Reformation - Political or Religious?

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Was the Reformation Politically or Religiously Motivated? The Reformation begun by Martin Luther was a 16th century conflict in Europe that would shape the future of the world. Certainly the Catholic church was political, even in the 1500's, however it was religion that powered the Reformation. For centuries, the Roman Catholic Church had oppressed the uneducated and poor peasants for an unjust hierarchical structure. Peasants were captive to their lords, essentially forced into servitude without wages. Through the worst conditions, a constant source of comfort was the Church and it's promise of a better life in Heaven. As it grew in power and riches, the Catholic Church became a political power, and peasants began to fear the church instead of worshiping the God, through the life of Jesus Christ, that it represented. In the political climate, protest was difficult. Anyone that was considered a threat to the power of the Church were often executed or exiled. There was protest, but it did not take hold until the 95 Thesis by Martin Luther was published in 1517. Luther was a priest and scholar, born to a peasant family. Unlike most peasants, Luther became educated. learning to read and write in Latin and his native German. This was before the widespread availability of books, therefore peasants could not actually read the Bible, so the clergy were their only source of Scripture. Luther saw firsthand the corruption of the Church, and came to believe it was his restlessly duty to protest. Luther was prosecuted for his stance, however he famously used Scripture to defend himself, and this started the revolution now known as the Reformation. As the ideas spread, peasants began to see for themselves just how corrupt the Church was, and how they were being oppressed from their own religion. The sale of indulgences was the largest source of income
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