The Reformation

What was the Reformation?

It was a religious movement in Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It fomented inside the Catholic Church as people began questioning the church’s doctrines, practices, and authority. While the movement was preceded by a swelling dissatisfaction with the church, the Reformation was officially, and some would say abruptly, begun in October 1517 when German monk and theology professor Martin Luther (1483–1546) nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg (Saxony, Germany), launching an attack on the church. The movement continued through the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48). And though the resolution to that conflict brought about a measure of religious stability in Europe, the force of the Reformation did not end there. Both the freedom of dissent and the Protestantism people know today are the byproducts of the movement.


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