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Reformation & Counter Reformation. 1517-1648. The Catholic Church in 1500. The Catholic Church was the most powerful institution in Europe Mass performed in Latin in charge of education and held the monopoly on information held a great deal of property Corruption in the Church.

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the catholic church in 1500
The Catholic Church in 1500
  • The Catholic Church was the most powerful institution in Europe
    • Mass performed in Latin
    • in charge of education and held the monopoly on information
    • held a great deal of property
    • Corruption in the Church
germany in 1500
Germany in 1500
  • Not one nation,
    • a patchwork of independent states of the Holy Roman Empire
    • Ruled by figurehead Emperor
    • Charles V
luther s problems with the catholic church
Luther’s Problems with the Catholic Church
  • Luther had two major problems with the Catholic church:
    • Indulgences
    • Justification
  • Other problems
    • communion,
    • services in Latin,
    • celibacy among the clergy
    • Role of Scripture
luther s showdown with the catholic church
Luther’s Showdown with the Catholic Church
  • Luther’s writings in 1520 gain the attention of the religious and political authorities
  • On June 15, 1520 Pope Leo X issued a Papal Bull
  • Luther declared a heretic
luther s showdown with the catholic church1
Luther’s Showdown with the Catholic Church
  • On January 1521, the Pope excommunicated Luther
  • April 1521, Diet of Worms
  • Luther declared an outlaw on May 26, 1521
the protestant reformation spreads
The Protestant Reformation Spreads
  • Luther’s ideas inspire Peasants’ Revolt in Germany in 1525
the protestant reformation spreads1
The Protestant Reformation Spreads
  • Reformers begin to rise in other countries
  • John Calvin
    • French Reformer
    • Wrote Institutes of the Christian Religion
the protestant reformation spreads2
The Protestant Reformation Spreads
  • Political consequences of the Reformation:
    • European rulers convert to Protestantism
  • Peace of Augsburg in 1555
effects of the reformation
Effects of the Reformation
  • Religion no longer unites Europe.
  • Church power declines; while the power of kings increased
  • More people questioned the teachings of the Church
  • Protestantism further divides as people come up with many different interpretations of the Scriptures
the counter reformation
The Counter Reformation
  • The main Catholic response to the Protestant Reformation was the Council of Trent
    • Key Person: Pope Paul III
    • 1550s to 1650s
  • A second response was the formation of the Society of Jesus
the counter reformation1
The Counter Reformation
  • This movement to reform the Catholic church from within is known as the Catholic Reformation or the Counter Reformation.
  • The key purpose of this response was to
    • Limit the spread of Protestantism
    • Reunify the Western Church by convincing people to return to the Catholic Church
    • Spread the Catholic Faith to other areas
the council of trent
The Council of Trent
  • The Council of Trent between 1545 and 1563 to make reforms
  • The Council convened to discuss and consider
    • Luther's Theses
    • The threat of Protestantism
    • Corruption and immoral behavior by clergy
the council of trent1
The Council of Trent
  • The Council of Trent reaffirmed Catholic doctrines
    • It wrote a defense against the charges made by critics of the Catholic Church
    • It restated the Catholic Faith against Protestant claims
    • It restated rules of behavior for Catholic clergy
the council of trent2
The Council of Trent
  • The Council of Trent
    • made Catholic beliefs clears,
    • set up strict rules for behavior of bishops and priests
    • Required seminary education (school for training and educating priests)
pope st paul iii1
Pope St Paul III
  • Pope Paul III
    • had Cardinals investigate corruption within the Church.
    • gave approval to the Jesuits, focusing on education.
    • used the Inquisition to identify and punish heretics
    • convened the Council of Trent
the society of jesus jesuits
The Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
  • The Society of Jesus was begun by Ignatius of Loyola
    • Born to wealthy parents in Loyola, Spain
    • Severely wounded during war with France (1521)
    • During his recuperation he gave serious examination to his spiritual life by reading lives of the saints
the society of jesus jesuits1
The Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
    • Dedicated his life as a soldier of Jesus Christ
    • Wrote a book called Spiritual Exercises.
    • This daily meditation guide attracted many followers over the next 18 years
  • With those who gathered, Ignatius formed a new religious order, the Society of Jesus
    • commonly known as the Jesuits
    • Given official status by Pope Paul III
the society of jesus jesuits2
The Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
  • The main activity of the Jesuits
    • Educate Catholics in Europe
      • Later spread to America and all over the world
      • Known for rigorous Catholic education
    • Defend the Catholic Faith against heresy
      • Stop the spread of Protestantism
      • Tried heretics in the Inquisition
    • Spread the Faith with Missionary work
      • Sent missionaries all over the world
jesuits in america
Jesuits in America

Known Mostly for their Schools (High School and University)

Boston College

Loyola Marymount Univ. in Los Angeles

Loyola University in Chicago

University of San Francisco

Fordham University

  • UD Jesuit
  • Loyola High School
  • UD Mercy
  • Marquette University
  • St Louis University
  • Georgetown University
  • Xavier University
  • Gonzaga University
jesuits in america1
Jesuits in America
  • Early Missionary work
    • Arrived with the Spanish conquerors
    • Worked to convert native Americans, establishing missions and schools
  • Elsewhere
    • Japan
    • Philippines
    • Vietnam
other reform movements
Other Reform Movements


  • John Calvin was another reformer.
  • His key beliefs are the main teachings of the Reformed tradition.
  • Calvinism, or Reformed theology, has had an impact in Holland, Scotland, France, Northern Ireland, and has spread to the U.S, Canada, South Africa, and Indonesia.


  • Anabaptists were reformers who did not identify with Luther or Calvin.
  • Anabaptists include the Mennonites.
    • The Mennonite faith was founded by a priest named Menno Simons.
    • He rejected Catholicism in favour of adult baptism only.
    • He also rejected the militancy of some Anabaptists and promoted pacifism.
    • Mennonites have faced persecution for their separate ways.
    • They are very devoted to the Bible and to social justice.
    • Approximately 200 000 Mennonites live in Canada.


  • During the early years of the Protestant Reformation in Europe, the ideas of the Reformers did not take a firm hold in England.
  • But in 1530, King Henry VIII wanted his marriage to Catherine of Aragon declared invalid so he could marry Anne Boleyn.
  • The pope denied his request, so Henry declared himself the head of the Church of England, breaking away from the authority of the Catholic Church.
  • The religious climate under Henry VIII and his successors, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, was volatile .
  • Catholics were often persecuted and there were many English martyrs.
  • Christians on both sides suffered or were killed in the conflict.
anglicanism cont d
Anglicanism (cont’d)
  • Henry VIII was not ideologically Protestant, but many of his advisors were more radical.
  • Under Henry’s successor, Edward VI:
    • Protestantism became more firmly established.
    • Latin Catholic Mass was replaced with an English service structured by the Book of Common Prayer.
    • Church images were dismantled, vestments were forbidden, and stone altars were replaced with wooden communion tables.
  • Edward was king for only a short time before he died.
  • His Catholic half-sister Mary assumed the throne, dismantled Edward’s reforms, and re- established England as a Catholic nation.
  • She died five years later, and Elizabeth became Queen of England and ruled for 45 years. Under her rule:
    • Protestant control of the Church of England became permanent.
    • Edward’s reforms were re-established, including the Book of Common Prayer.
    • Many ancient traditions of the Church were kept.
  • Anglicanism sees itself as a middle way between Catholicism and Reformed Protestantism.

The Catholic Reformation

  • In response to Protestant Reformation, Catholicism began to renew itself.
  • Pope Paul III called the Council of Trent between 1545 and 1563.
  • The Council of Trent clarified Catholic teaching on important issues and addressed how to prevent abuses of church offices.
  • The Council
    • affirmed the importance of the teaching tradition in the Church as a necessary interpretation of the scriptures.
    • affirmed the importance of the seven sacraments.
    • responded to Luther’s insistence that people need faith for salvation, but rejected his idea that faith “alone” without good works was all that was needed.
    • insisted that priests needed improved education so they would be better equipped to instruct and serve the people.
  • The Council of Trent and the reform of the Catholic Church did not succeed in restoring unity in Christianity.
  • The main effort was to convince the Protestants of their error and bring them to conversion.
  • Sometimes this worked, but in many countries Catholics and Protestants fought each other.
from intolerance and war to tolerance
From Intolerance and War to Tolerance
  • Catholic–Protestant conflicts in England during the 16th century were sometimes bloody.
  • During the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648), nearly one-third of the population of the German states died.

Religious Tolerance Begins

  • The idea of religious tolerance started to become popular with the Enlightenment.
  • The tolerance was twofold:
    • tolerance between religions, and
    • tolerance by governments for the different religions practiced in their countries.
  • The Enlightenment also led to opposition toward religion in general.
  • Catholic and Protestant conflict settled down as nations began to develop laws of religious tolerance.
  • Not until the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) did official dialogue and openness between Catholics and Protestants become a reality.
recent movements
Recent Movements
  • Churches of the Protestant Reformation eventually lost enthusiasm.
  • They had to deal with day-to-day issues and they needed to address changing times.


  • By the 18th century, Protestants felt a need for reform.
  • In England, John and Charles Wesley tried to revive the evangelical fervour of early Protestant Reformation spirituality.
    • The Methodist Church was established to break away from the Anglican Church.
  • Similar movements occurred in Lutheran and Reformed traditions.
  • In the U.S., this movement (the Great Awakening) gave rise to Evangelicalism.
  • Evangelicalism involves a call to personal conversion as a conscious experience—“being born again.”
  • Some characteristics of Evangelicalism are:
    • Renewed emphasis on the authority of the Bible
    • Emphasis on righteous behaviour
    • Baptism for adults only
    • De-emphasis on official church membership and formal creeds
    • The spread of the Gospel through missionary activity


  • Protestant Fundamentalist churches teach that the Bible is without error, Christ is God, and Jesus died for our sake on the cross.
  • They reject Darwin’s theory of evolution in favour of the biblical story of creation.


  • In Christianity, Liberalism means finding some common ground with modernity and its search for reason, with science, technology, and modern political structures.
  • Some churches disagree with the union of Christianity and the modern world.
  • One of the largest movements against liberal Christianity is Pentecostalism.


  • The Pentecostal movement accepts the Bible as the Word of God without error.
  • Pentecostals believe the Holy Spirit guides them in how they should live.
  • This movement
    • preaches God’s judgment of the world and that the message of Christ and the modern world will not last.
    • waits for the Second Coming of Christ at the end of history.
    • believes people can seek to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
    • believes in signs of the Holy Spirit’s presence, such as speaking in tongues and slaying in the Spirit.
christianity today
Christianity Today
  • Christian churches have many things in common, but many contradictions.
  • Contradictions can lead to ambiguity and confusion.
  • In its efforts to bring about unity, Christians recognize the need to do away with contradictions and conflict while maintaining the richness of their diversity.

The Ecumenical Movement

  • Ecumenism is the movement toward unity among churches.
  • 20th century: churches of the Protestant Reformation realized that divisions within Christianity were hurting the mission of the church.
  • 1910: the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, started the modern ecumenical movement.
  • 1948: the World Council of Churches was formed.
  • Almost all Christian churches agreed that divisions went against Jesus' desire for unity among his followers.
the goal of ecumenism
The Goal of Ecumenism
  • At first, the Catholic Church refused to participate in the World Council of Churches (WCC).
  • 1965: during the Second Vatican Council, the Church passed a Decree on Ecumenism and committed the Catholic Church to dialogue with other Christians.
  • Now, the Catholic Church participates in all the WCC’s commissions, even though it is not a full member of the WCC.


  • Ecumenism’s goal is to unite all Christians through dialogue.
  • Two things bind all Christian churches together:
    • Confession of Jesus Christ
    • Baptism
  • The biggest differences are in how the churches confess Jesus Christ, how they view Eucharist, baptism, and leadership in the Church.
  • Dialogue means living, studying, and working together in solidarity, and overcoming the divisions that separate churches.
  • A universal church of Christ will not be identical to any existing church.
  • The Catholic Church believes:
  • In the Catholic Church, the fullness of the Church of Christ continues to exist.
    • This is a wounded fullness as long as there is division among Christian churches.
    • Important elements are present in other churches.
    • Other churches do not have the Catholic Church’s fullness of the Church of Christ.
  • For Catholics, full communion must have:
    • A consensus on the core doctrines as found in the scriptures and the Creed
    • Acknowledgement of the importance of the sacraments, especially Eucharist
    • The ministry of priests, bishops, and pope
  • Not all churches see what it means to be church the same way Catholics do, nor do they want to be church in the same way.
  • Ecumenical dialogue’s goal is to clarify what it means to be the church of Jesus Christ.

Dialogue of the Churches East and West

  • During Vatican II, after 1000 years of separation, the Catholic Church of the West and the Orthodox Church of the East began to see themselves as “sister churches.”
  • There are differences between the churches:
    • different liturgies and Church orders
    • different theological opinions on the role of the pope as being first among equals
  • However, these churches have accepted each other’s Eucharist.
  • Their differences are both obstacles and a source of enrichment.
  • Through those differences, the Western Church has gained a new awareness that unity can exist with a lot of diversity.
dialogue among the churches of the west
Dialogue among the Churches of the West
  • Dialogue can be between the Catholics and churches of the Protestant Reformation, or among churches of the Protestant Reformation.
  • Dialogue has begun to build unity:
    • In Canada in 1925, the Methodists, Congregationalists, and 70% of the Presbyterians joined to become the United Church of Canada.
  • Catholics and Anglicans have reached a high level of agreement on most questions centered on the Church, such as:
    • the role of the Church and bishops in our salvation
    • the role of the pope and bishops
    • the meaning of Church and its mission
  • Major issues that separate Catholics and Anglicans are:
    • the ordination of women and homosexuals (some Anglican dioceses began ordaining women in the 1970s)
    • ethical issues such as divorce, remarriage, artificial birth control, abortion, and in vitro fertilization
  • Dialogue has not yet led to a shared Eucharist.
  • But, people are coming together to talk about their faith, pray together and address issues of social justice.

Ecumenism: A Difficult Task

  • Christianity is the fulfillment of God’s desire to gather together all of humanity to do God’s work.
  • Therefore, the divisions in Christianity must be healed.
  • This reconciling and healing is very difficult because:
    • It is difficult for people to let go of their lifelong beliefs.
    • Each person’s convictions inform that person’s identity.
    • It is hard to listen to other people’s convictions when people feel their own convictions are the truth.
a renewed ecumenism
A Renewed Ecumenism
  • Sustaining the ecumenical movement has become more difficult because:
    • Most Christians do not understand why the churches separated to begin with.
    • Many feel these battles are not theirs or the issues no longer matter.
    • Christians today focus on issues such as war and peace, poverty, economic justice, and the environment.
    • Young people can be impatient with the slow pace of arriving at agreements.

How can Christians contribute to ecumenism?

    • Study the scriptures, which are the foundation of Christian life and the Christian churches.
    • Pray always, especially the Lord’s Prayer; take part in the week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
    • Bring people together. Always be hospitable, never exclude anyone, always be in solidarity with the poor and the oppressed, and be a friend to all.
    • Take part in local ecumenical activities involving Catholics and other Christian groups, such as meetings, retreats, or volunteering.
    • Visit churches and talk to people who belong to them to find out what they believe and how they live.
the english reformation
The English Reformation
  • The English Reformation
    • Political causes
    • King Henry VIII
    • King Edward VI
    • Queen Mary I
    • Queen Elizabeth I
the religious wars
The Religious Wars
  • France (1562-1589)
    • Catholics vs. Huguenots
    • St. Bartholomew’s Massacre
    • Henry of Navarre
    • Edict of Nantes
the religious wars1
The Religious Wars
  • The Netherlands (1560-1648)
    • A prosperous province of Spain
    • Dutch Protestants vs. Spanish Catholics
    • War of independence against Spain
    • Dutch independence secured after 1648
the religious wars2
The Religious Wars
  • England vs. Spain
    • Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots
    • Elizabeth I declared a heretic
    • Spanish Armada
the thirty years war
The Thirty Years’ War
  • Began as old conflict between Catholic states and Protestant states in Europe
  • The most devastating war in Europe
  • Almost every state in Western Europe involved in the Thirty Years’ War
the thirty years war1
The Thirty Years’ War
  • Four Phases in the Thirty Years’ War:
    • Bohemian (1618-1625)
    • Danish (1625-1629)
    • Swedish (1630-1635)
    • Swedish-French (1635-1648)
  • Ended with Treaty of Westphalia
  • The Protestant Reformation began as a theological dispute between Martin Luther and the Catholic Church
  • Theological dispute becomes religious conflict, as Catholics and Protestant are persecuted for their beliefs
  • Religious conflict becomes a political conflict between states seeking to advance their positions