events leading up to the Reformation
led to the Reformation: Read about Waldo, Hus, Wycliffe,
Gutenberg and Savonarola.
Timeline of the Reformation
key events in church history, such as the posting of the
95 theses, the Diet of Worms, the Peace of Augsburg.
changes during the Reformation
Thirty years wars, martyrdoms, the St Bartholomew's Day
massacre....let's not forget how our freedom was won.
Waldo's followers were known as Waldensians, "Poor
in Spirit" or "Poor Men of Lyons". In 1184
Pope Lucius III excommunicated them and in 1211, more than
eighty were burned as heretics
in Strasbourg, beginning several centuries of persecution.
Wycliffe Bible was the first
translation of the scripture into English.
It was translated from Jerome's "Vulgate", so wasn't
totally accurate. John Wycliffe (1329-84) was determined that
every believer should have access to a Bible in their own
language. His followers became known as Lollards.
|July 6, 1415
Jan Hus (1374-1415) was condemned
at the Council of Constance
and martyred for his beliefs. The bonfire used for his execution
was fueled with his Wycliffe's books. He sang praises until
his final breath.
development of moveable type
enabled the teaching of the Reformers to be widely circulated.
By 1455, he had printed around 180 copies of the Bible in
Mainz. They cost the equivalent of a year's wages!
|February 7, 1497
|At the carnival in Florence,
Dominican monk Girolamo Savonarola organized
the "Bonfire of the Vanities".
He sent children door-to-door to gather the worldly things
that were distracting people from true Christian living. The
pile of books, cosmetics, dresses, masks, musical instruments,
cards, dice etc rose 15 stories high! Read more about this
on the Christian History Institute's web site: click
|October 31, 1517
Luther posted the 95 Theses
were posted on October 31st 1517 on the door of the Casle Church
in Wittenberg and that heralded the start of the "Reformation".
here to read them. You can also read some interesting background
information. Read what Miles Hodges, Historian, has written
about the 95 Theses.
|June - July 1519
the Disputation at Leipzig,
Andreas von Carlstadt and Luther debated with John Eck. Eck forced
Luther to admit that he agreed with Hus (who was considered a heretic),
but this only served to strengthen Luther's resolve.
27 - May 25, 1521
Many Imperial discussions (Diets) were held in Worms, but the most
famous Diet of Worms
was the one Martin Luther attended in 1521. Emperor
Karl V called for the discussion to allow Cardinal Aleander (1480-1542)
who was the Pope's ambassador, to examine Luther to see if he was
a heretic. They decided that he was and he was banned from the Holy
Empire. Click here
to read more on the www.luther.de site.
|May 25, 1521
Edict of Worms, signed by Emperor Charles V declared
Martin Luther a heretic and placed him under an
imperial ban. It also specified that all Luther's books were to
|January 29, 1523
Ulrich Zwingli presented
his 67 Theses at
the Zurich Disputation,
before hundreds of educated men. These included such topics as allowing
clergy to marry, the mass being a celebration not a sacrifice etc.
It was successful and widespread reform spread.
The German peasants, angered
by rising prices and the feudal system, decided to revolt in June
1524. The Peasant's Revolt
began peacefully, but by 1525, the protests turned violent and more
than 40 German monasteries and castles were burnt. Luther
opposed the Revolt and the peasants rejected Lutheranism.
published an English language New
Testament in Worms, after a narrow escape from Johannes
Dobneck (1479-1552) who had organized a raid on Tyndale's secret
printing press. The Bibles were then smuggled into England and distributed.
Augsburg Confession. Background
information. In 1530, Emperor Karl V called the Parliament
together in Augsburg to resolved the political, religious and social
problems created by the Reformation. As Luther couldn't attend,
Philip Melanchthon represented him. The result
was a document called the Augsburg Confession, which is still the
Lutheran doctrinal standard.
|1530 - 1531
Schmalkaldic League was formed in the winter of
1530-31 as a defensive alliance against the empire. In a meeting
set up by princes Philip of Hesse and John of Saxony, eight princes
and eleven cities met and adopted the Augsburg Confession.
the former Priest, gathered the scattered Anabaptists into congregations.
They then became known as Mennonites.
This group has influenced Baptists, Amish, Hutterites and Quakers.
| April, 1539
Treaty of Frankfurt was an attempt to bring peace
between the Schmalkaldic League and Emperor Charles V. Unfortunately
it failed to prevent future wars between Catholics and Lutherans.
Tigurinius" - Calvinists and Zwinlians agree
|September 25, 1555
Peace of Augsburg was an edict of toleration for
Lutheranism. The outcome became known as 'cuius regio, eius
religio', (not actually in the Peace) which meant that each
individual Prince could choose the religion for his area. Lutheranism
was formally recognized, but the other Reformation movements weren't.
Heidelberg Catechism is one of the most important
Calvinistic statements of faith. Click
here to read
|August 24, 1572
The worst case of Protestant
persecution was the St Bartholomew's
Day massacre. It began with the murder of Gaspard
de Coligny, one of the Huguenot leaders. Beginning in Paris and
spreading to Rouen, Lyons, Bourges, Orleans, Bordeaux and beyond,
up to 10,000 Huguenots were killed. The few survivors fled to other
countries, were imprisoned or enslaved.
Thirty Years War. Germany was invaded by the imperial
armies of Austria and then by the Swedish army who came to help
the Protestants. Society broke down in this period and two-thirds
of the population died through warfare, famine and plague.
|October 24, 1648
Peace of Westphalia. After eight
years of struggle, the series of treaties known as 'The Peace of
Westphalia' was signed in Münster, by Emporer Frederick III.
This was the start of the separation of church and state. Calvinists
were added to the list of tolerated religions, which brought increased
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