Protestant scholasticism essays in reassessment table of contents
By the time of the Reformation, we have a Catholic church that
- believes that everyday devotion and Bible reading are for monks.
- believes that our approach to God is increasingly through saints, Mary, and the "miracle" of the
- believes that the church should be a large, wealthy, and worldwide institution, as powerful as an emperor.
- is threatened by the new "humanism" of the Renaissance, at least in some quarters. Some leaders,
including powerful bishops and cardinals, were anxious to promote this new learning.
At the same time, we have a population, as we have outlined in previous lessons, that was influenced by
- wandering preachers who in some cases offered a piety that was superior in morals to the local clergy
- mystic teachings such as Thomas a Kempis's book The Imitation of Christ , which called for a closer walk
- superstitious practices such as indulgences, pilgrimages, images of saints, etc.
There was no clear indication that a crisis was approaching, or that current efforts to reform the church from
within could not continue peacefully.
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By 1530, over 10,000 publications are known, with a total of ten million copies. The Reformation was thus a media revolution. Luther strengthened his attacks on Rome by depicting a "good" against "bad" church. From there, it became clear that print could be used for propaganda in the Reformation for particular agendas. Reform writers used pre-Reformation styles, clichés and stereotypes and changed items as needed for their own purposes.  Especially effective were writings in German, including Luther's translation of the Bible, his Smaller Catechism for parents teaching their children, and his Larger Catechism , for pastors.