The reformation of christianity and the interaction of religions in the 16th and 17th centuries

The accidental death of King Henry II in left France with a religiously divided court and a series of young, inexperienced kings. Militancy increased on both sides of the religious divide, and civil war broke out in Neither side could secure a decisive win on the battlefield, and neither was satisfied with the compromise peace that ended the war.

The reformation of christianity and the interaction of religions in the 16th and 17th centuries

Renaissance and revival History of modern Paganism Contemporary Paganism is the restoration of indigenous religion, especially that of ancient Europe.

Paganism has grown in popularity greatly during the last hundred years. The growth coincides with a decline in Christianity in Europe, and the increase in knowledge of past and distant cultures. Documents rescued after the fall of Constantinople in introduced people to ideas from before the Middle ages.

And although Europe remained Christian the Pagan gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece jostled with the patron saints of Christianity on public monument, and classical philosophy began to change the way people thought about ethics and morality.

Christianity in the 17th century - Wikipedia

In Britain the Reformation of the s transformed England from a Catholic country to a Protestant one. The religious conflict that went along with this change led to the persecution of those who didn't fit the desired religious profile. Religious hysteria disguised as spiritual cleansing led to some individuals being described as 'witches'.

But these people were not part of any religious movement, merely victims of local feuds and quarrels. A few of them were practitioners of herbal medicine but most were ordinary, conventional citizens.

After the enormous political and intellectual upheavals of the s died away, it became possible to explore ways of thought outside Christianity without fear of instant damnation, and the study of Greek and Roman classics became part of every schoolboy's education.

The name 'Europe' herself a character in Greek myth replaced 'Christendom' in the midth century. Influenced by the expansion of trade and colonies an awareness and interest in other cultures and spiritualities grew.

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This new age of reason during the 17th and 18th Centuries became known as the Enlightenment. The revival of traditional cultures and ancient traditions The first Pagan tradition to be restored was that of the Druids in Britain.

In the mids stone circles and other monuments built four and a half thousand years previously began to interest scholars. Some thought that the original Druids pre-historic tribal people of Europe had built them. By the 19th Century a new outlook was evident as people searched for the fundamental principles of religion by looking at the faiths of different places and times.

Mme Helena Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society in Pagan philosophies, which venerated Nature and were polytheistic, began to be seen as sophisticated contributions to contemporary spirituality. In northern Europe there was a growing interest in Saxon and Norse traditions.

In Germany Schlegel and Schelling in particular were attracted to the nature religion which they saw behind traditional folk customs, and at the beginning of the 20th century Guido von Liszt pioneered the study of the runes.

In north-east Europe, particularly Lithuania, nationalist movements spread and indigenous languages were reclaimed, traditional tales recorded and the old festivals celebrated.

Folk music was part of this reassertion of local identity, preserving traditions which otherwise would have been forgotten. By one historian proposed that the supposed witches of the 16thth centuries were in fact underground practitioners of Pagan religion.


And in an American journalist, Charles Godfrey Leland, claimed he had discovered modern day witches in Italy. It was not until that the first practitioners of modern day witchcraft became known.

It was at this time that the United Kingdom followed the rest of Europe in repealing the last of its anti-witchcraft laws. No laws were thought necessary in this rationalistic age. But amazingly, a retired tea planter and amateur archaeologist, Gerald Brousseau Gardner, appeared in print claiming he spoke for one of several covens of English witches who practised a Pagan religion dating from the Stone Age.

Gardner claimed that his witches were practitioners of a fertility religion called Wicca. The hippy trail and beyond The s and s were times of radical social change. Hinduism and Taoism helped shape contemporary Paganism as the hippy trail led people to become interested in Eastern religions and philosophies.

Other traditions were also revived and incorporated into Pagan practices.

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European traditions reconstructed local holy sites and resurrected traditional ceremonies. Paganism found an ally in the ecological and feminist movements of the s.

Pagan philosophies appealed to many eco-activists, who also saw Nature as sacred and recognised the Great Goddess as Mother Nature. The image of the witch was taken up by feminists as a role-model of the independent powerful woman, and the single Great Goddess as the archetype of women's inner strength and dignity.

Witchcraft continued to develop and from the s onwards, witches from outside Gardner's tradition appeared. Some were practitioners of traditional practical healing and magic, with no particular Pagan religious structure.The English Reformation The study of the religious upheavals that took place in England during the 16th and 17th centuries has proved one of the most provocative areas of recent scholarship.

Alec Ryrie looks at some of the key works of recent years. Religious thinking underwent dramatic changes during the three hundred years from the to Western Europe, once dominated by Catholicism, witnessed challenges to its religious homogeneity.

In , Martin Luther questioned the route to salvation. any of the Protestants (French Calvinists) in France in the 16th and 17th centuries, many of whom suffered severe persecution for their faith.

The Edict of Nantes () granted them tolerance in France and ended the French civil wars of religion. However, it would take at least until AD before all pagan people were actually Christianized and the Frisian and Saxon religions became extinct, although elements were incorporated into the Christian religion.

The following centuries, Catholic Christianity was the . The Reformation was a very violent period in Europe, even family members were often pitted against one another in the wars of religion. Each side, both Catholics and Protestants, were often absolutely certain that they were in the right and that the other side was doing the devil's work.

Puritanism: Puritanism, a religious reform movement in the late 16th and 17th centuries that was known for the intensity of the religious experience that it fostered.

The reformation of christianity and the interaction of religions in the 16th and 17th centuries

Puritans’ efforts contributed to both civil war in England and the founding of colonies in America.

Puritanism | Definition, History, Beliefs, & Facts |