- Isotta Nogarola
- Niccolò Machiavelli
- Ibn Khaldûn
The Renaissance produced an explosion of written works—translations of ancient texts, scholarly studies, biblical interpretations, histories, philosophical treatises, scientific theories, religious pamphlets, biographies, social commentaries, poetry, stories, novels, and plays, to name but a few. Many factors contributed to this development, but there were two major influences: the humanist movement and the invention of the printing press. The humanist movement began in Italy in the mid-1300s as a revival of the literature and culture of ancient Greece and Rome, which focused on human experience and creativity. Within a few decades scholars and thinkers throughout Europe were promoting a human-centered view of the world. Italian humanists are credited with founding the Renaissance, which was given momentum a century later, in the mid-1400s, by the printing press. Written works could be mass-produced and quickly distributed throughout Europe. Thus Renaissance ideals spread rapidly, leading to new ways of observing and writing about every aspect of human endeavor.
During the fifteenth century the...
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Excerpt from "On the Equal or Unequal Sin of Eve and Adam" (1451)
Reprinted in Her Immaculate Hand: Selected Works
By and About The Women Humanists of Quattrocento Italy
Edited and translated by Margaret L. King and Albert Rabil Jr. Published in 1983
The Italian scholar Isotta Nogarola (1418–1466) is considered the first major female humanist. "Humanism" is the modern term for the intellectual movement that initiated the Renaissance. The humanist movement originated in Florence, Italy, in the mid-1300s and was introduced into other European countries shortly before 1500. Humanist scholars believed that a body of learning called studia humanitatis (humanistic studies), which was based on the literary masterpieces from the classical period of ancient Greece and Rome, could bring about a cultural rebirth, or renaissance. The texts included not only classical literature but also the Bible (the Christian holy book) and the works of early Christian thinkers. Humanists were committed to the revival of ancient works as a way to end the "barbarism" (lack of refinement or culture) of the Middle Ages (also called the medieval period), the thousand-year era that followed the downfall of the Roman Empire in the fourth and fifth centuries. Humanistic studies were nearly always developed with the education of boys and...
(The entire section is 3251 words.)
Excerpts from The Prince (1513)
Reprinted in The Renaissance Man
Translated by Ninian Hill Thomson
Published in 1969
One of the most important works of the Renaissance was The Prince by the Italian author and statesman Niccolò Machiavelli (pronounced mahk-yah-VEL-lee;1469–1527). In this book Machiavelli explained his political philosophy, which remains controversial even today. According to Machiavelli, a ruler must be motivated solely by self-interest and must place the survival of his regime above all other considerations. Machiavelli developed his theories on the basis of humanist ideals. Humanism was a scholarly movement that began in Machiavelli's native city, Florence, Italy, in the mid-1300s. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries humanists set out to revive the culture of ancient Greece and Rome (called the classical period), which they considered the pinnacle of human achievement before the fall of the Roman Republic in the fourth and fifth centuries.
In the early 1500s humanists in Florence wanted to establish the city as the center of a resurrected Roman Republic. At that time France and Spain were involved in the early stages of a conflict over control of Italy, called the Italian Wars (1494–1559). Machiavelli saw the need for a strong political and...
(The entire section is 1254 words.)
Excerpts from The Muqaddimah (1377)
Translated by Franz Rosenthal
Edited by N. J. Dawood
Published in 1989
The Renaissance is generally considered to be an era in European history only, yet a similar cultural and intellectual revolution took place in the Arab world. The greatest Arab figure of this period was the Muslim philosopher and historian 'Adb al-Rahman Ibn Khaldûn (known as Ibn Khaldûn; pronounced kal-DOON; 1332–1395). (A Muslim is a follower of Islam, a religion founded by the prophet Muhammad.) Ibn Khaldûn is best known today for The Muqaddimah (pronounced moo-kah-DEE-mah), which was the introduction to the first volume of Kitāb al-'bar, a history of the world.
Ibn Khaldûn completed The Muqaddimah in 1377, around the same time humanism (a movement devoted to the revival of ancient Greek and Roman culture) was gaining momentum in northern Italy. Like the European humanists, he used ancient Greek concepts to examine his own society and he placed humans at the center of the world. The Muqaddimah represented a significant leap forward in scholarship at the time. Unlike most philosophers who came before him, Ibn Khaldûn attempted to discover patterns in social and political organizations. (A philosopher was one who studied all learning except...
(The entire section is 2019 words.)
Renaissance Arts and Science
- Leonardo da Vinci
The Renaissance was an era of unparalleled innovation and creativity in painting, sculpture, and architecture, especially in Italy, which was the home of Renaissance art. Inspired by humanist concepts, many artists perfected their talents in several areas, personifying the ideal of the "Renaissance man." One of the most famous multitalented figures was the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. He not only produced masterpieces in painting and sculpture but also worked as an engineer and inventor. In fact, for Leonardo art and science were closely related. Throughout his career he kept notebooks in which he wrote down his ideas on a wide range of subjects, including theories of painting, ideas for remarkably modern inventions, and plans for houses and towns.
At the height of the Renaissance a scientific revolution was initiated by astronomers who introduced new ways of understanding their world in relation to the heavens. Rejecting the traditional theory of an Earth-centered universe, these scientists set out to test the theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun. One of the most important developments was the invention of the telescope, which enabled astronomers to gain a closer view of...
(The entire section is 255 words.)
Leonardo da Vinci
Excerpts from Notebooks (c.1490–1515)
Reprinted in Selections from the Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci
Edited by Irma A. Richter
Published in 1977
The Italian Renaissance was a time of experimentation in painting, sculpture, and architecture. During the Middle Ages (c. 400–1400; also known as the medieval period) the artist was an anonymous vehicle for glorifying God. In the Renaissance, however, human beings became the central focus of artistic expression. This development was the result of the humanist movement, a revival of the culture of ancient Greece and Rome (called the classical period) initiated by scholars in Florence, Italy, in the mid-1300s. Humanists believed that a body of learning called studia humanitatis (humanistic studies), which was based on the literary masterpieces from the classical period, could bring about a cultural rebirth, or renaissance. Humanists were committed to the revival of ancient works, which emphasized human achievement, as a way to end the "barbarism" (lack of refinement or culture) of the Middle Ages.
The Renaissance art movement began in the early fifteenth century when humanist ideas were put into practice by painters, sculptors, and architects in Florence. Using a human-centered approach, they started a revolution that...
(The entire section is 2055 words.)
Excerpt from The Starry Messenger (1610)
Reprinted in The Achievement of Galileo
Edited by James Brophy and Henry Paolucci
Published in 1962
Ascientific revolution occurred during the Renaissance through the influence of humanists who took a renewed interest in the work of ancient philosophers. Humanism was a movement initiated in Florence, Italy, in the mid-1300s by scholars who set out to revive the culture of ancient Greece and Rome (called the classical period). They hoped to start a cultural rebirth, or renaissance, that would end what they believed was the "barbarism" of the Middle Ages, the thousand-year period that began with the fall of the Roman Empire in the fourth and fifth centuries. Scientists were particularly interested in giving Greek texts updated translations and interpretations. They developed new theories that eventually replaced the Greek concepts that had dominated science for almost two thousand years. By the sixteenth century science had become a separate field from philosophy and technology, which had been the major areas of thought in ancient times. (Philosophy is devoted to a search for a general understanding of values and reality through speculative thinking. Technology is the application of practical knowledge, such as engineering.) An even more important development was that...
(The entire section is 2867 words.)
Drama and Literature
- William Shakespeare
- Margaret of Navarre
- Miguel de Cervantes
- Michel de Montaigne
- Margaret Cavendish
During the Renaissance playwrights expanded popular theatrical forms—such as religious plays, comedies, satires, romances, revenge dramas, history plays, and court masques—to create new genres that depicted human conflicts and predicaments. Aided by the printing press, authors wrote a steady stream of plays that portrayed important social issues of the day and attracted audiences in record numbers. The center of this phenomenon was Elizabethan England, where many great playwrights produced masterpieces that continue to be performed today. One of the most popular English playwrights was William Shakespeare, and one of his best-known works is the comedy The Merchant of Venice. In this play Shakespeare appealed to sixteenth-century prejudices against Jews with his portrayal of the character Shylock, a Jewish money lender.
Renaissance writers produced many literary works that are now considered classics. One of the...
(The entire section is 358 words.)
Excerpt from The Merchant of Venice (1596)
Edited by Brents Stirling
Published in 1987
The playwright William Shakespeare (1564–1616) is considered the greatest of English writers and one of the most talented creators in history. Today he is the most quoted author in the English language. Shakespeare had established his career in London by 1592, when theater was flourishing in England. He was popular with audiences from a wide range of social classes, who flocked to see his plays. At the time of his retirement in 1613 he had made important innovations in all the major dramatic genres, or forms, of the Renaissance period—comedy (depiction of humorous characters and situations), romance (love story), chronicle (history play), and tragedy (drama portraying the downfall of a good man).
Shakespeare's earliest plays were comedies, which entertained audiences while depicting social issues of the day. One of his best-known comedies is The Merchant of Venice, which he wrote as a "comicall history," that is, a play with a happy ending. The central character is Shylock, a greedy, scheming Jewish banker who cares only about money. Shylock is meant to be a comic figure, and in the "happy" ending is his conversion to Christianity. (Conversion is the act of rejecting one's religion and accepting another.) From the...
(The entire section is 4739 words.)
Excerpt from Heptaméron (1558)
Translated by Arthur Machen
Published in 1905
Heptaméron is considered one of the great prose works of the French Renaissance. (The Renaissance was a transition period in European history from medieval to modern times, marked by a revival of classical culture, which brought innovations in the arts and literature and initiated modern science.) The author, Margaret of Navarre (1492–1549), duchess of Angoulême, modeled Heptaméron on Decameron, a popular book by the fourteenth-century Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio. She herself had commissioned a French translation of Decameron, which appeared in 1545. Margaret was a prominent figure at the court of her brother, King Francis I (see accompanying box). It was at court that she was joined by Catherine de Médicis, wife of Francis's son Henry (the future King Henry II), and others in conceiving of the idea of a French version of Decameron. The result was Heptaméron, a collection of seventy-two short stories that take place over seven days, with ten stories on each day. Two tales are told on an eighth day. Margaret had planned to write one hundred stories, as in Decameron, but she died before she completed the manuscript. Heptaméron was published in 1558.
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Miguel de Cervantes
Excerpts from Don Quixote (1605)
Translated by Burton Raffel
Published in 1999
Don Quixote (Quijote in Spanish) is considered one of the great masterpieces of world literature. This work was largely responsible for creating what is known as the modern novel. (A novel is a long narrative work that features fictional, or imaginary, characters involved in complex plots.) Don Quixote has been translated into more than sixty languages and its central character, Don Quixote of la Mancha, has become a major figure in Western (non-Asian) culture. Don Quixote's image has been popularized in films, musicals, and paintings. His creator, Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616), lived at the end of the glorious years of the Spanish empire and fought heroically at the decisive sea battle of Lepanto. However, throughout his life Cervantes lived on the margins of society in a continuous struggle for survival. On occasion he was subjected to all the mishaps of Don Quixote, with extended periods in captivity and ceaseless economic hardship. These experiences are reflected in the novel's narrative, which is sympathetic and touchingly humane.
Don Quixote contains a number of the popular literary styles and subjects of the Renaissance, such as the romantic novel that focuses on tales of chivalry and issues of...
(The entire section is 4347 words.)
Michel de Montaigne
Excerpts from "Of Cannibals" (1580)
Reprinted in Michel de Montaigne: Selected Essays
Translated by Donald M. Frame
Published in 1943
Today the essay is a familiar literary genre (form), which appears in books, magazines, and newspapers. It is now considered an ideal mode of self-expression that enables the writer to communicate his or her inner thoughts and feelings. Yet the essay was unknown until the late Renaissance period, when it was introduced by the French author Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592). The term essay was first used by Montaigne for short prose discussions. It comes from the French word essai, meaning "trial," "an attempt," or "testing." The informal essay as Montaigne understood and developed it is the method a writer uses to test his or her own views on life and the self.
"What do I know?"
In 1580 Montaigne published Essais (Essays), a collection of his essays, in which he used self-portrayal as a method for reaching conclusions about human experience in general. He was not a systematic thinker, however, and he did not maintain a single point of view. Instead, he preferred to show the randomness of his own thought as representative of the
(The entire section is 2802 words.)
Excerpt from The Description of the New World
Called the Blazing World (1666)
Reprinted in The Description of the New World
Called the Blazing World and Other Writings
Edited by Kate Lilley
Published in 1999
The English author and intellectual Margaret Cavendish (1623–1674), first duchess of Newcastle, wrote in the greatest variety of genres of any person of the late Renaissance period. The Renaissance was a cultural revolution that began in Italy in the mid-1300s. It was initiated by scholars called humanists who promoted the human-centered values of ancient Greece and Rome. Humanist ideals were soon influencing the arts, literature, philosophy, science, religion, and politics in Italy. During the early fifteenth century, innovations of the Italian Renaissance began spreading into the rest of Europe and reached a peak in the sixteenth century. Her works consisted of scientific philosophy, two volumes of plays, poetry, fantasies, essays, letters, a biography of her husband, and an autobiography. Not only did she take the daring step of becoming a published author—English women rarely wrote for a public audience at the time—but she also signed her own name to her books.
Cavendish is isolated but seeks fame...
(The entire section is 1186 words.)
- Martin Luther
- Huldrych Zwingli
- John Calvin
Humanist concepts had a profound impact on religion, as scholars began translating and reexamining biblical texts. Humanists not only challenged church teachings based on questionable interpretations of the Bible but also they also challenged the power that church officials held over the European people. The Protestant Reformation, aided by the mass production of pamphlets criticizing the Catholic Church, swept across Europe in the sixteenth century. At the same time, the Catholic Church was publicizing its own system of reforms, known as the Catholic Reformation. It could be said that the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Reformation were conducted in large part through published documents. Reformers released pamphlets calling for changes in church practices and teachings. Popes issued official orders implementing reforms and supporting church traditions. Leaders of both religions wrote inspirational texts, biblical studies, theological treatises, and position papers on controversial issues. Hundreds of these documents have survived into the...
(The entire section is 559 words.)
Excerpt from "The Ninety-Five Theses or Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences" (1517)
Reprinted in Confessions and Catechisms of the Reformation
Edited by Mark A. Noll
Published in 1997
The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were a time of transition from the Middle Ages (c. 400 –1400; also called the medieval period) to the modern era. The medieval period had been an era of walls and of faith. Massive stone walls had been built round each little town to protect against the evils of the outside world. Inside these walls, medieval people knew their place. They were craftsmen, noblemen, churchmen, farmers, and knights (noblemen soldiers). They did not question their duties because they were safe and had faith in the way things were run. At that time the Roman Catholic Church (a Christian religion headed by a pope and based in Rome, Italy) controlled all aspects of social, political, and religious life. It was the largest institution in western Europe and consisted of an elaborate hierarchy (ranks of officials)—the pope, cardinals (officials ranking below the pope), bishops (heads of church districts), canons (legal administrators), priests (heads of local churches), and numerous other clergymen. The pope was considered infallible (always correct), and he was the most powerful ruler in...
(The entire section is 3383 words.)
"The Sixty-Seven Articles of Ulrich Zwingli" (1523)
Reprinted in Confessions and Catechisms of the Reformation
Edited by Mark A. Noll
Published in 1977
While Martin Luther was taking his stand against the Roman Catholic Church in Germany (see Martin Luther entry), Swiss pastor Huldrych (also spelled Ulrich) Zwingli (1484–1531) was leading a similar movement in Zurich, Switzerland. In 1518 Zwingli followed Luther in denouncing the church's practice of selling indulgences (partial forgiveness of sins), then he went on to attack other abuses. Zwingli was a preacher at the Great Minster, the main church in Zurich, in 1519 when he began a series of lectures on the book of Matthew in the New Testament (second part of the Bible, the Christian holy book). In his lectures he used simple terms and referred to events in every day life. This approach contradicted the policies of the church. Catholic priests were considered authorities on the Bible and they were not allowed to help their parishioners interpret the Scripture. Despite some opposition from traditional priests, Zwingli's unusual method was soon adopted by his fellow priests at Great Minster.
On March 5, 1522, in the home of the printer Christoph Froschauer (died 1564), some of Zwingli's friends and supporters broke the rule...
(The entire section is 3013 words.)
Excerpt from Ecclesiastical Ordinances Edited by Hans J. Hillerbrand Published in 1968
John Calvin (1509–1564) was perhaps the most influential leader of the Protestant Reformation, a movement to reform the Roman Catholic Church in Europe. He was involved in reform efforts at the same time as Martin Luther (see entry), the German theology professor who initiated the Reformation. Calvin interpreted Christianity more strictly than Luther, however, establishing his own distinct form of Protestantism in Geneva, Switzerland. Under his tireless direction, Geneva became the focus of successful and far-reaching evangelism (personal commitment to the teachings of Jesus Christ, founder of Christianity), which was the foundation of many present-day Protestant churches.
Calvin brings evangelism to Geneva
John Calvin was born Jean Cauvin in Noyon, France, in 1509. His father, Gérard Cauvin, was a lawyer who worked for the local bishop. His mother, Jeanne Lefranc, was the daughter of a fairly well-to-do innkeeper. Calvin was educated in Noyon until 1523, when he was awarded a benefice, or church office in which income is used for education. He enrolled at the University of Paris, where he received an extensive humanist education. (Humanism was the study of ancient Greek and Latin works and...
(The entire section is 3113 words.)
Excerpt from "Elizabeth, A Dutch Anabaptist martyr: a letter" (1573)
Reprinted in The Protestant Reformation
Edited by Hans J. Hillerbrand
Published in 1968
In the early 1500s reformers began calling for changes within the Roman Catholic Church, which was the only established Christian religion in Europe at that time. An organized reform movement began after 1517, when the German theology professor (one who teaches religion) Martin Luther (1483–1546; see entry) posted his grievances against the church at Wittenberg, Germany. Support of Luther's ideas gained momentum, eventually resulting in the Protestant Reformation and the establishment of Protestantism as a separate Christian faith. Simultaneously, reform efforts known as the Catholic Reformation (also the Counter Reformation) were taking place within the Roman Catholic Church (see entry). In 1555, following a series of conflicts between Catholics and Protestants in Germany, the Peace of Augsburg stated that each of more than three hundred principalities in Germany would adopt the religion of its local ruler. This left more than half of Germany to Lutherans, the name given to supporters of Luther's teachings.
Since the earliest stage of the Protestant Reformation, however, there had been disharmony among...
(The entire section is 2779 words.)
- Ignatius of Loyola
- Teresa de Ávila
- Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Reformation officially began when the Council of Trent was convened in 1545. Prior to that time, however, priests, nuns, bishops, and popes had been trying to bring about reform. Among them was the Spanish priest Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1540. The foundation of the Jesuit's practices was Ignatius's numerous notes on ways to become a more devout Christian. Later titled Spiritual Exercises, the book became highly influential within the church. Another reformer was the Spanish nun Teresa de Ávila, who is credited with reviving Catholicism in the 1560s and 1570s, when Protestantism threatened to bring down the church. Her most significant contribution was the founding of the Reformed Discalced (Barefoot) Carmelite Convent of San Jose, a Catholic order for women. Teresa is best known today as one of the great Catholic mystics. Teresa had many mystical experiences, called raptures, which she described in several books. Among her most widely read works is The Life of Teresa of Jesus.
Reforms within the Catholic Church were also...
(The entire section is 294 words.)
Ignatius of Loyola
Excerpt from Spiritual Exercises (1548)
Reprinted in The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
Translated by Louis J. Puhl
Published in 2000
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries a reform movement called the Catholic Reformation took place within the Roman Catholic Church. The reform effort is also frequently called the Counter Reformation, but many historians prefer not to use this term. It suggests that changes within the church were simply a reaction to the Protestant Reformation, the reform movement started in 1517 by the German priest Martin Luther (see entry). In fact, many Catholics were already aware that reform was needed as early as the fifteenth century, one hundred years before Protestants left the church and formed a separate Christian religion. By that time popes (supreme heads of the church), cardinals (officials ranking directly below the pope), bishops (heads of church districts), and priests (pastors of congregations) had become corrupt and greedy. Neglecting their responsibilities as spiritual leaders, they pursued their own personal advancement. The church had accumulated more property and wealth than kings and princes. Many Catholics, both inside and outside the church, were troubled by this situation.
Popes showed no serious interest in...
(The entire section is 1928 words.)
Teresa de Ávila
Excerpt from The Life of Teresa of Jesus (1611)
Translated by E. Allison Peers
Published in 1960
The Spanish religious reformer Teresa de Ávila (Teresa of Jesus; 1515–1582) was an important figure in the Catholic Reformation (also called the Counter Reformation), a reform movement within the Roman Catholic Church that took place in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (see Roman Catholic Church entry). The Roman Catholic Church is a Christian religion based in Rome, Italy, and headed by a pope. When the Catholic Reformation began in the mid-1500s, Catholicism was still the only established Christian religion in the Western (non-Asian) world. Nevertheless, the stability of the church was being threatened by the Protestant Reformation, a widespread reform movement in central Europe that was started by the German theology professor (teacher of religion) Martin Luther in 1517 (see Martin Luther entry). By the end of the sixteenth century Protestants had formed their own Christian denominations (church groups), which were separate from the Catholic Church. Teresa is credited with reviving Catholicism in the 1560s and 1570s when Protestantism threatened to bring down the church. Her most significant contribution was the founding of the Reformed Discalced (Barefoot) Carmelite Convent of San Jose, a Catholic order for women....
(The entire section is 3273 words.)
Roman Catholic Church
"Profession of the Tridentine Faith" (1564)
Reprinted in Confessions and Catechisms of the Reformation
Edited by Mark A. Noll
Published in 1997
The Catholic Reformation was a reform movement that took place within the Roman Catholic Church from the mid-sixteenth century into the early seventeenth century. Reforms were initiated by the Council of Trent, a conference of church officials, in a series of reports titled Canons and Decrees of the Council Trent. (A canon is a church law. A decree is an official order that implements a canon.) The council met in twenty-seven sessions between 1545 and 1563. The Catholic Reformation is also known as the Counter Reformation, but some historians prefer not to use this term because it suggests that changes came as a reaction to the Protestant Reformation. The Protestant Reformation was a reform movement that began within the Catholic Church in the early 1500s and resulted in the establishment of Protestantism as a separate Christian faith. These historians note that Catholics were aware of the need for reform long before Protestants came on the scene.
Catholics seek reform
By the mid-1400s popes (supreme heads of the church), cardinals (church officials ranking...
(The entire section is 3455 words.)
- Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger
During the Reformation period, witchcraft trials were held throughout Europe by officials of both the Roman Catholic Church and the newly emerging Protestant faiths. In 1484 Pope Innocent VIII issued an official order, called a papal bull, that ordered the eradication of witches and other heathens. Although many such documents had previously been released, the Papal Bull of 1484 was aided by the printing press, which rapidly spread information about so-called witches throughout Europe. The printing press also facilitated the mass publication of more than thirty scholarly works on witchcraft that were written during the fifteenth century. They were the basis of the most famous witchcraft study, Malleus maleficarum (Hammer of Witches). This work became the official handbook for witchcraft trials, which reached a peak in 1580s and continued into the mid-seventeenth century.
(The entire section is 136 words.)
Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger
Excerpt from Malleus Maleficarum (1486)
Reprinted in The Malleus Maleficarum of
Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger
Edited by Montague Summers
Published in 1971
During the Reformation, in the sixteenth century, witchcraft trials were held throughout Europe by officials of both the Roman Catholic Church and the newly emerging Protestant faiths. The term "Reformation" originated with the movement to reform the Roman Catholic Church. Known as the Protestant Reformation, it was initiated in 1517 when the German priest Martin Luther (see entry) posted his "Ninety-Five Theses" in Wittenberg, Germany, to protest corrupt practices in the Catholic Church. Eventually, advocates of church reform, who were first called Lutherans and then came to be known as Protestants, separated from the church and organized their own religious groups. Almost simultaneously the Catholic Church convened the Council of Trent and was launching reform efforts that became known as the Catholic Reformation or the Counter Reformation (see Roman Catholic Church entry). Part of the Catholic Reformation was the Roman Inquisition, the continuation of a church court established in the thirteenth century to search out and punish heretics (those who violate the laws of God and the church). Although the Inquisition remained...
(The entire section is 2940 words.)