitive purity as set forth in the Bible. This search for the primitive purity led to some very impure acts by some on the quest to regain this cleanliness" (Gonzalez 31).

The origin of the word "Protestant" roots back to an event that took place nearly a half-millennium ago in April of 1529. At an assembly of political and religious leaders, a protest was read against the accustomed traditions of Roman Catholicism. The protesters, who consisted of fourteen free German cities and six Lutheran princes, read their complaint to those in attendance at the assembly known as the Diet of Speyer. The assembly itself contained Roman Catholic princes of Germany and the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. "The challengers of the previously untouchable Catholic dogmas stated that if they were forced to choose between obedience to God and obedience to Caesar, they would unanimously choose in favor of God" (Gottfried 4). The Diet was not delighted to hear such slander against everything their country stood for. "This milestone...