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Protestant Reformation Was European Christianity in serious decline in the early 1500's? How did the ideas and actions of the Protstant Reformation change its nature and status?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I don't think I'd use the word "decline" in describing the state of pre-Reformation Christianity as it seems the grip of the Church of Rome had never been tighter--which is what Luther reacted against. Christianity had become something very different from what it started out as; it had become profoundly intertwined with power and authority in a way that would have surprised and dismayed the earliest Christians; it had become a force of manipulation and coercion. This doesn't suggest decline to me; this suggests a diabolical swelling and growth, albeit in all the wrong directions.

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As #7 and #8 have stated, Protestantism forever altered world history.  One of the prime changes that occurred in some sects was that individuals were responsible for their own salvation, not any religious institution -- reading the Bible became paramount, which forced literacy rates to increase. Part of the reason Colonial New England insisted that all children, whether male or female, attend "grammar school"...

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