Do you think the scientific revolution would have happened if the protestant reformation did not? 

1 Answer | Add Yours

samson98's profile pic

samson98 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

One could make a good case that the Scientific Revolution could not have happened without the Protestant Reformation (or, perhaps more likely, would not have happened at the same time and in the same way). Beginning with Martin Luther, the Protestant Reformers challenged the authority of the Catholic Church to be the sole interpreter of Scripture. This challenge divided Christendom into Catholic and Protestant states; this division was cemented by the Peace of Augsburg, which officially gave rulers the right to choose the (Christian) religion for their respective states.

The ability to challenge authority altered the way many people viewed science. Previously, science was considered a branch of philosophy, and theories were judged based on both their reasonableness and their appeal to authority (whether official Church doctrine, ancient philosophers, or Scripture). During the Scientific Revolution, scientists gradually began to judge theories based on reasonableness alone (via the scientific method) and disregarded (or at least deemphasized) the authority of tradition.

We’ve answered 318,917 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question