Questions tagged [reformation]

A Christian religious movement in Western Europe in 16th. and 17th centuries as opposition to Catholicism, the Pope and clergy.

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5 answers

How did the general population of England convert so smoothly to Protestantism?

The rise of Protestantism among English monarchs from Henry VIII is well documented. However, after a bit of light research, I have been unable to find many resources on how the general population ...
Bob Tway's user avatar
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44 votes
6 answers

Why were there no religious wars in Poland?

During the 16th and 17th centuries, there were many religious wars in Europe. In countries, were it was very close to Rome (like Spain, Portugal, Austria, Italian states), they did not occur. In ...
Voitcus's user avatar
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19 votes
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Why were bloody religious wars so incredibly frequent in Europe in the century following the Reformation? [closed]

Beginning in 1520, right after Martin Luther's Reformation, bloody religious wars began that kept recurring almost yearly for over a century. The Reformation's rapid spread drew battle lines accross ...
George A. Solodun's user avatar
17 votes
3 answers

Why did the French nobility adopt Calvinism?

The Wikipedia article on the French Wars of Religion says that the Calvinist form of Protestantism, in particular, spread into the nobility. Now, I'd like to know why is that, and not Lutheranism for ...
chuse's user avatar
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15 votes
2 answers

Was King Henry VIII, mid-late in his reformation campaign, motivated more by theology or absolutist drive?

King Henry VIII expended much of his rule pursuing religious reformation of England. The six articles, proposed by the Duke of Norfolk and signed by the King, essentially (not in totality but more so ...
Seth Rogers's user avatar
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15 votes
3 answers

How did commoners in late medieval to early modern Europe learn to read?

Literacy in the early Middle Ages was very low, but as I recall, by the time of Reformation quite a lot of commoners could read. Even if they were not very good in reading and writing, by the 17th ...
vsz's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer

Did Johann Tetzel really claim to be able to give indulgences even for the sin of violating the Mother of God?

Johann Tetzel was a Saxon Dominican friar and preacher who (in)famously granted indulgences on behalf of the Catholic Church in exchange for money, which were claimed to allow a remission of temporal ...
José Carlos Santos's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers

How many people died in the British Isles from religious persecution between 1532 and 1791?

The English Reformation was "a series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church". It involved the ...
luchonacho's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers

How well did William III speak English at time of the Glorious Revolution in 1688?

In my answer to the question Is there a historic reason for why the Balkans are so fragmented? I discuss political and religious turmoil in the British Isles from the end of the Hundred Years War in ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer

What was the motivation for the Church of England to begin recording births, marriages and deaths in 1538?

I have heard that Thomas Cromwell convinced Henry VIII to institute the keeping of these registers, after seeing the practice during a tour of Europe. It took many parishes a long time (and the ...
g2a's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers

Why did Huldrych Zwingli and Martin Luther stand for clerical marriage?

Was it an original idea of theirs? Or was it about the legitimization of an already existing custom? For example, Heinrich Bullinger's father was a dean already in 1504 living in a concubinage due to ...
Vanessa's user avatar
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6 votes
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Why did so many ruling European families hold on to Catholicism during the Reformation?

If Protestantism favored secular power over religious authority, why did the Habsburgs, the Valois, and other secular ruling families hold on to Catholicism? Was it a matter of faith?
Brandon Lee's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers

Who are the "Two Parties" of the Protestants in the Treaty of Westphalia?

The seventh section of this linked selection of the Treaty of Westphalia includes this: But because certain religious controversies prevailing among the above-mentioned Protestants have not yet been …...
mpnm's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers

What was the significance of the term "Lollard" in describing religious dissenters? [closed]

When John Wycliffe's followers gained support from the common people, why did the church call them Lollards? What does Lollard mean? Why didn't they just call them Wycliffites?
Daniel's user avatar
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5 votes
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Were princes and other large landowners motivated to support the Reformation by the frequency of Church holidays?

Church holidays or holy days were very frequent in the middle ages. Here is one link Medieval Holidays that testifies this: "The rural population of the Middle Ages had their days of rest and ...
Sapiens's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers

Did Popes publicly call for any assassinations other than that of Elizabeth I?

According to, following on the Protestant Reformation, In 1580, outraged at the deaths of Catholic missionaries, Pope Gregory XIII made a pronouncement that encouraged Elizabeth's ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers

When were the 'last' pagans in northern Europe converted to christianity? [closed]

I've always found it interesting that the Reformation 'began' in Norther Europe. It strikes me that most of the various Christian sects seemed to form within different ethnic groups. So, I'm ...
DBWeinstein's user avatar
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4 votes
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What happened to Dirk Willems' family after his martyrdom?

From Wikipedia Dirk Willems was a Dutch martyred Anabaptist who is most famous for escaping from prison, turning around to rescue his pursuer —who had fallen through thin ice while chasing ...
Danny's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers

What was church life in England like after the act of supremacy in 1532? Did churchgoers find any change in the sacraments from day one? [closed]

Where did Henry VIII find the priests to administer the services? How were they bound? Could (or did) any priests refuse to follow the new ways? Why were only the monks targeted for dissolution? ...
fuckuall's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers

Why are church reformist centers all outside the boundary of the original Roman Empire?

Is it a coincidence that the church reformist centers are virtually all outside the original Roman Empire border, the Roman Limes? It seems reasonable these areas - at least from the beginning in ...
Mikael Jensen's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer

Did the council of Tours abolish January 1st as the beginning of the year?

It is well known that in medieval Europe, March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, or December 25, were celebrated as new year, it wasn't until the reforms in 1752 that January 1st as New Year's day ...
Bach's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers

Counter-reformation opposing "subservience of Church to State?"

The Catholic Encyclopedia's entry on the Counter-Reformation contains the following, which I found provocative: For the principles of the Protestant Reformation are to Catholics principles leading ...
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0 votes
1 answer

What day and year was the first public & general confession held in the Church of England?

Was it proscribed in the act of supremacy of 1532?
fuall's user avatar
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-1 votes
3 answers

Why only in the last few hundred year has science and technology progressed like it has [closed]

Man has been on the Earth for millions of years. But in only the last few hundred years, science has made major advances: the average life expectancy expanded, electronics, transistors, ...
user3333072's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer

What was the biggest region in the Holy Roman Empire that was never Protestant, if any?

It is well known that Germany is denominational divided. This comes from the time of Reformation and esp. the Peace of Augsburg 1555, when the right of each prince of the Empire to decide over the ...
K-HB's user avatar
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-2 votes
2 answers

Are Luther and Calvin responsible for executing more humans than the Catholic Inquisition?

Here is a quote from one Russian Orthodox priest: "The number of witches burned by Luther is way greater then the number of those burnt by any (Catholic) Inquisition within one hundred years. ...
brilliant's user avatar
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-5 votes
1 answer

What was Martin Luther's incentive for reformation? [closed]

Luther was both a theologian and a politician. How much of his reformation stemmed from his political side of consideration?
Albert Yu's user avatar