The Importance of the Renaissance to the Reformation in Germany Essay

The Importance of the Renaissance to the Reformation in Germany

The reformation was a movement that fundamentally challenged theauthority of the Roman Catholic Church. The role of the clergy wasundermined and the relationships between national countries and theRoman Catholic Church were threatened.

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The renaissance began in Italy during the fifteenth and sixteenthcenturies through patronage and the flourishing society, and Romeachieved cultural prominence. It later spread throughout Europe andbegan a rediscovery of classical thoughts and influenced painters,such as Raphael and Michelangelo, sculptors such as Donatello andwriters, such as Johann Reuchlin, Ulrich Von Hutten and DesideriusErasmus. The renaissance influenced the re-examination of ideas andbeliefs and created men who were willing to challenge basic beliefs ofthe church. Humanism, the study of humanities, placed an emphasis onman and his secular interests and the main influence of therenaissance and humanism was a return to original texts. Writers suchas Reuchlin and Hutten, placed an emphasis on studying original textsand encouraged literate men to study texts of he bible and make theirown interpretations, instead of those offered by the Roman CatholicChurch. Humanism also bought a desire for knowledge and the inventionof the printing press in c.1450 made mass publication and circulationof literature, and notably made the translation and dissemination ofbibles possible. This meant that lay people could now read the bible,understand it and make their own judgement upon the Catholic beliefs.

This was important to the reformation as it not only bought …

…centralisedgovernment, Maximilian was not successful in doing so. This was partlydue to other estates, which did not want to weaken their own power bystrengthening his. Indeed, the territorial estates claimed to haveresponsibility for their subject’s interests and defended their rightsand privileges.

By 1560 Europe had dramatically and fundamentally changed, therenaissance had a tremendous impact upon the way in which men thoughtand challenged beliefs. Although, Luther had expressed his opinionsand ideas about the Roman Catholic Church, Luther was not accountablefor the reformation. Without support from critical figures, such asthe princes and favourable conditions at the time, such as theincreasing nationalism in Germany, Luther’s ideas would not havecaused such turmoil for the Roman Catholic Church.


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