Essay writing, free sample essay topics, research papers
You are welcome to search the collection of free essays and term papers. Thousands of essay topics are available. Order unique, original custom papers from our essay writing service.
Sample essay topic, essay writing: Counter Reformation - 1830 words
NOTE: Essay you see on this page is free essay, available to anyone. We strongly do not recommend using any direct quotes from these essays for credit - you will most probably be caught for copying/pasting off the Internet, as it is very easy to trace where the essay has been taken from by a plagiarism detection program. You are welcome to use these samples for your research, but if you want to be sure that your essay is 100% original and one of a kind, we highly recommend to order a custom essay from us.
In order to understand the Counter Reformation one must consider the political factors and motivators behind them as well as the belief factors when examining clashes with the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church during 16th century experienced a reformation that was both politically and belief driven. The Catholic Reformation also known as the Counter Reformation allowed the church to clearly define its position, eliminate unchristian practices and examine its role in world. This paper will address the political motivators of the Counter Reformation, the unchristian practices that fueled corruption and the clearly defined religious concerns of reformers. It will establish that the use of patronage and nepotism ultimately undermined the spiritual piety of the church. Also, the movements that brought spirituality back to the church will be addressed along with those movements that led to separation from church.
In detailing the events and character of this era and analyzing the outcomes of reform it will be concluded that the Counter Reformation was the beginning of a stronger church and an end to an era that quite possibly could have led to the dissolution of the Catholic Church. One must understand the political make up of the Catholic Church during this period prior to addressing the reforms to the church. The church was far more than a religious institution. The Catholic Church was supreme in Europe. The power of the pope was total and this was supplemented by the power the Holy Roman Emperor had as temporal defender of the Catholic Church
Even though the church had no determinate territory it was a state. It had a monarch as a pope, it princes in prelates and its subjects in Western Christendom. It had legislative assemblies in ecumenical councils, a constitution in cannon law, and fiscal agency in the Curia. It went to war, negotiated treaties and collected taxies. The church was the Holy Roman Empire with a stronghold throughout Europe.
But this would quickly change.(www.History) At the time of the reformation there was great concern that the Old Church with all its history and tradition was in trouble. This concern came from both within the church and outside the church. Protestant and Catholic reformers alike were troubled by the corruption in the church and its inner workings. Reformers saw that the Christian faith had in many ways been taken captive by a religious system more interested in politics and social accomplishment than in following the example of Christ. They saw the church and its leadership filled with corruption and greed. The Renaissance popes who led the church were not spiritual leaders.
Those at the top of the clergy were wealthy and lived lavish lifestyles. They indulged in nepotism, power politics and patronage. Furthermore, the priests at the bottom were poor and unable to administer to the multiple parishes in their charge. Thus it can be said that Counter Reformation was a response to a need for clarity in purpose.But also, one can also say that the Counter Reformation was a natural and necessary response to the Protestant reformation. Catholic reform was slow until after the Protestant Revolution began to make serious in roads upon the ancient faith. A variety of Protestant sects had made their ways into almost half the nations of the Europe by the 16th century.
Catholics were dismayed by the great increase in unorthodoxy. Many claim that the Counter Reformation was initiated to win back lost souls. Thus it can be said that the Counter Reformation was a response to maintain and gain back the followers. (Bossy)There were a variety of movements that initiated reform within the church. The Catholic Church during the Middles Ages had lost much as a religious institution. During this period ignorance and corruption in the church was insidious.
One only has to look at the church leaders in Spain as evidence. Some priest didn't even understand the Latin in the mass, monks kept concubines and clerics ran taverns and brothels. In response steps were taken toward reform as early as the end of the 15th century. This initial reform from within started as a grassroots effort by zealous monastic groups. Reformers like Cardinal Jimenez realized that the only way to succeed in the war against heresy was to reform the church. Jimenez devoted his life to reforming and educating the clergy.
His work came on the heals of the Spanish Inquisition. Through his works the Spanish church by the time of his death in 1517 rested on a moral foundation of iron. Yet Christianity throughout the rest of Europe was sinking deeper into scandal and corruption. (103TL) Another initiative that led to reform was the revival of mysticism and monasticism. Both mysticism and monasticism gave the Church's followers a more personal relationship with God. Actually one can look to Teresa of Avila as an example. Her reconversion to the faith led to the establishment of 17 convents of the Carmelite Order.
Through her works a movement of Christianity arose that could be practiced and experienced from within the believer. This kind of reform was another factor why the Protestant movement did not take hold in Spain. Followers had faith that stressed personal devotion so why would they look to change faiths. (Bell and Sumner)Like Spain reform had begun in the church's strong hold Italy prior to the Counter Reformation. There were reasons that Protestantism did gain the firm foothold it gained in the north.
"Most prosperous Italians were secularly and humanistically inclined and found little in the dour doctrines of the north to inspire a transfer of allegiance, they also saw Catholicism as a buttress of social order. The papacy was a cherished institution and the source of great wealth which few cared to see destroyed. Reform in Italy was largely motivated by monastic groups that were compelled to spread their religion and due good works".(103Simon ) The revival of Monasticism strengthened during the Counter Reformation. The reforming monasteries were known to address the social and religious needs of the masses. Orders like the Capuchins, the Theatines, and the Barbanites began to appear. Probably the most important new order was the Society of Jesus.
The Jesuits were founded by the great reformer Ignatius of Loyola. The Jesuits emphasized obedience to Christ and the Church of Rome. They devoted themselves to service to God. The Jesuits were a highly selective order and they only welcomed those who spirituality reflected Loyola. One must be willing to engage in unquestionable obedience to the Pope in this order. The mission of the Jesuits was to educate the young, lead the Protestant back to Catholicism and take the Catholic message to the world.
The Jesuit Order made the church stronger in that it brought back standards of Catholic priests. Their mission was huge, it was the whole world and their efforts led to the spread of Christianity outside of Europe. Their efforts strengthened the church and increased the number of followers. The renewed Church of the latter 16th Century was largely a product of the Jesuits. (Koch) Another group that favored reform was the humanists.
The humanists were a scholarly group that was well versed on the Bible. They knew that the Catholic Church needed to reform from within if it was to look anything like what written about in the Book of Acts. Their concern was addressed through the working of Contarini. Contarini had drawn up a report on the papacy for Pope Paul III which clearly outlined the problems in the Catholic Church identifying secularism, materialism and abuses from the office of the pope. From these concerns Paul the reigning pope made changes in the government of the papacy and he eliminated the taking money for church appointments.
Pope Paul III was different from him predecessors in that he was a reformer pope. (Bell Sumner)The contribution to reform from these groups might not have been huge but it was the start of something big. The humanist, mystics, and monastics were the product of Renaissance thinking which allowed one to question. Their concerns with faith, spirit and mission showed how far the church had strayed. The church's focus was power and that needed to be addressed.
In troubling times there is always tension between groups that have the desire to reform and those that wish to separate from it. When viewing the Counter Reformation as an after effect of the Protestant Reformation one must address the concerns held by Martin Luther. The Protestant Reformation lead by Martin Luther was set in motion over the scandalous hawking of indulgences, during the reign of Pope Leo X. Indulgences were sold as a guarantee for salvation. Christians were actually purchasing or performing services in return for indulgences.
Thus these "magical cleaners" would purify them without having to change their behaviors; a true mockery to God's saving power. Selling of indulgences had been endorsed by the popes in order to support the church and the papacy's greed. (Simon)This scandalous practice was the cornerstone to change. One must understand how far the selling of indulgences was from the original intent of the church. The original intention of indulgences was to offer Christians a way of dong good as penance for their sins. Money that was raised from the selling of indulgences was used to construct lavish churches while the common people lived in basically abject poverty. In essence indulgences were a source of funding for the church through coercion and threats that made the masses of believers into the financial supporters of a chosen few.
Thus one can assume as did Luther that the religious practices of the church were in need of reform. Martin Luther's, an Augustinian Monk, discontentment with the practices of the church resulted in a respectfully worded letter to the Archbishop Albert stating his concern. His 95 These proposed dramatic reform to the church. With the advent of the printing press Luther's manifesto spread far and wide. As the masses discussed these Theses they naturally began to take sides on the issues and the Church as a whole.
Could the pope grant indulgences? Wasn't faith enough for salvation? Wasn't the Bible the only source of Christian Faith? How should the money collected from indulgences be used? Luther proclaimed that the Bible was the sole supreme authority in the life of a Christian. Contrary to the church's position that the Bible and the Church tradition have equal authority. Luther's point was that people cannot merit or earn salvation by doing good works; salvation comes as a sheer gift. He placed indulgences in the same category as all other efforts to secure god's grace. Martin Luther called for a general council to address these concerns.
His appeal was met with indifference and thus a break away movement from the church commenced. The movement spread quickly across Europe. This was a clear indication of the dissatisfaction with Catholic practices. The discontented separated. Within a short time new forms of religious practices, doctrines and dogmas including Lutherans, Cal ...
Research paper and essay writing, free essay topics, sample works Counter Reformation
Essay help, free essay samples:
Gods Grandeur, Black Death, Silent Starvation.. A Report Investigating The Pro-anorexia Movement O, The Life Of Mozart, War Of 1812, What Are Phonetics And Phonology?, What Is Truth - Comparison Of Plato And Peirces Philosophy, The Gray Wolf, Causes Of The Great Depression, Did The Major Government Largely Continue Thatcherite Economic Policie, Gorilla Extinct Reaserch Paper, History Of Nature And Nurture, Battle Of Iwo Jima, Fairness In The Workplace, What Do Buddhism And Christianity Teach About The Significance, Purpos, Emailing, The Foetid Halls, Slaughterhouse Five, and much more...
All rights reserved © 2004-2013 essaypride.com, links