Chapter 13 Reformation And Religious Warfare In The Sixteenth Century Pdf

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The Protestant Reformation led not only to ideological difference, but also to political discontent and social unrest. In France, it resulted in decades of confessional conflict and civil strife known as the Wars of Religion c. On the Protestant side, having rejected many aspects of Catholic devotion, the Huguenots sought to establish rights of worship in the face of widespread Catholic opposition.

Protestantism originated from the Protestation at Speyer in , where the nobility protested against enforcement of the Edict of Worms which subjected advocates of Lutheranism to forfeiture of all of their property. The earliest origin of Protestantism is controversial; with some Protestants today claiming origin back to groups in the early church deemed heretical such as the Montanists. Since the 16th century, major factors affecting Protestantism have been the Catholic Counter-Reformation which opposed it successfully especially in France, Spain and Italy. Then came an era of confessionalization followed by Rationalism, Pietism, and the Great Awakenings. Major movements today include Evangelicalism , mainline denominations , and Pentecostalism.

Reformation of the 16th Century - PHDessay.com

Confessional politics made it imperative for rulers to try to control the religious allegiances of their people, but the doctrine of conversion as a spiritual change made this theoretically impossible. The possibility of religious dissent, of converting away from the state-sanctioned denomination, made conversion an issue whose importance outweighed the actual number of converts.

Keywords: Reformation , religion , confessionalization , conversion , conformity , identity , persuasion , convert , Protestantism , Catholicism. Confessionalism and conversion are misleadingly straightforward terms. This dichotomy fails to capture the significance of these terms to the current historiography of the Reformation, however, and it is possible to argue that much of the most vital work in Reformation studies is concerned with the questions of identity that coalesce around notions of confessionalism, conversion and conformity.

It offered four models of how the Reformation happened: rapid from above i. Nor did the historical works that Haigh summarizes give very detailed consideration to what it means to say that an individual or a community changed from one set of Christian beliefs to another, not wholly different, set of beliefs.

That question has been the focus of much recent research, particularly with respect to conversion. But conversion is a term whose history in Western thought is hard to accommodate to the large-scale political reorientation that a change in a national church involves. As Michael Questier explains:. In Judaeo-Christian thought, conversion comprises both an inward and an outward alteration. Inward renewal under the influence of grace requires the setting aside of former standards of behaviour and sometimes the adoption of different standards of religious belief and activity….

Conversion, then, refers first to the efficacious moment in the process generally described as justification. Though the word itself signifies merely a turning, in Christian theology it indicates initially the point at which man enters into a new relationship with Christ through the action of the Holy Spirit mediated through the Church and then subsequently embarks on a pilgrimage of grace.

It is hard to claim that England became Protestant through the cumulative effect of individual conversions of this sort. The numbers of people who might be considered convinced Protestants by the reign of Edward VI was small, even if a larger number of people held religious beliefs that were not quite the same as those they held in the s.

Given that many people in early modern England received only and perhaps not even rudimentary catechizing, what does it mean to say that they ceased to be one kind of Christian and became another? Did they consciously decide that certain fundamental doctrines were misunderstood by one set of clergymen, and that they must therefore seek out instruction from another set of clergymen whom they knew taught differently? Apart from anything else, that raises the question of how sets of clergy could be identified in the period before neat doctrinal statements marked out the divisions between theologians.

Or did people change allegiances before ideas: did they decide that their obligation to those in authority meant that they should follow any changes in religious devotions that were instituted?

Some individuals must have found themselves reliving that process more than once in an adult life that spanned to Obedience was a positive virtue for most people in our period, and Ethan Shagan has argued that the Henrician government made use of this fact. Religious belief and religious allegiances were not co-extensive, but neither were they separable. For many ordinary believers, the Reformation was at first a matter of obedience, not of conversion.

Conformity seems a more likely model for thinking about the ways in which many of the intellectually uncommitted responded to the doctrinal changes of the mid-Tudor period. Before that date most people were attending church but only a minority were committed Protestants. And the word that best describes that process is confessionalization.

Confessionalization is a term used to describe the closer integration of church and state identifiable in many German countries in the early modern period. If chronology has been the issue, then German historians have also argued about when the various phases of confessionalization can be said to begin and end. In so doing, they acknowledged the doctrinal and pastoral responsibility of the clergy and accepted a confessional identity, a label identifying them as Protestant or Catholic, even if the full details of the doctrinal disputes around which those labels were constructed remained hazy.

And it is one in which English people worked through the implications of competing Christian churches and created for themselves this new thing: a religious identity.

To quote Marshall again:. It is often suggested that the frequent shifts and turns of government religious policy in the sixteenth century must have confused and disoriented people, leaving them with little clear sense of whether they were supposed to be Protestant, Catholics, or some other type of Christian.

Yet I think the possibility that it had precisely the opposite result needs to be investigated seriously—that the orders to remove or restore altars, images, and books had a profoundly catechizing effect, encouraging people to think about their meanings more intensely than they had done before.

Martyrdom, and stories of martyrs, had the same effect. I think we have probably heard too much about compliance, conformity, and passivity as the keynotes of English religion in the Reformation era. The Massacre of St. They were proud of these identities, and they often grew to hate people of different religious opinions. Confessionalization was a political process, but it was one that made a religious identity a possibility for ordinary individuals; even if the decision was to conform or not to conform, there was now a decision to be made.

And that decision was of first importance to the governing bodies responsible for running the church and the state. Powers to punish were extensive, including the fearful death by burning for those found guilty of heresy mostly anti-Trinitarian ideas after Less drastic measures were used on those whose errors were considered not fundamental: they could be fined for refusing to attend services in the parish churches, or imprisoned for promoting or aiding those who promoted heterodox beliefs, or for refusing to take oaths testifying to their assent to state-sanctioned orthodoxies.

Clergymen could be suspended from their livings if they refused to subscribe to acceptance of the Thirty-Nine Articles and the Book of Common Prayer liturgy.

The power to convert belonged neither to the church hierarchy nor to the state: it was the work of the Holy Spirit. The ministers whose function it was to teach and convince, and the government forces with whom they worked, accepted this as part of the doctrine of grace within which their own religious lives were formed. The state concentrated on managing recusancy and dissent when necessary, but it cooperated thoroughly with the ecclesiastical authorities for a more ambitious program of proselytizing at moments during the Jesuit mission in the s, for example when the political situation made religious divisions particularly dangerous.

Contemporaries could not easily imagine conversion in just the political or the ecclesiastical or the intellectual or the evangelical sense. Not that politics was not seen as important for the progress of religion…. Secular politicians might well find clerics useful as propagandists, especially when religion was a matter of extreme political concern because people defined their political loyalties partly by their religious beliefs.

But the people who proselytised with the greatest enthusiasm, the ones for whom an intense concept of conversion was really important, regarded themselves not primarily as agents or enemies of the State, or its established Church, but as emissaries of grace, whatever their particular doctrinal beliefs about how grace worked.

Conversion might happen in time to those who were exposed to persuasive teaching, and the cooperation of ecclesiastical and secular forces was concentrated on these efforts.

Religious choice may still be personal—as it often was—without being private. Decisions were often arrived at in a communal context. Much of the culture of persuasion in the sixteenth century was based on an assumption that decisions would be arrived at collectively. If the Reformation were to succeed, the culture of persuasion would have to work with the grain of this society. Reformers recognized a necessary double process of engagement: with the individual Christian, and with a collective religious consciousness that also had to be nurtured and reinforced.

The workings of this public sphere cannot be modelled in a simple hierarchy by which information passed from the learned to the rest by means authorized by government, because the practice of religion made subjects also answerable to God: the government had to convince the people that God was on their side.

The Reformation made necessary the creation of modes of persuasion and means of conversion that would connect the institutions that administered religious teaching with the individuals for whom they were responsible. The literature of confessionalization is inextricably part of this process, not merely a representation of it.

The divisions between religious denominations were not merely reflected in polemical texts; they were created by them. The polemical literature of sixteenth and seventeenth century England is extraordinary: clever, and often cruel, it can be witty and blunt and uncompromising.

For all his acuity, however, the actual position points away from intellectual acuity and towards repression by force, since More recognized that, between warring faith groups, the ground of argument is forever without purchase.

If victory was impossible, then what was the purpose of polemical literature? I have adapted the term used in preaching rhetoric to describe this kind of polemical literature, whose purpose was to create clear boundaries between religious identities and which used argument to assure the laity that they have plumbed for the true side.

And a style of argument evolved that matched this purpose: arguments that could be seen to be won convincingly without the need to explain doctrinal cruces were prized. Among the styles of argument that worked particularly well in this respect were personal attacks on the reliability of the other side as teachers and Christians. Throughout the sermon an emphatic appeal is made to the judgment of the hearers: they are urged to compare the Mass with the Bible, and Catholic claims with the writings of the church fathers.

So Jewel establishes the lay hearers of his sermon as the judges between two sets of teachers, not two sets of doctrines. When the challenge was answered, the ground quickly shifted to the correct interpretation of patristic sources, and the authors struggled to make these more demanding arguments intelligible to lay readers. Where they might not be able to judge the evidence, however, the readers would have clear impressions of the integrity and reliability of the debaters.

The terms in which Jewel and his main opponent, Thomas Harding, addressed each other became a vital part of the argument. But it was not an unambiguous success, because the evidence became too hard for the intended audience to decipher. Many of the texts printed both sides of the argument and so gave rather too much space to the Catholic position. The Book of Martyrs required no skill in reading doctrinal disputes and offered a compelling narrative of truth repressed by the Catholic Church hierarchy.

The work had many highly motivated and influential backers, like William Cecil, who supported Foxe and the printer John Day because of the important confessional function the work would serve. Evenden and Freeman write:. This detail gave the English Protestants an enormous polemic edge over their English Catholic opponents. The Catholics had the scholarship but they did not have access to the manuscripts necessary to refute Foxe and these antiquarian works. Standing on a mountain of manuscripts, Foxe could plausibly claim that he could see more clearly into the hidden vales of the English past than his opponents could.

Here the understanding of conversion as a sudden change of heart and mind takes center place, but it serves confessional purposes. Converts to Catholicism describe their experience as an enlightening of the mind about the nature of the true church.

Converts to Protestantism expressed their conversion in terms of sola fide justification. Grace enlightened the understanding and, realizing that only faith in Christ could save, the sinner rejected Catholic teaching on the meritorious nature of good works.

We see this pattern in the recantation sermon of Theophilus Higgons ? In his recantation, Higgons applies this doctrine to himself: his conversion to Catholicism was a fall from truth occasioned by his sins. The mercy of God prompted the repentance that brought him back into the fold of the Church of England.

His reconciliation with the Church of England was a necessary corollary of his conversion to God. The cultural work being done by these texts is political, reinforcing the lines along which religious identities could be assessed in terms of civil and political conformity. But it also becomes apparent how far modern critics are also wedded to that traditional script.

John Donne, for example, did not write a motives tract, but his account of his change of religion in the preface to Pseudo-martyr has been treated as a substitute. We import the conventions of the motives tracts to Pseudo-Martyr when we expect these things, and Pseudo-Martyr was designed for a different purpose: to suggest a separation between the obligations of political obedience and religious beliefs in order to convince Catholics to take the Oath of Allegiance. Her study reminds us that those tracts are rhetorically conditioned, and we must look elsewhere, perhaps primarily to poetry, for a corrective to their careful scripting of religious experiences in stories of conversions.

Change of religion across the chasm between Protestant and Catholic is a conversion narrative with which we are familiar. In those conditions religion was dysfunctional for the purposes of state formation. They were conscientious, perhaps overscrupulous Protestants, and that made them problematic subject in ways not dissimilar to Roman Catholic recusants. What of those whose allegiance to the church was unquestioned?

We are perhaps too apt to forget that for most people at the time political obedience was a virtue not divorced from religion. The changes of religion brought by the Elizabethan settlement became part of the fabric of domestic and community life, and however the process began with perhaps little more than a failure to resist , it was not one in which laypeople were thoroughly passive.

Andrew Pettegree writes:.

Riot and Religion in Sixteenth-Century France

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Confessionalism and Conversion in the Reformation

Confessional politics made it imperative for rulers to try to control the religious allegiances of their people, but the doctrine of conversion as a spiritual change made this theoretically impossible. The possibility of religious dissent, of converting away from the state-sanctioned denomination, made conversion an issue whose importance outweighed the actual number of converts. Keywords: Reformation , religion , confessionalization , conversion , conformity , identity , persuasion , convert , Protestantism , Catholicism. Confessionalism and conversion are misleadingly straightforward terms. This dichotomy fails to capture the significance of these terms to the current historiography of the Reformation, however, and it is possible to argue that much of the most vital work in Reformation studies is concerned with the questions of identity that coalesce around notions of confessionalism, conversion and conformity.

The French Wars of Religion — is the name of a period of civil infighting and military operations primarily between French Catholics and Protestants Huguenots. The conflict involved the factional disputes between the aristocratic houses of France, such as the House of Bourbon and the House of Guise, and both sides received assistance from foreign sources. The exact number of wars and their respective dates are the subject of continued debate by historians; some assert that the Edict of Nantes in concluded the wars, although a resurgence of rebellious activity following this leads some to believe the Peace of Alais in is the actual conclusion.

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