Depiction of Protestant Reformation

The renaissance values of humanism and secularism led to criticism of the Catholic Church. John Calvin was born in France to a catholic family. He began to have doubts of the catholic church.

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In chapter 2 in Problems in US History it talks about Calvin’s middle way, how the name Puritan came to be, and what they wished to change about the church. It also covered how the Old World and the New World and what the separatists felt about infant baptism. The reformation is an important historical event because it allowed the people to have more knowledge in the religion aspect, but not just limited to that.

        John Calvin began to doubt the catholic church. He was influenced by Martin Luther. Many Europeans began to start doubting catholicism and say that it was corrupt. The bible was in Latin which only the priest was able to read. Luther believed that if people were to be able to read the bible it would help them spiritually. He also stated that the priests and the church officers did not even have any spiritual powers. With people having access to the bible, more people can interpret it which can lead for them to make their own and different interpretations of what they have been taught. Which then lead to different religions. Calvin states that the ministry or church needed to havethe Holy Spirit, if not they would just be lectures and that they would have no power to save them or the people. Calvin also preached about the idea of predestination, which means that god had already determined who was going to be saved and go to heaven or be condemned in hell. The Puritans used the bible as a manual for every aspect of their life. It wasn’t just for how they should behave and be obedient to god but for economics, politics, and theology. Perry Miller described Puritan life as being very serious and they would not waste any time on having fun. Puritans who were not taking life serious about being god’s followers would then be punished later.  

        The origin of Puritans was at first an undesirable name and then became a cartoon in popular theater. It wasn’t until the 1600’s, when the Puritans accepted and used the word as a commitment to god. In the Old World the church, there was only one church and the priest was the king. The church would hold civil courts. In the New World the church and the state did not have no relationship, they were separate.The Puritans wanted the church to make changes. Some examples of those changes was saint days, candles, prayers at the grave, exchange of rings at marriage, and to end the celebration of Christmas. Two very different groups grew out of the Puritans, which were Presbyterianism and Congregationalism.

The Presbyterianism is a system of representative clergy that functioned together as a large church. Congregationalism was known as the independent wing. They believed that important decisions should be made within each church. Separatists did not believe in infant baptism. They believed you would grow up and you would make your own decision about salvation.The protestant reformation was the beginning of many more religions. Calvin thought that the catholic church was a fraud and corrupted, and he wanted to start his own perfect christian city. Not only did Puritans come out of this separation or reformation from the catholic church but a lot of different religions. Puritans were serious about being a good christian. The reformation opened the eyes to many people and these changes increased literacy.

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