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The Protestant Reformation was a movement in the 16th century to reform the Catholic Church in Western Europe. Soon, the reformers split from the Church altogether, founding four major church traditions.
In 1517, Martin Luther published his 95 Theses criticising the Church, including its practice of selling indulgences. He was building on work done by John Wycliffe and Jan Hus, and other reformers joined the cause. Church beliefs and practices under attack by Protestant reformers included purgatory, particular judgment, devotion to Mary, intercession of the saints, most of the sacraments, and authority of the Pope.
The four most important traditions to emerge directly from the reformation were the Lutheran tradition, the Reformed/Calvinist/Presbyterian tradition, the Anabaptist tradition, and the Anglican tradition. Subsequent protestant traditions generally trace their roots back to these initial four schools of the reformation. It also led to the Catholic or Counter Reformation within the Roman Catholic Church.
The Protestant Reformation is also referred to as the Protestant Revolution, Protestant Revolt, or "Lutheran Reformation."
 History and origins
- See also: History of Protestantism
 Roots and precursors: 14th century and 15th century
- Anti-hierarchical movements: Catharism, Waldensianism, and others
- Avignon Papacy ("Babylonian Captivity of the Church"), Avignon, Great Schism, Guelphs and Ghibellines
- John Huss, John Wycliffe, William Tyndale
- Northern Renaissance
Unrest in the Western Church and Empire culminating in the Avignon Papacy (1308–1378), and the papal schism (1378–1416), excited wars between princes, uprisings among the peasants, and widespread concern over corruption in the monastic system. A new nationalism also challenged the relatively internationalist medieval world.
The first of a series of disruptive and new perspectives came from John Wycliffe at Oxford University, then from John Huss at the University of Prague. The Roman Catholic Church officially concluded this debate at the Council of Constance (1414–1418). The conclave condemned John Huss, who was executed (he had come under a promise of safe-conduct) and posthumously burned Wycliffe as a heretic.
Constance confirmed and strengthened the traditional medieval conception of church and empire. It did not address the national tensions, or the theological tensions which had been stirred up during the previous century. The council could not prevent schism and the Hussite Wars in Bohemia.
Historical upheaval usually yields a lot of new thinking as to how society should be organized. This was the case leading up to the Protestant Reformation. Following the breakdown of monastic institutions and scholasticism in late medieval Europe, accentuated by the Babylonian Captivity’ of the Avignon Papacy, the Great Schism, and the failure of conciliar reform, the sixteenth century saw the fermenting of a great cultural debate about religious reforms and later fundamental religious values (See German mysticism). Historians would generally assume that the failure to reform (too many vested interests, lack of coordination in the reforming coalition) would eventually lead to a greater upheaval or even revolution, since the system must eventually be adjusted or disintegrate, and the failure of the Conciliar movement led to the Protestant Reformation in Europe. These frustrated reformist movements ranged from nominalism, modern devotion, to humanism occurring in conjunction with economic, political and demographic forces that contributed to a growing disaffection with the wealth and power of the elite clergy, sensitizing the population to the financial and moral corruption of the secular Renaissance church.
The outcome of the Black Death encouraged a radical reorganization of the economy, and eventually of European society. In the emerging urban centers, however, the calamities of the fourteenth and early fifteenth century, and the resultant labor shortages, provided a strong impetus for economic diversification and technological innovations. Following the Black Death, the initial loss of life due to famine, plague, and pestilence contributed to an intensification of capital accumulation in the urban areas, and thus a stimulus to trade, industry, and burgeoning urban growth in fields as diverse as banking (the Fugger banking family in Augsburg and the Medici family of Florence being the most prominent); textiles, armaments, especially stimulated by the Hundred Years' War, and mining of iron ore due, in large part, to the booming armaments industry. Accumulation of surplus, competitive overproduction, and heightened competition to maximize economic advantage, contributed to civil war, aggressive militarism, and thus to centralization. As a direct result of the move toward centralization, leaders like Louis XI of France (1461-1483), the “spider king,” sought to remove all constitutional restrictions on the exercise of their authority. In England, France, and Spain the move toward centralization begun in the thirteenth century was carried to a successful conclusion.
But as recovery and prosperity progressed, enabling the population to reach its former levels in the late 15th and 16th centuries, the combination of both a newly-abundant labor supply as well as improved productivity, were 'mixed blessings' for many segments of Western European society. Despite tradition, landlords started the move to exclude peasants from 'common lands'. With trade stimulated, landowners increasingly moved away from the manorial economy. Woolen manufacturing greatly expanded in France, Germany, and the Netherlands and new textile industries began to develop.
The 'humanism' of the Renaissance period stimulated unprecedented academic ferment, and a concern for academic freedom. Ongoing, earnest theoretical debates occurred in the universities about the nature of the church, and the source and extent of the authority of the papacy, of councils, and of princes.
 16th century
- Martin Luther, Johann Tetzel, Philipp Melanchthon, Indulgences, 95 Theses, Nicolaus Von Amsdorf
- Exsurge Domine, Diet of Worms (1521), Peasants' War
- Huldrych Zwingli and Zürich
- John Calvin and Geneva
- John Knox and Scotland (see also Scottish Reformation)
- Radical Reformers — Müntzer, Anabaptists, Menno Simons
- Reformation in France — Huguenots, Pierre Viret
Mainstream Protestants generally trace their separation from the Roman Catholic Church to the 16th century, which is sometimes called the Magisterial Reformation because the movement received support from the magistrates, the ruling authorities (as opposed to the Radical Reformation, which had no state sponsorship). An older Protestant church known as the Unitas Fratrum, Unity of the Brethren, Moravian Brethren or as the Bohemian Brethren trace their origin to the time of Jan Hus in the early 15th century. As it was led by a majority of Bohemian nobles and recognized for a time by the Basel Compacts, this was the first Magisterial Reformation in Europe. In Germany a hundred years later, the protests erupted in many places at once, during a time of threatened Islamic invasion¹ which distracted German princes in particular. To some degree, the protest can be explained by the events of the previous two centuries in Europe and particularly in Bohemia.
These protests began in earnest when Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk (shaved head) and professor at the university of Wittenberg, called in 1517 for reopening of the debate on the sale of indulgences. Tradition holds that he nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle's Church, which served as a pin board for university-related announcements. Luther's dissent marked a sudden outbreak with new and irresistible force of discontent which had been pushed underground but not resolved; the quick spread of discontent occurred to a large degree because of the printing press and the resulting swift movement of both ideas and documents (such as the 95 Theses). Information was also widely disseminated in manuscript form, as well as by cheap prints and woodcuts amongst the poorer sections of society.
The Reformation foundations engaged with Augustinianism. Both Luther and Calvin thought along lines linked with the theological teachings of Augustine of Hippo. The Augustinianism of the Reformers struggled against Pelagianism, a heresy that they perceived in the Catholic church of their day. In the course of this religious upheaval, the Peasants' War of 1524-1525 swept through the Bavarian, Thuringian and Swabian principalities, leaving scores of Roman Catholics slaughtered at the hands of Protestant bands, including the Black Band of Florian Geier, a knight from Giebelstadt who joined the peasants in the general outrage against the Catholic hierarchy.
Parallel to events in Germany, a movement began in Switzerland under the leadership of Huldrych Zwingli. These two movements quickly agreed on most issues, as the recently introduced printing press spread ideas rapidly from place to place, but some unresolved differences kept them separate. Some followers of Zwingli believed that the Reformation was too conservative, and moved independently toward more radical positions, some of which survive among modern day Anabaptists. Other Protestant movements grew up along lines of mysticism or humanism (cf. Erasmus), sometimes breaking from Rome or from the Protestants, or forming outside of the churches.
After this first stage of the Reformation, following the excommunication of Luther and condemnation of the Reformation by the Pope, the work and writings of John Calvin were influential in establishing a loose consensus among various groups in Switzerland, Scotland (see Scottish Reformation), Hungary, Germany and elsewhere. The separation of the Church of England from Rome under Henry VIII, beginning in 1529 and completed in 1536, brought England alongside this broad Reformed movement. However, religious changes in the English national church proceeded more conservatively than elsewhere in Europe. Reformers in the Church of England alternated, for centuries, between sympathies for catholic traditions and Protestantism, progressively forging a stable compromise between adherence to ancient tradition and Protestantism, which is now sometimes called the via media.
Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ulrich Zwingli are considered Magisterial Reformers because their reform movements were supported by ruling authorities or "magistrates." "Frederick the Wise not only supported Luther, who was a professor at the university he founded, but also protected him by hiding Luther in Wartburg Castle in Eisenach. Zwingli and Calvin were supported by the city councils in Zurich and Geneva. Since the term 'magister' also means 'teacher,' the Magisterial Reformation is also characterized by an emphasis on the authority of a teacher. This is made evident in the prominence of Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli as leaders of the reform movements in their respective areas of ministry. Because of their authority, they were often criticized by Radical Reformers as being too much like the Roman Popes. For example, Radical Reformer Andreas von Bodenstein Karlstadt referred to the Wittenberg theologians as the 'new papists.'"
 Humanism to Protestantism
The frustrated reformism of the humanists, ushered in by the Renaissance, contributed to a growing impatience among reformers. Erasmus and later figures like Luther and Zwingli would emerge from this debate and eventually contribute to the second major schism of Christendom. Unfortunately for the Church, the crisis of theology beginning with William of Ockham in the fourteenth century was occurring in conjunction with the new burgher discontent. Since the breakdown of the philosophical foundations of scholasticism, the new nominalism did not bode well for an institutional church legitimized as an intermediary between man and God. New thinking favored the notion that no religious doctrine can be supported by philosophical arguments, eroding the old alliance between reason and faith of the medieval period laid out by Thomas Aquinas.
The major individualistic reform movements that revolted against medieval scholasticism and the institutions that underpinned it were: humanism, devotionalism, (see for example, the Brothers of the Common Life and Jan Standonck) and the observatine tradition. In Germany, “the modern way” or devotionalism caught on in the universities, requiring a redefinition of God, who was no longer a rational governing principle but an arbitrary, unknowable will that cannot be limited. God was now an unknowable absolute ruler, and religion would be more fervent and emotional. Thus, the ensuing revival of Augustinian theology, stating that man cannot be saved by his own efforts but only by the grace of God, would erode the legitimacy of the rigid institutions of the church meant to provide a channel for man to do good works and get into heaven. Humanism, however, was more of an educational reform movement with origins in the Renaissance's revival of classical learning and thought. A revolt against Aristotelian logic, it placed great emphasis on reforming individuals through eloquence as opposed to reason. The European Renaissance laid the foundation for the Northern humanists in its reinforcement of the traditional use of Latin as the great unifying cultural language.
The polarization of the scholarly community in Germany over the Reuchlin (1455-1522) affair, attacked by the elite clergy for his study of Hebrew and Jewish texts, brought Luther fully in line with the humanist educational reforms who favored academic freedom. At the same time, the impact of the Renaissance would soon backfire against Southern Europe, also ushering in an age of reform and a repudiation of much of medieval Latin tradition. Led by Erasmus, the humanists condemned various forms of corruption within the Church, forms of corruption that might not have been any more prevalent than during the medieval zenith of the church. Erasmus held that true religion was a matter of inward devotion rather than an outward symbol of ceremony and ritual. Going back to ancient texts, scriptures, from this viewpoint the greatest culmination of the ancient tradition, are the guides to life. Favoring moral reforms and de-emphasizing didactic ritual, Erasmus laid the groundwork for Luther.
Humanism's intellectual anti-clericalism would profoundly influence Luther. The increasingly well-educated middle sectors of Northern Germany, namely the educated community and city dwellers would turn to Luther's rethinking of religion to conceptualize their discontent according to the cultural medium of the era. The great rise of the burghers, the desire to run their new businesses free of institutional barriers or outmoded cultural practices, contributed to the appeal of humanist individualism. To many, papal institutions were rigid, especially regarding their views on just price and usury. In the North burghers and monarchs were united in their frustration for not paying any taxes to the nation, but collecting taxes from subjects and sending the revenues disproportionately to the Pope in Italy.
These trends heightened demands for significant reform and revitalization along with anticlericalism. New thinkers began noticing the divide between the priests and the flock. The clergy, for instance, were not always well-educated. Parish priests often did not know Latin and rural parishes often did not have great opportunities for theological education for many at the time. Due to its large landholdings and institutional rigidity, a rigidity to which the excessively large ranks of the clergy contributed, many bishops studied law, not theology, being relegated to the role of property managers trained in administration. While priests emphasized works of religiosity, the respectability of the church began diminishing, especially among well educated urbanites, and especially considering the recent strings of political humiliation, such as the apprehension of Pope Boniface VIII by Philip IV of France, the “Babylonian Captivity,” the Great Schism, and the failure of Conciliar reformism. In a sense, the campaign by Pope Leo X to raise funds to rebuild the St. Peter's Basilica was too much of an excess by the secular Renaissance church, prompting the high-pressure sale of indulgences that rendered the clerical establishments even more disliked in the cities.
Luther, taking the revival of the Augustinian notion of salvation by faith alone to new levels, borrowed from the humanists the sense of individualism, that each man can be his own priest (an attitude likely to find popular support considering the rapid rise of an educated urban middle class in the North), and that the only true authority is the Bible, echoing the reformist zeal of the Conciliar movement and opening up the debate once again on limiting the authority of the Pope. While his ideas called for the sharp redefinition of the dividing lines between the laity and the clergy, his ideas were still, by this point, reformist in nature. Luther's contention that the human will was incapable of following good, however, resulted in his rift with Erasmus finally distinguishing Lutheran reformism from humanism.
 Religious influences for the Reformation
While there were some parallels between certain movements within humanism and teachings later common among the Reformers, the Reformation's principal arguments were based on "direct" Biblical interpretation. The Roman Catholic Church had for several centuries been the main purveyor in Europe of non-secular humanism: the neo-Platonism of the scholastics and the neo-Aristotelianism of Thomas Aquinas and his followers had made humanism a part of Church dogma. This was of course due to the Catholic Church's use of historic, religious tradition (including the Canonization of Saints) in the forming of its liturgy. Thus, when Luther and the other reformers adopted the standard of sola scriptura, making the Bible the sole measure of theology, they made the Reformation a reaction against the humanism of that time. Previously, the Scriptures had been seen as the pinnacle of a hierarchy of sacred texts.
The Protestants emphasized such concepts as salvation by "faith alone" (not faith and good works or infused righteousness), "Scripture alone" (the Bible as the sole rule of faith, rather than the Bible plus Tradition), "the priesthood of all believers" (eschewing the special authority and power of the Roman Catholic sacramental priesthood), that all people are individually responsible for their status before God such that talk of mediation through any but Christ alone is unbiblical. Because they saw these teachings as stemming from the Bible, they encouraged publication of the Bible in the common language and universal education.
Part of the revolt was an iconoclasm, seen in John Calvin and Huldrych Zwingli, but particularly amongst the radical reformers. Iconoclastic riots took place in Zürich (in 1523), Copenhagen (1530), Münster (1534), Geneva (1535), Augsburg (1537) and Scotland (1559).
The Reformation did not happen in a vacuum, as there were movements for centuries calling for a return to Biblical teachings, the most famous being from Wycliffe and John Huss. It is no surprise that their teachings were later found in the Reformation, as they imbibed from the same source.
While it is true that there were calls for religious, doctrinal, and moral reformation within and without the institutional church for centuries, apparently it was the invention of the printing press which allowed quick broadcasting of ideas, the rise in nationalistic fervor, the increasing availability of the Bible to the public, and popular discontent at the moral corruption in the church to coalesce in support for a reformation as never before. But the spark that started the Reformation and keeps it going even today is the doctrinal issues brought up by the Holy Bible.
 The Radical Reformation
Many unskilled laborers had been squeezed from the countryside into the cities and suffered from the over-crowding and high prices that can follow such a quick and voluminous influx of new citizens. Discontented and morally righteous, the lower classes embraced the most radical theological options opened up by the religious revolution and were ready to follow leaders rising within their ranks, who urged them to band together against immorality and decadence. The Drummer of Niklashausen and later the Anabaptist preachers railed against landowners who took control of increasing areas, kings centralizing control, and princes looking for increased tax revenues to fund their growing states.
The Anabaptists and other radical leaders were condemned by the Lutherans and nationalistic Germans. Nearly every country in Europe saw a flare-up of failed peasant revolts motivated by religious concerns and executed according to religious doctrine. The Hungarian Peasants' War (1514), the revolt against Charles V in Spain (1520), the discontent of the lower classes in France with the excessive taxes levied by Louis XI, and the secret associations which prepared the way for the great Peasants' War of the lower classes in Germany (1524), show that discontent was not confined to any one country in Europe.
 Lutheranism adopted by the German territorial princes
Luther, like Erasmus, in the beginning favored maintaining the bishops as an elite class for administrative purposes, though he denied that their succession from the Apostles gave their consecration any special sacramental value. And while Luther rejected many of the Catholic sacraments, as well as salvation by grace alone through both faith and good works (as opposed to the Protestant "faith alone") and indulgences, he firmly upheld the sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist. Transubstantiation was most fully spelled out by the medieval scholastics, who agreed that the elements, once consecrated, remained the body and blood of Christ and could be adored as such. Traditionally, the consecrated bread and wine were held to become, substantially, the body and blood of Christ (transubstantiation). Luther affirmed a theology of the Eucharist called consubstantiation, a doctrine of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist which affirms the real presence yet upholding that the bread and wine are not "changed" into the body and blood; rather the divine elements adhere "in, with, and under" the earthly elements. He took this understanding of Christ's presence in the Eucharist to be more harmonious with the Church's teaching on the Incarnation. Just as Christ is the union of the fully human and the fully divine (cf. Council of Chalcedon) so to the Eucharist is a union of Bread and Body, Wine and Blood. According to the doctrine of consubstantiation, the substances of the body and the blood of Christ and of the bread and the wine were held to coexist together in the consecrated Host during the communion service. While Luther seemed to maintain the perpetual consecration of the elements, other Lutherans argued that any consecrated bread or wine left over would revert to its former state the moment the service ended. Most Lutherans accept the latter. A Lutheran understanding of the Eucharist is distinct from the Reformed doctrine of the Eucharist in that Lutherans affirm a real, physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist (as opposed to either a "spiritual presence" or a "memorial") and Lutherans affirm that the presence of Christ does not depend on the faith of the recipient; the repentant receive Christ in the Eucharist worthily, the unrepentant who receive the Eucharist risk the wrath of Christ.
Luther, along with his colleague Philipp Melanchthon, emphasized this point in his plea for the Reformation at the Reichstag in 1529 amid charges of heresy. But the changes he proposed were of such a fundamental nature that by their own logic they would automatically overthrow the old order; neither the Emperor nor the Church could possibly accept them, as Luther well knew. As was only to be expected, the edict by the Diet of Worms (1521) prohibited all innovations. Meanwhile, in these efforts to retain the guise of a Catholic reformer as opposed to a heretical revolutionary, and to appeal to German princes with his religious condemnation of the peasant revolts backed up by the Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, Luther's growing conservatism would provoke more radical reformers.
At a religious conference with the Zwinglians in 1529, Melanchthon joined with Luther in opposing a union with Zwingli. There would finally be a schism in the reform movement due to Luther's belief in consubstantiation—the real (as opposed to symbolic) presence of Christ at the Eucharist. His original intention was not schism, but with the Reichstag of Augsburg (1530) and its rejection of the Lutheran "Augsburg Confession," a separate Lutheran church finally emerged. In a sense, Luther would take theology further in its deviation from established Catholic dogma, forcing a rift between the humanist Erasmus and Luther. Similarly, Zwingli would further repudiate ritualism, and break with the increasingly conservative Luther.
While it would be an understatement to state that Erasmus, Luther, Zwingli, and Melanchthon regarded the fundamental theological questions quite seriously, their followers tended to split along socio-economic lines. Luther found great support from the new bourgeoisie in Germany's urban centers to overthrow the power of the landowning aristocracy and the Latin clergy, rooted in their control of land and peasant labor, which were the central means of production of the time. And up-and-coming merchants, not yet part of the ruling elite, rallied to Luther's cause. Zwingli, however, appealed to poorer segments of society who lacked the stake in German proto-nationalism among the ambitious, consolidating princes and the new bourgeoisie.
Aside from the enclosing of the lower classes, the middle sectors of Northern Germany, namely the educated community and city dwellers, would turn to religion to conceptualize their discontent according to the cultural medium of the era. The great rise of the burghers, the desire to run their new businesses free of institutional barriers or outmoded cultural practices contributed to the appeal of individualism. To many, papal institutions were rigid, especially regarding their views on just price and usury. In the North, burghers and monarchs were united in their frustration for not paying any taxes to the nation, but collecting taxes from subjects and sending the revenues disproportionately to Italy. In Northern Europe Luther appealed to the growing national consciousness of the German states because he denounced the Pope for involvement in politics as well as religion. Moreover, he backed the nobility, which was now justified to crush the Great Peasant Revolt of 1525 and to confiscate church property by Luther's Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms. This explains the attraction of some territorial princes to Lutheranism, especially its Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms. However, the Elector of Brandenburg, Joachim I, blamed Lutheranism for the revolt and so did others. In Brandenburg, it was only under his successor Joachim II that Lutheranism was established, and the old religion was not formally extinct in Brandenburg until the death of the last Catholic bishop there, Georg von Blumenthal, who was Bishop of Lebus and sovereign Prince-Bishop of Ratzeburg.
With the church subordinate to and the agent of civil authority and peasant rebellions condemned on strict religious terms, Lutheranism and German nationalist sentiment were ideally suited to coincide.
Though Charles V fought the reformation, it is no coincidence either that the reign of his nationalistic predecessor Maximilian I saw the beginning of the Reformation. While the centralized states of western Europe had reached accords with the Vatican permitting them to draw on the rich property of the church for government expenditures, enabling them to form state churches that were greatly autonomous of Rome, similar moves on behalf of the Reich were unsuccessful so long as princes and prince bishops fought reforms to drop the pretension of the secular universal empire.
 English Reformation
 Political Reformation
The course of the Reformation was different in England. There had long been a strong strain of anti-clericalism, and England had already given rise to the Lollard movement, which had inspired the Hussites in Bohemia. By the 1520s, however, the Lollards were not an active force, or, at least, certainly not a mass movement. The different character of the English Reformation came rather from the fact that it was driven initially by the political necessities of Henry VIII. Henry had once been a sincere Catholic and had even authored a book strongly criticizing Luther, but he later found it expedient and profitable to break with the Papacy. In 1534 The Act of Supremacy made Henry Supreme Head of the Church of England. Between 1535 and 1540, under Thomas Cromwell, the policy known as the Dissolution of the Monasteries was put into effect. The veneration of Saints, pilgrimages and pilgrim shrines were also attacked. Huge amounts of church land and property passed into the hands of the crown and ultimately into those of the nobility and gentry. The vested interest thus created made for a powerful force in support of the dissolutions.
There were many notable opponents to the Henrician Reformation, such as Thomas More and Bishop John Fisher, who were executed for their opposition. But there was also a growing party of Protestants who were imbued with the Zwinglian and Calvinistic doctrines now current on the Continent. When Henry died he was succeeded by his Protestant son Edward VI, who, through his empowered councillors (with the King being only nine years old at his succession and not yet sixteen at his death) the Duke of Somerset and the Duke of Northumberland, ordered the destruction of images in churches, and the closing of the chantries. Under Edward VI Protestantism was established unequivocally, at least in doctrinal terms (at a popular level, religion England was in a state of flux) . Following a brief Roman Catholic reaction during the reign of Mary 1553-1558, a loose consensus developed during the reign of Elizabeth I, though this point is one of considerable debate among historians. Yet it is the so-called Elizabethan Religious Settlement to which the origins of Anglicanism are traditionally ascribed. The compromise was uneasy and was capable of veering between extreme Calvinism on the one hand and Arminianism on the other, but compared to the bloody and chaotic state of affairs in contemporary France, it was relatively successful until the Puritan Revolution or English Civil War in the seventeenth century.
The success of the Counter-Reformation on the Continent and the growth of a Puritan party dedicated to further Protestant reform polarised the Elizabethan Age, although it was not until the 1640s that England underwent religious strife comparable to that which her neighbours had suffered some generations before.
 Early Puritan movement
The early Puritan movement (late 16th century-17th century) was Reformed or Calvinist and was a movement for reform in the Church of England. Its origins lay in the discontent with the Elizabethan Religious Settlement. The desire was for the Church of England to resemble more closely the Protestant churches of Europe, especially Geneva. The Puritans objected to ornaments and ritual in the churches as idolatrous (vestments, surplices, organs, genuflection), which they castigated as "popish pomp and rags." (See Vestments controversy.) They also objected to ecclesiastical courts. They refused to endorse completely all of the ritual directions and formulas of the Book of Common Prayer; the imposition of its liturgical order by legal force and inspection sharpened Puritanism into a definite opposition movement.
 See also
 Scholarly secondary resources
- Bainton, Roland (1952). The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century. Boston: The Beacon Press. ISBN 0-8070-1301-3.
- Belloc, Hilaire (1928), How the Reformation Happened, Tan Books & Publishing. ISBN 0-89555-465-8 (a Roman Catholic Perspective)
- Braaten, Carl E. and Robert W. Jenson. The Catholicity of the Reformation. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996. ISBN 0-8028-4220-8
- The Cambridge Modern History. Vol 2: The Reformation (1903)
- Cameron, Euan. The European Reformation. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1991. (A standard textbook).
- Durant, William (1957). The Reformation. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 1-56731-017-6.
- Estep, William R. Renaissance & Reformaton. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986. ISBN 0-8028-0050-5
- Gonzales, Justo. The Story of Christianity, Vol. 2: The Reformation to the Present Day. San Francisco: Harper, 1985. ISBN 0-06-063316-6
- Kirsch, J.P. "The Reformation," The Catholic Encyclopedia (1911) Catholic view
- Pelikan, Jaroslav (1984). Reformation of Church and Dogma (1300-1700). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-65377-3. (focuses on religious teachings)
- Kolb, Robert. Confessing the Faith: Reformers Define the Church, 1530-1580. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1991. ISBN 0-570-04556-8
- MacCulloch, Diarmaid. The Reformation: A History. New York: Penguin 2003. Most important recent synthesis
- Spitz, Lewis W. The Renaissance and Reformation Movements: Volume I, The Renaissance. Revised Edition. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1987. ISBN 0-570-03818-9
- Spitz, Lewis W. The Renaissance and Reformation Movements: Volume II, The Reformation. Revised Edition. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1987. ISBN 0-570-03819-7
- Smith, Preserved. The Age of Reformation. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1920.
 Primary sources in translation
- Spitz, Lewis W. The Protestant Reformation: Major Documents. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1997. ISBN 0-570-04993-8
- Luther Martin. Luther's Correspondence and Other Contemporary Letters, 2 vols., tr.and ed. by Preserved Smith, Charles Michael Jacobs, The Lutheran Publication Society, Philadelphia, Pa. 1913, 1918. vol.I (1507-1521) and vol.2 (1521-1530) from Google Books. Reprint of Vol.1, Wipf & Stock Publishers (March 2006). ISBN 1-59752-601-0
- Gorham, George Cornelius, Gleanings of a few scattered ears, during the period of Reformation in England and of the times immediately succeeding : A.D. 1533 to A.D. 1588:, London, Bell and Daldy, 1857.
 Online resources
 Historical materials
- History of Protestantism
- Middle Ages in history
- A list of Protestant reformers
 Primary materials
- Martin Luther's Ninety-five Theses
- The Book of Common Prayer
- The Book of Concord (recommended)
- John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion
- The Corpus Reformatorum. Primary sources in French, German, and Latin.
 External links
- Internet Archive of Related Texts and Documents
- A summary of the Reformation
- An Overview of the Protestant Reformation
- Leben, a journal of Reformed Life
- The significance of Anne Boleyn for the Reformation in England
- Pope Adrian VI to Francesco Chieregati, Nov. 25, 1522  Regarding Luther, corruption in the Catholic Church, the need for reform, etc.