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Reformation Europe in the 16 th Cent. The implications of a division in Christian Europe The basic realities Lack of security of persons and of property: Chauvigny ; Carcassone

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reformation europe in the 16 th cent

Reformation Europein the 16th Cent.

The implications of a division in Christian Europe

the basic realities
The basic realities
  • Lack of security of persons and of property: Chauvigny; Carcassone
  • Despite the apparently unified nature of western Europe in respect to Christianity, the continent was deeply divided politically. 1360 ; 1600
population and economy
Population and Economy
  • Population
  • Economy:
    • Overwhelmingly agricultural and villages
    • Feudal: no sense of public property; private armies secured by personal oaths of allegiance
    • Church ownership significant amounts of land
higher culture
Higher Culture
  • Universities. Yes, primarily for the study of theology, philosophy, law, medicine --all directed at the support and/or service of ecclesiastical and civil authorities.
  • Lecture room; sample
Given the division between Catholics and the many Protestant sects, it was not as easy to control dogma. That does not mean that both Catholics and Protestants did not have dogma, they did; moreover, religious toleration was not a feature of Reformation Europe. What was important here is that the monolithic structure of Christianity was destroyed, and that ipso facto allowed for greater individual freedom to pursue research in areas that challenged the status quo.
on the catholic church
On the Catholic Church

Bear in mind that the Church was not completely hostile to science. Consider the work done (admittedly to determine the date of Easter) that required considerable care and insight, namely using cathedrals to measure the sun. The device; the orb of the sun ; and the system; and how it looks .

on the protestants
On the protestants

Even tho there is a clear movement toward adopting a new cosmological perspective, consider this comment from Luther: in one of his Advent sermons . . . said, "The heathen write that the comet may arise from natural causes, but God creates not one that does not foretoken a sure calamity." Again he said, "Whatever moves in the heaven in an unusual way is certainly a sign of God's wrath." What conclusions do you come to?

what was different was the following
What was different was the following:
  • The development of national, secular and centralized states whose structure was legitimized by the appeal to reason (rather than religious belief).
  • The growth of commerce and trade empowered a bourgeoisie that needed education to run its affairs, was more comfortable with "scientific" thinking, and rejected excessive intrusions of religious belief.
the monopoly on knowledge by the priestly caste was broken
The monopoly on knowledge by the priestly caste was broken
  • Governments found they could legitimize themselves by supporting high culture. This led to the foundation of academies of science (very elitist) and eventually (after the French Revolution) to the reorganization of universities on a more secular basis.
  • Reinforced by the discovering of Roman law and of scientific treatises (even of the twit Aristotle) of the Greco-Roman period. Such materials were secular in character and, by virtue of their antiquity provided an alternative to church authority.
europe did not become liberal in our sense of the word
Europe did not become "liberal" in our sense of the word
  • Some areas (predominantly those with maritime and commercial establishments) were more receptive to new ideas than were others (where agriculture dominated and feudalism persisted); scholars moved to where they were valued.
  • Invention of the printing press gave new meaning to "open/public, sustained self-conscious reflection“.
higher education
Higher Education
  • Universities remained very underfunded and very much under the control of clerics, both protestant and catholic (more in next class).
  • Tho there were some exceptions (Padua had both Galileo and Vaselius as professors), they remained under the control of theologians of all faiths.

But there was competition.

the jesuits the counter reformation and academies
The Jesuits, the Counter-reformation and Academies

Science was then supported primarily in the new Jesuit stations (like the Collegio Romanoand on the square. Note the role of Jesuits in education between 1550 and 1615. Wherever the Jesuits went both in Europe and to the East, they stressed education and astronomy. But the end of the17th Cent the court astronomer of China was a Jesuit.