Analysis of the Influence of Religious Reformation on the Change of The European Feudalism Essay

The Reformation exercises a great influence on the change of the politics structure of Europe. Because of the Reformation, the European feudalism began to crumble. And the establishment of Reformed or Protestant accelerates the development of bourgeoisie. Because the different countries show the different attitude to the new religious belief, the politic changes of European countries are in different steps.All of this illustrate that the revolution of ideology can also exercises a great influence on social system. In Western Europe, to mention the feudalism can not fail to mention the church feudalism, and the church feudalism is mainly refers to the Catholic Church in Rome. And calling it feudalism because Rome’s Catholic Church has its own independent feudalism morphology.

First of all, in politics, the Church of Rome implement the feudal centralization of state power headed by the Pope, the Pope has the right to make decision, changes in the law, the division of the parish; Through faculty appointments in the establishment of the archbishop, bishops, priests and other components of the feudal education order hierarchy, all over Europe size Parish, is actually listen in the feudal administrative region.The church also has court and prison which can change the law ruling, and also constantly gross interfere in the internal affairs; Secondly, in the economy, the feudal land ownership is the foundation of the feudal system, the papacy and Church of Rome is Europe’s largest land owner, and is also the largest feudal lord, the Catholic Church has at least 1/3 European land, undertake the cruel exploitation to the farmer, the farmers not only need to pay high tax but also undertake corvee exploitation, also by the tithes and usurious exploitation.At last the church theology becomes the main body of the feudalism and controlled the social politics and spiritual life. It is due to the special form of medieval European church, the Catholic Church in Rome become the European feudal system’s main pillar, as Engels said, “the European feudal system of huge international center is a Catholic Church in Rome. It took all of Western Europe (although there are internal war) as a major political system…

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It gives the feudal system around Sacred Emmanuel, which according to the feudal way to set up their own eaching order system, finally, he was the most powerful feudal lords…… In each country from the aspects of successful offensive secular feudal system, we must first destroy the sacred center organization.

” Thus against the feudalism means against the Catholic Church in Rome. Therefore, at that time the reformation is an anti-feudal movement that opposing the Catholic. Sixteenth Century’s religious reformation first erupted in Germany, then quickly spread to the surrounding and gradually from a local struggle to a national one and even the European scale struggle.The struggle with the Catholic church will be specifically manifested in the following aspects: 2. The Influence of Religious Reformation on the Change of the European Feudalism: on Theology The Pope feudal social system and the status of the maintenance of the theoretical pillar has three main theology: the theory of “Supreme Authority of the Pope, the salvation theory of “Sacrament” and the atonement theory of” Merit” and the theory of “Privileges of Clergy”.It’s because of these three pillars that imprisoned people thought during the middle ages ; Let people always live in fear of the “original sin”, in “Redemption” pursuit, and make people lose the enterprising. While the new view of religion produced by religious reformation set people free again. 2.

1. The Theory of “Supreme Authority of the Pope” VS. The New Theory of “Authority of the Pope” First of all, to the Pope’s supreme authority , Luther put forward the new concept of the New Theory of “Authority of the Pope” .He said that the Christian’s leader is Christ and not the Pope, Pope is the bishop of Rome and chaplain.

” The church in the world can not have a head, there is no one to rule it, bishops and the Pope can not rule it, only the Christ in the heaven is the leader, and only he rules. ” This view fundamentally denied the Pope’s absolute authority; in addition, Calvin also said: ” the predetermined we called, refers to the eternal will of God, God decide the success of everyone in the world. ” The “God before creation, he has chosen us in Christ. And here Calvin also takes all directly to God, in God’s absolute authority he denies the authority of the pope. 2. 2. The Salvation Theory of “Sacrament” and the Atonement Theory of”Merit”VS the” Sacramental View” Secondly, according to the salvation theory of “Sacrament” and the atonement theory of” Merit” Luther points out the” Sacramental View”, which reduce and simplify the sacraments, as sacramental role he thought: “our church teaching, set up the sacraments should not merely as the grace of God, we will sign and witness, to inspire and the firm received the sacraments of the confidence of the people..

.Therefore, our Church rejected those who say, the sacraments of itself that justified, but does not believe in forgiveness of sins letter is necessary to receive the sacraments. ” The “goodness” of the atonement, Luther said: “you only to be saved by faith, even if you can’t do anything else, can also be saved. ” To Luther “to believe” is the most important, and not the “sacrament”, nor the “Merit”. 2. 3. The Theory of “Privileges of Clergy “VS the Theory of “Believers are All Priest” Finally, according to the theory of “Privileges of Clergy “, Luther put forward the theory of “Believers are All Priest”.He said: “let every Christian knows: we are the priests, we didn’t have differences, that is to say, our word and all the sacraments have equal rights.

” The result is that Luther had stripped clergy sacred garments, denied their privilege, reflects the people’s equality. In this way, religious reformation first from the thought to lift the people of imprisonment, and the liberation of the thought makes people open the horizons. So that people can use a new perspective to view the changing world, and laid a foundation for people to accept the new political system.2. 4. The Opponent of Selling Indulgences The immediate occasion of Luther’s first great protest was the sale of indulgences by the Dominican monk John Tetzel. From early times the church authorities had granted indulgences or remissions of penances imposed on persons guilty of mortal sins, the condition being true penitence.

At length the Church began to accept money, not in lieu of penitence, but of the customary penances which usually accompanied it. Before 1517 Luther had given warnings against the abuse of indulgences, without blaming the administration of the Church.But when in that year Tetzel approached the borders of Saxony selling indulgences in the name of the Pope, Leo X, who wanted money for the building of St. Peter’s Church in Rome, Luther, with many of the better minds of Germany, was greatly offended by the vender’s methods. Against the course of Tetzel Luther took a firm stand, and when the reformer posted his theses (summarized by Koestlin) on the church door at Wittenberg the first great movement of the Reformation in the sixteenth century was inaugurated. The Influence of Religious Reformation on the Change of the European Feudalism: on Economy The religious reformation gave a big blow to absolute role of the Roman Catholic Church, and it has deprived the church’s privileges in the national political and economic areas, the imperial power was strengthened and is conducive to the development of the nation.

3. 1. The Change of Land Ownership The Catholic Church has a large number of lands, therefore, during the period of the reformation many people advocate the land nationalization, and achieved certain results, in addition, religious reformers also firmly against usury, and to combat the church’s economic privileges from all aspects. . 2. The Development of Capitalist Economy The most immediate way in which the Reformation aids the capitalist is by removing the stigma which the Catholic Church has traditionally attached to money-lending – or usury, in the pejorative Biblical term. Calvinism positively encourages the purposeful investment of money, by presenting luxury and self-indulgence as vices and thrift as a virtue.

It even subtly contrives to suggest that wealth may itself be a sign of virtue.This useful slight of hand is contrived with the help of the Calvinist doctrine of predestination. If certain virtuous people are predestined to be saved in the next world, then perhaps success in this one is an advance indication of God’s favor. 4. The Influence of Religious Reformation on the Change of the European Feudalism: on Politics ???After the religious reformation, some ethical norms and the way of living which were adapt to the bourgeois needs were established.And the protestant captured a large number of Church’s property, and it is conducive to the capitalist economic development. 4.

1. The Challenge of the Supremacy of the Pope The supremacy of the magisterial was denied. Luther also pointed out the secular regimes are also given by God, as “spiritual hierarchy” declared a secular state is not attached to the Catholic Church, and proposed to cancel the church’s privileges in justice, sell, and other aspects of the implementation of priesthood.4. 2. The Advocacy of the Separation of Church and State Luther also advocated the separation of church and state, he advocated that the government not to interfere in faith, the church will not interfere in politics, he said: “the Pope and bishops should really be bishops, preaching the word of God, but they gave up this responsibility, became a secular monarch, with the exclusive life and property law governance. They are so thoroughly turn things upside down! ” In this way, through the religious reformation the spread of a series of new ideas gave an inevitable blow to the Catholic, and against the Catholic Church is against the feudal system. .

The Influence of Religious Reformation on the Change of the European Feudalism: on Social System The religious reformation brought a series of revolutionary movement and gave the Western European feudal system a fatal blow, also collapse the Western European feudal system. 5. 1. The German Peasants’ War When the religious reformation broke out in Germany, the farmers regard it as a signal to release their misery. While a series of thought in the religious reformation also gave an impact to the German farmers ideological at that time.In 1524 June, in the southern region German farmers broke out a massive peasant war under the influence of the religious reformation, and almost swept the whole German.

Although this ended in failure, but gave the feudal lords with a heavy blow. The Peasants’ War has acquired special notoriety because of its connection with the Reformation. The people rose in the name of religion, and, as their ignorance and ferocity led them into hideous excesses of revenge upon their oppressors, the new religion was blamed for all the evil thus done in its name.This revolt, because of the fear and disgust it roused, became the most severe set-back Protestantism received in all its struggle with the more ancient and conservative Church. 5. 2. The Bourgeois Revolution In Geneva Calvin began to preach, and created a republic and democratic Calvinism in 1536.

In its guidance, the bourgeoisie trying to combine anti-clericalism and anti-vulgar right and to start the great rebellion of the feudal system of secular, and established a Theocratic Republic in Geneva. In the Netherlands, the religious reformation deepening, and evolved into a greater secular feudal revolution storm.Finally after decades of war the Netherlands overthrew the feudal autocratic rule of Spain and created a bourgeois republic of Holland. In the UK, Calvin’s view of predestination and republicanism were inherited by the Puritans, and eventually the bourgeoisie abolished the precarious feudal ownership in the form of the Puritan Revolution . In a predetermined ideological encouragement, Cromwell’s army cavalry sang hymns, and convinced that he is the God’s chosen people and the justice of the revolution, and fired the feudal dynasty.In 1649, the king’s execution declared the establishment of the bourgeois republic and in the world scope has opened up a new era – the era of capitalism.

5. 3. Reformation in England Henry VIII was above all responsible for the religious reform of the church. There were three main causes: a desire for change and reform in the church had been growing for many years and now, encouraged by the success of Martin Luther, many people believed its time had come; the privilege and wealth of the clergy were resented; and Henry needed money.

The reform began as a struggle for a divorce and ended in freedom from the Papacy. Henry VIII wanted to divorce Catherine of Aragon but the Pope refused. Henry’s reforms was to get rid of the English Church’s connection with the Pope, and to make an independent Church of England. He made this break with Rome gradually between 1529 and 1534.

He dissolved all of England’s monasteries and nunneries because they were more loyal to the Pope than to their English kings. The laws such as the Act of succession of 1534 and the Act of Supremacy of 1535 made his reform possible.He established the church of England as the national church of the country, and he made himself the supreme head of the church of England. Henry VIII’s reform stressed the power of the monarch and certainly strengthened Henry’s position; Parliament had never done such a long and important piece of work before, its importance grew as a result. His attack on the Pope’s power encouraged many critics of abuses of the Catholic Church. England was moving away from Catholicism towards protestant ideology.6.

Conclusion Sixteenth Century is the European feudal society to the capital’s social transition period, the social and historical development and progress of the key is in the turning point. Reformation is within the field of thought revolution, but accelerates the turning of history, collapse of the feudal system in Western Europe at the time. Different countries, areas took different attitude for Protestant , so it also caused different European countries, regions different degrees of the capitalist pace .This fully shows the historical development is not single, not only the economic condition decides the change of history, ideological and theoretical fields revolution on the change of social political system also play an important and even decisive role.

Before Reformation, Europe was essentially feudal and medieval. It was under the absolute rule of the Roman Catholic Church. Economically, peasants all over Europe had to pay a good amount of their gains to the Pope. After the Reformation, all those things were different. In educational and cultural matters, the monopoly of the Church was broken.In religion, Protestantism brought into being different forms of Christianity to challenge the absolute rule of the Roman Catholic Church. In language, the dominant position of Latin had to give way to the national languages as a result of various translations of the Bible into the vernacular. In spirit, absolute obedience became outmoded and the spirit of quest, debate, was ushered in by the reformists.

Reformation shake the very foundation of the Roman Catholic Church and Europe was to take a new course of development, a scientific revolution was to be under way, and capitalism was to set in with its dynamic economic principles.


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