Halloween, October 31st, 1517, German theologian Martin Luther submits his Ninety-five Theses to the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg. Although not the first to file disagreements with the leadership of the Roman Church, Luther’s words sparked a revolution with the help of the newly invented printing press, and a general discontent surrounding the selling of indulgences by a clearly corrupt Papacy. What resulted over the coming decades led to the Thirty Years War in Germany, and perhaps more significantly, the treaty of Westphalia, which sanctioned the kings of Northern Europe to effectively establish themselves as heads of their own Christian churches. Over the next 500 years, the affects of the fragmentation led to numerous theological and cultural differences between the faiths, chiefly the belief in moral authority of men over other men, the conduct of one’s life versus one’s faith as a gateway to heaven, and the overall cohesiveness of what was once considered simply ‘Christendom’. Today the rapidly changing ethnic and religious makeup of Europe further puts into focus the matter of European identity, and what is to be done if Europe wishes to maintain or even restore some of its ancient traditions.
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— Timeline —
1517 – Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses to the doors of the Witternberg Cathedral.
1521 – Diet of Worms, wherein Martin Luther is called to stand for his heretical views. He is excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church but is saved by the Prince of Saxony.
1522 – Martin Luther publishes his first New Testament written entirely in German.
1533 – The English Reformation begins once King Henry V has his marriage annulled by the newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.
1534 – Ignatius Loyol assists in the development of the Counter-Reformation, an attempt by the Roman Catholic Church to retain its laity and regather converts to Protestantism.
1545 – The Council of Trent begins as a direct repudiation and reaction to Protestantism’s influence on the Roman Catholic Church.
1611 – The King James Bible, a complete Bible written in English for the Anglican Church, is released to the Church and public in England.
1909 – The Scofield Bible is published by Cyris Scofield, spawning the philosophical foundations of dispensationalism and Christian Zionism.
— References —
– Ninety-fve Theses, Luther (1517) – http://www.luther.de/en/95thesen.html
– On the Jews and Their Lies, Luther (1543) – https://archive.org/stream/TheJewsAndTheirLies1543En1948/LUTHERDr._Martin-The_Jews_and_their_Lies_1948-EN_djvu.txt
– Fear and Trembling, Kierkegaard (1843)
– Scofield Reference Bible (1917) – https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/scofield-reference-notes/
– Hardcore History 48 – Prophets of Doom – Dan Carlin (2013) – http://www.dancarlin.com/product/hardcore-history-48-prophets-of-doom/
– The Protestant Question, Haven Monahan (2015) – http://www.socialmatter.net/2015/04/17/the-protestant-question/
– Marching to Zion, Anderson (2015) – http://marchingtozion.com