From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"For first, as I have already observed, it would greatly lessen the number of Papists, with whom we are yearly over-run, being the principal breeders of the nation, as well as our most dangerous enemies, and who stay at home on purpose with a design to deliver the kingdom to the Pretender, hoping to take their advantage by the absence of so many good Protestants, who have chosen rather to leave their country, than stay at home and pay tithes against their conscience to an episcopal curate." --"A Modest Proposal", Jonathan Swift
"In 1681, Géraud de Cordemoy published an anti-protestantist book, the conférence entre Luther et le diable au sujet de la messe with his commentaries, republished and widely distributed in 1875 by Isidore Liseux with commentaries by Nicolas Lenglet Du Fresnoy."--Sholem Stein
Protestantism is one of the major divisions within Christianity. It has been defined by Merriam-Webster as "any of several church denominations denying the universal authority of the Pope and affirming the Reformation principles of justification by faith alone, the priesthood of all believers, and the primacy of the Bible as the only source of revealed truth" and, more broadly, to mean Christianity outside "of an Orthodox or Catholic church".
It is a movement that is widely seen as beginning in Germany by Martin Luther with The Ninety-Five Theses in 1517 as a reaction against medieval doctrines and practices, especially in regard to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology. The doctrines of the over 33,000 Protestant denominations vary, but most include justification by grace through faith alone, known as Sola Gratia and Sola Fide respectively, the priesthood of all believers, and the Bible as the supreme authority in matters of faith and morals, known as Sola Scriptura, Latin for "by scripture alone".
In the 16th century, the followers of Martin Luther established the evangelical (Lutheran) churches of Germany and Scandinavia. Reformed churches in Hungary, Scotland, Switzerland and France were established by other reformers such as John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, and John Knox. The Church of England declared independence from papal authority in 1534, and was influenced by some Reformation principles, notably during the English Civil War. There were also reformation movements throughout continental Europe known as the Radical Reformation which gave rise to the Anabaptist, Moravian, and other pietistic movements.
The Northern Renaissance was distinct from the Italian Renaissance in its centralization of political power. While Italy was dominated by independent city-states, countries in central and western Europe began emerging as nation-states. The Northern Renaissance was also closely linked to the Protestant Reformation and the long series of internal and external conflicts between various Protestant groups and the Roman Catholic Church.
Protestant work ethic
The Protestant work ethic, sometimes called the Puritan work ethic, is a Calvinist value emphasizing the necessity of constant labor in a person's calling as a sign of personal salvation. Protestants beginning with Martin Luther had reconceptualised work as a duty in the world for the benefit of the individual and society as a whole. The Catholic idea of good works was transformed into an obligation to work diligently as a sign of grace.
Founders: the first Protestant major reformers and theologians
- Twelfth century
- Fourteenth century
- John Wycliffe, English reformer, the "Morning Star of the Reformation".
- Fifteenth century
- Jan Hus, Catholic Priest and Professor, father of an early Protestant church (Moravianism), Czech reformist/dissident; burned to death in Constance, Holy Roman Empire in 1415 by Roman Catholic Church authorities for unrepentant and persistent heresy. After the devastation of the Hussite Wars some of his followers founded the Unitas Fratrum in 1457, "Unity of Brethren", which was renewed under the leadership of Count Zinzendorf in Herrnhut, Saxony in 1722 after its almost total destruction in the 30 Years War and Counter Reformation. Today it is usually referred to in English as the Moravian Church, in German the Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine.
- Sixteenth century
- Jacobus Arminius, Dutch theologian, founder of school of thought known as Arminianism.
- Heinrich Bullinger, successor of Zwingli, leading reformed theologian.
- John Calvin, French theologian, Reformer and resident of Geneva, Switzerland, he founded the school of theology known as Calvinism.
- Balthasar Hubmaier, influential Anabaptist theologian, author of numerous works during his five years of ministry, tortured at Zwingli's behest, and executed in Vienna.
- John Knox, Scottish Calvinist reformer.
- Abaomas Kulvietis, jurs and a professor at Königsberg Albertina University, as well as a Reformer of the Lithuanian church.
- Martin Luther, church reformer, Father of Protestantism, theological works guided those now known as Lutherans.
- Philipp Melanchthon, early Lutheran leader.
- Menno Simons, founder of Mennonitism.
- John Smyth, early Baptist leader.
- Huldrych Zwingli, founder of Swiss reformed tradition.
- Black Legend
- Northern Renaissance
- Protestant work ethic