* The First paragraph may be too long, please point out any of the extra details which need to be cut out.
The Protestant Reformation was a movement to reform Roman Catholicism in Europe during the 16th century. The Protestant Reformation, along with it, brought religious pluralism in Europe. This movement attacked the religious dogma which dominated Europe at the time politically, socially and religiously. The reformation was led by a man named Martin Luther from Germany, and was further modified by a French theologian named John Calvin, and then Henry VIII, the king of England. The ideas brought forward by these individuals started the Protestant Reformation and forever changed the course of Western civilization.
Martin Luther was the one responsible for igniting Reformation. As Martin Luther traveled to Rome he came back to Germany as a critic of the Catholic papacy. He believed that the Catholic Church was wrong in teaching that salvation could be earned by doing good deeds and most importantly by indulgences. His beliefs were based on three principles: Sola Fide "by faith alone", Sola scriptura "by scripture alone", and Sola gratia "by grace alone". He believed that salvation should come from faith rather than good deeds such as prayer, charity, or Church sacraments. He believed that the religious truth can be attained through reading the Bible. This attacked the man made scriptural grounds as well as implied that humans have possess the ability to educated themselves, gain knowledge, and question. And he believed that no one was capable of acting for the good or knowing the religious truth, if God was not willing. The sale of indulgences was a common practice at the time in Europe. This revolted Luther because he felt that it was a mockery of true faith and the meaning of salvation. Lutheran's beliefs had huge political as well as social impacts. Because the With the uprising of the ideology that every individual is equal in the eyes of God and that the pope is not superior to an individual Christian, the huge serf population felt that these beliefs spoke in their favor and therefore demanded freedom from their overlords which caused severe consequences. Soon, the local authorities such as Germany and Italy were challenging the central authority of Rome which was dominated by strong religious dogma. In the end, secular power became more important and this caused the closure of monasteries. People were encouraged to read translations of the Bible, Christian values were practiced at home and the papacy no longer held special power.
John Calvin was the major figure of the second wave of the Reformation. His influence was even greater than Martin Luther's. After a sudden experience John Calvin adopted Protestantism. He believed that he had been called upon by God to lead the reform of Christianity. In 1536, he produced a document which outlined the new faith of Protestantism. Like Martin Luther, Calvin believed that salvation could only be gained by faith. However he also believed that it could be gained if one lived a life of poverty and service, in other words, the life of Jesus. He believed that god was all-powerful and that one must act in his obedience. He emphasized that life was predetermined and God alone can determine who will achieve salvation, but individuals are still obliged to live a good and obedient life. This idea was central point of his beliefs.
King Henry was another individual who caused a huge impact on the Reformation of Catholicism. Earlier King Henry had married Catherine of Argon. After Catherine of Argon had failed to produce a male heir to the throne, Henry VIII had decided to end his marriage with her. However, a divorce was not a simple issue. Henry VIII was a Roman Catholic. Roman Catholic faith believed in marriage for life therefore the Catholic Church did not grant his request to annul the marriage. Soon, Henry grew impatient and demanded the Archbishop of Canterbury to grant him a divorce. He was granted the divorce against the wishes of the pope. He than used England's parliament to transform the Church, passing the Act of Supremacy, allowing Henry VIII to gain sovereignty over the civil laws over the laws of the Church. Anglican Church of England was born and Henry VIII was the head of the Church. Although Henry's reason for Reforming the Church was a selfish one it had a huge impact because it ended the pope's aw well as the Church's. He seized church lands, and promoted religious reformers to power.
The Reformation was a process of restructuring the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century. Martin Luther, John Calvin and Henry VIII were the key figures who ignited the Reformation. However it is important to note that the main goal of these individuals was not to destroy Catholicism but simply to reform it. Their goal was to put an end to the religious dogma which dominated political, social and religious institutions in Europe at the time. These individuals continued to be devoted to religion.
...Along with it, the Protestant Reformation brought religious pluralism in Europe, attacking religious dogma which at that time dominated Europe politically, socially and religiously. The reformation was led by a man from Germany named Martin Luther; it was further modified by French theologian John Calvin, and then Henry VIII, the king of England. The ideas brought forward by these individuals started the Protestant Reformation and forever changed the course of Western civilization.
The essay is great! I see that you give one para to each person. So, in the intro, you should present those people as the subject of the essay. You can say: Three people who played major roles in the Protestant Reformation were...
If you do that in the intro, which you already sort of do, it will be great. It already is great. But in the intro, don't mention those people as a side-note, but rather, as the focus of the essay... as the thesis statement.
Then, you have a great descriptive essay.
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