The Reformation & Reformation Parliament

Information about the reformation and Lutheraniasm, as well as the acts of the Reformation Parliament.

  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 21-05-12 16:40

The Reformation in Germany

  • Martin Luther (1483-1546)
  • Most prominent figure in the early reformation
  • He was excommunicated by Pope Leo X in 1520 but escaped prosecution as he had powerful supporters
  • 1525 - Peasants of Germany revolted against their noble masters, with many of them using Luther's ideas as a cry for violence and murder
  • Luther upset his ideas of 'spiritual equality' were being misinterpreted - reiterated his support for the princes of the HRE.
  • Increasingly, the Lutheran Reformation in Germany was organised and supported by the nobility
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Impact of Lutheranism in England

  • Lutheranism had little impact outside Germany
  • Henry consistently anti-Lutheran
  • Those who read Luther's works or preached his ideas in danger of being accused of heresy and possibly burned on heretic grounds
  • Thomas Cranmer and Thomas Cromwell probably secretly harboured Lutheran ideas
  • Henry attracted to some radical ideas - especially ones which promoted the King as the head of the Church
  • Obedience of a Christian man, written by Lutheran William Tyndale, and given to Henry by Anne held these views
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Humanist opposition to the Catholic Church before


  • Wanted an improvement in the intellectual and moral standards of the clergy - reform within the Church
  • Thomas More was a humanist
  • Believed that return to original scriptures was necessary, as the Latin version of the bible had been mistranslated
  • Erasmus was the most prominent Christian humanist in Europe - some argue that he laid the intellectual foundations for Luther
  • Both Luther & Erasmus thought the Word of God was a key part of worship
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Lollard opposition to the Catholic Church before r


  • Small number of radicals in England
  • Followers of 14th century theologian John Wyclif
  • Thought Bible should be in English, monasteries should be closed and Church property should be secularised (taken out of religious control)
  • Attacked papal and priestly powers
  • Views were regarded as heretical
  • His followers were forced underground because of persecution in the 15th century
  • Lollard communities existed, but there were few of them and did little to advance radical ideas
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Henrican Reformation

3 main arguments: State of Church

  • corrupt & unpopular
  • relatively good health

Motives for Change

  • Act of State - Policies imposed
  • Popular reception for his policies

Pace of Change

  • did little to change everyday worship - slow process
  • happened quickly - protestantism made progress by Edward VI's death in 53
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Reformation Parliament

  • Opened in 1529
  • Closed in 1536
  • Passed anti-clerical legislation highly influenced by Henry VIII
  • Put pressure on Rome because of this - trying to remove power of Rome from England
  • Henry hoped Pope might feel threatened by consequences of not granting him a divorce from Catherine of Aragon
  • Passed variety of acts including the Supplication of the Ordinaries, 1532 and the Act and Oath of Supremacy 1536
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