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Essay On English Reformation

The English Reformation Essay

The book I chose to review for this assignment is entitled The English Reformation by author A. G. Dickens. The book describes the processes that led to religious transformations and provides an excellent overview on the Reformation in England. The work thoroughly analyzes the political, economical and social aspects of the Reformation in the sixteenth century. The English Reformation, first published in 1964 is a great source of information for anyone who is interested in the history of the religious transition and change.
The author of The English Reformation aims to analyze and explain the complex processes that have taken place during the reign of Henry VIII and his successors. He investigates the background and defines conditions for the religious transformation. A. G. Dickens set out to carefully examine the complex processes of the English Reformation by describing the state of the religious affairs in the late medieval England. He believes that traditional catholic religion was to some extent based on superstitious beliefs and folk‘s legends. He begins his book by telling a story of a knight who robs passing travelers but maintains a pious vigil to Virgin Mary. His devotion to Holy Mother professed by his daily prayers saves him physically and spiritually. The knight is warned of the mortal danger and allowed to change his conducts. It seems that these kinds of legends mixed with Christian sentiments were commonly absorbed by people. A. G. Dickens writes: “…its effort to attain salvation through devout observance, its fantastic emphasis on saints, relics and pilgrimages...” (4). These views were contrasted with the ideas of Lollards and the teachings of John Wycliffe. Their emphasis on sole authority of the Scriptures from which they wanted to recover an authentic sense of the person and spirit of Jesus clashed with the view that equals the church tradition with that of the Scriptures (25). At the end, the church prosecution, the lack of national organization and the proletarian character of Lollardy stifled the movement (32, 25). However, the Lollards helped further the protestant cause in the following decades by individualizing the relationship with God. Their contribution was seen as an early dissent from which the English Reformation could ascend. Their ideas and criticism were not forgotten by the later reformers (36). The author states: "Conversely, by this time Protestant intellectuals had begun to see Lollard writings as serviceable additions to their arsenal of Reformation-propaganda.”(37). The book examines and explains all the forces that fueled the English Reformation. We learn that the royal divorce was not the only cause for the religious transformation. The conflict between the church and state began much earlier and had a distinctively national character. The ideas of Protestant Reformers combined with Henry’s dynastic concerns and expanding influence of Spain spurred the English...

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Reasons for the Reformation in England Essay

1958 Words8 Pages

Before the reformation the only church that existed was the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church was extremely powerful at the start of the 16th Century. It had many followers covering a large proportion of the world, the area being called Christendom, which was classed as the Catholic community. The Church was the largest employer with large numbers of farm workers, servants and builders. The church ran most of the few schools and hospitals. Some of the pupils from the schools grew up to become monks or priests. The churches taught people how to behave in almost everything they did. Some of their power came from, the amount of money gained from selling indulgences that were claimed to reduce the time in purgatory.
Conversely…show more content…

Priests were betting. Priests were handing off beggars outside the door of the Church instead of helping them. Priests were lying. When giving out readings and talking to people during Church services the priests were speaking in Latin. This was very bad as all of the people listening to the priests were English so they couldn’t understand a word. The priests were buying idols of god.
“Martin Luther was a monk from Wittenberg, Germany. He began to criticise the power and corruption of the church in 1517. He demanded a reform of the church immediately.” Williams 2004.
The reformation began on 31st October, 1517 in Wittenberg, Saxony. This was the day Martin Luther nailed his Theses to the door of the All Saints’ Church. Martin Luther was a heretic. Heretics are people who are against the Roman Catholic Church. The church door served as the town’s notice board for university related announcements. The Ninety Five Theses was a list of 95 things that criticized the church and the pope.
“One very powerful supported of Luther was the Duke of Saxony. He insisted that the pope should send someone to Germany to answer Luther’s arguments. In 1518 Cardinal Cajetan went to Augsburg to argue with Luther; but this only resulted in Luther growing even more far apart from the Catholic Church.” Yelland, 2004.
The Duke of Saxony wanted the Pope to send someone to Germany to address Luther’s arguments. Cardinal Cajetan was

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