The Reforms Of Luther And Henry Viii The Various Reformations

896 words - 4 pages

The Reforms of Luther and Henry VIII The various reformations of the 15th and 16th centuries destroyed Western Europe?s religious unity and involved new ideas about the relationships between God, individuals and society. In a way, they were reminiscent of the earlier Renaissance in Italy, in that these reforms sought to change what was perceived to be wrong in the church to something better. In addition, these reformations, whose courses were influenced greatly by politics, led eventually to the subjection of the church to political rulers. Two of the most influential reforms, Martin Luther?s Protestant religion and the Anglican church of England under Henry VIII, led to radical new ideas of the relationship between religion, politics, and the individual. This relationship included similarities and differences based on ideas that included religious and political reasons such as the reasons for reform, practices of the church, and who should be head of religious figures.While both reforms of Luther and Henry VIII ended in splitting from the Roman Catholic Church, the reasons for their separation are almost completely different. Luther, on one hand, was frustrated with the idea that a sinful person could attain the righteousness necessary to obtain salvation. He came to believe that justification by faith alone was the road to salvation, and this one of the main driving forces behind his reformation. In addition, he originally set out to reform the church, but was later forced to create his own unique religious sect, as opposed to Henry VIII, who just took control of the church in order to suit his own needs. His reasons were much less holy, and he was not looking for spiritual enlightenment; rather, he was looking for a son. When his first wife could not bear him one, Henry sought to obtain a divorce from the pope, but he failed. His reform of the church in England was different, in that he took control over the church, appointed his own bishops and other clerical figures, and took control of the land of the church.Both leaders believed in the same idea; that political leaders should control church society but for different reasons. Martin Luther argued that nobles as well as clergy were the leaders of the church and should undertake in reform in his work Address to the Nobility of the German Nation. He later stated that political leaders, rather than all people, should control both church and society, in particular reference to the German princes of Germany and the Peasant?s War. Here Luther wished for the support and backing of the German nobles of his evolving religion, Protestantism. Henry VIII, on the other hand,...

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