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Maps of territory held by Royalists (red) and Parliamentarians (green), 1642 — 1645


The Enlightenment constituted a new challenge of the Church. Unlike the Protestant Reformation, which questioned certain Christian doctrines, the Enlightenment questioned Christianity as a whole. Generally, it elevated human reason above divine revelation and down-graded religious authorities such as the papacy based on it Politically the Ottoman Empire continued as a major threat, advancing all the way to the city of Viennamarker. Parallel the Church attempted to fend of Gallicanism and Councilarism, ideologies which threatened the papacy and structure of the Church.

Protestantism

English Civil War

The English Civil War (1641–1651) was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists. The first (1642–46) and second (1648–49) civil wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third war (1649–51) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The Civil War ended with the Parliamentary victory at the Battle of Worcestermarker on 3 September 1651.

The Civil War led to the trial and execution of Charles I, the exile of his son, Charles II, and replacement of English monarchy with first, the Commonwealth of England (1649–53), and then with a Protectorate (1653–59), under Oliver Cromwell's personal rule. The monopoly of the Church of England on Christian worship in England ended with the victors consolidating the established Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. Constitutionally, the wars established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without Parliament's consent, although this concept was established only with the Glorious Revolution later in the century.

Puritan movement

The success of the Counter-Reformation on the Continent and the growth of a Puritan party dedicated to further Protestant reform polarized the Elizabethan Age, although it was not until the 1640s that England underwent religious strife comparable to that which its neighbours had suffered some generations before.

The early Puritan movement (late 16th century-17th century) was Reformed or Calvinist and was a movement for reform in the Church of England. Its origins lay in the discontent with the Elizabethan Religious Settlement. The desire was for the Church of England to resemble more closely the Protestant churches of Europe, especially Genevamarker. The Puritans objected to ornaments and ritual in the churches as idolatrous (vestments, surplices, organs, genuflection), which they castigated as "popish pomp and rags". (See Vestments controversy.) They also objected to ecclesiastical courts. They refused to endorse completely all of the ritual directions and formulas of the Book of Common Prayer; the imposition of its liturgical order by legal force and inspection sharpened Puritanism into a definite opposition movement.

The later Puritan movement were often referred to as Dissenters and Nonconformists and eventually led to the formation of various Reformed denominations.

The most famous and well-known emigration to Americamarker was the migration of the Puritan separatists from the Anglican Church of England, who fled first to Hollandmarker, and then later to America, to establish the English colonies of New Englandmarker, which later became the United Statesmarker.

These Puritan separatists were also known as "the pilgrims". After establishing a colony at Plymouth (in what would become later Massachusetts) in 1620, the Puritan pilgrims received a charter from the King of England which legitimized their colony, allowing them to do trade and commerce with merchants in England, in accordance with the principles of mercantilism. This successful, though initially quite difficult, colony marked the beginning of the Protestant presence in America (the earlier French, Spanish and Portuguese settlements had been Catholic), and became a kind of oasis of spiritual and economic freedom, to which persecuted Protestants and other minorities from the British Isles and Europe (and later, from all over the world) fled to for peace, freedom and opportunity.

The original intent of the colonists was to establish spiritual Puritanism, which had been denied to them in England and the rest of Europe to engage in peaceful commerce with England and the native American Indians and to Christianize the peoples of the Americas.

Roman Catholicism

Devotions to Mary

Pope Paul V and Gregory XV ruled in 1617 and 1622 to be inadmissible to state, that Mary was conceived non-immaculate. Alexander VII declared in 1661, that the soul of Mary was free from original sin. Pope Clement XI ordered the feast of the Immaculata for the whole Church in 1708. The feast of the Rosary was introduced in 1716, the feast of the Seven Sorrows in 1727. The Angelus prayer was strongly supported by Pope Benedict XIII in 1724 and by Pope Benedict XIV in 1742. Popular Marian piety was even more colourful and varied than ever before: Numerous Marian pilgrimages, Marian Salve devotion, new Marian litanies, Marian theatre plays, Marian hymns, Marian processions. Marian fraternities, today mostly defunct, had millions of members.

Trial of Galileo

The Galileo affair, in which Galileo Galilei came into conflict with the Roman Catholic Church over his support of Copernican astronomy, is often considered a defining moment in the history of the relationship between religion and science.

In 1610, Galileo published his Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger), describing the surprising observations that he had made with the new telescope. These and other discoveries exposed major difficulties with the understanding of the heavens that had been held since antiquity, and raised new interest in radical teachings such as the heliocentric theory of Copernicus.

In reaction, many scholars maintained that the motion of the Earth and immobility of the Sun were heretical, as they contradicted some accounts given in the Bible as understood at that time. Galileo's part in the controversies over theology, astronomy and philosophy culminated in his trial and sentencing in 1633, on a grave suspicion of heresy.But perhaps the real reason for his sentencing was that he had in his book insulted the Pope and that Copernican astronomy did not have enough scientific evidence (although he had astronomical data, the idea that the earth moved was not supported by any common sense observations until the Theory of Universal Gravity).

Pope Innocent XI

Toward the latter part of the 17th century, Pope Innocent XI viewed the increasing Turkish attacks against Europe, which were supported by France, as the major threat for the Church. He built a Polishmarker-Austrianmarker coalition for the Turkish defeat at Vienna in 1683. Scholars have called him a saintly pope because he reformed abuses by the Church, including simony, nepotism and the lavish papal expenditures that had caused him to inherit a papal debt of 50,000,000 scudi. By eliminating certain honorary posts and introducing new fiscal policies, Innocent XI was able to regain control of the church's finances . In France, the Church battled Jansenism and Gallicanism, which supported Councilarism, and rejected papal primacy, demanding special concessions for the Church in France. This weakened the Church's ability to respond to gallicanist thinkers such as Denis Diderot, who challenged fundamental doctrines of the Church.

France Gallicanism

In 1685 gallicanist King Louis XIV of France issued the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, ending a century of religious toleration. France forced Catholic theologians to support councilarism and deny Papal infallibility. The king threatened Pope Innocent XI with a Catholic ecumenical council and a military take-over of the Papal state. The absolute French State used Gallicanism to gain control of virtually all major Church appointments as well as many of the Church's properties. State authority over the Church became popular in other countries as well. In Belgium and Germany, Gallicanism appeared in the form of Febronianism, which rejected papal pregoratives in an equal fashion. Emperor Joseph II of Austria (1780-1790) practiced Josephinism by regulating Church life, appointments and massive confiscation of Church properties.

Roman Catholic orders



Spread of Christianity

Roman Catholic missions

During the Age of Discovery, the Roman Catholic Church established a number of Missions in the Americas and other colonies in order to spread Christianity in the New World and to convert the indigenous peoples. At the same time, missionaries such as Francis Xavier as well as other Jesuits, Augustinians, Franciscans and Dominicans were moving into Asia and the Far East. The Portuguese sent missions into Africa. The most significant failure of Roman missionary work was in Ethiopiamarker, where following increasing civil war in response to Emperor Susenyos's conversion to Catholicism, his son and successor Fasilides expelled archbishop Afonso Mendes and his Jesuit brethren in 1633, then in 1665 ordered the remaining religious writings of the Catholics burnt. On the other hand, other missions (notably Matteo Ricci's Jesuit mission to China) were relatively peaceful and focused on integration rather than cultural imperialism.

The expansion of the Catholic Portuguese Empire and Spanish Empire with a significant roled played by the Roman Catholic Church led to the Christianization of the indigenous populations of the Americas such as the Aztecs and Incas. Later waves of colonial expansion such as the Scramble for Africa or the struggle for India, by the Dutchmarker, Englandmarker, Francemarker, Germanymarker and Russiamarker led to Christianization of other native populations across the globe such as the American Indians, Filipinos, Indiansmarker and Africans led to the expansion of Christianity eclipsing that of the Roman period and making it a truly global religion.

The first Catholic Church was built in Peking in 1650 The emperor granted freedom of religion to Catholics. Ricci had adopted the Catholic faith to Chinese thinking, permitting among others the veneration of the dead. The Vatican disagreed and forbade any adaptation in the so-called Chinese Rites controversy in 1692 and 1742.

Protestant colonisation

The most famous colonisation by Protestants in the New World was that of English Puritans in North America. Unlike the Spanish or French, the English colonists made surprisingly little effort to evangelise the native peoples. The Puritans, or pilgrims, left England so that they could live in an area with Puritanism established as the exclusive civic religion. Though they had left England because of the suppression of their religious practice, most Puritans had thereafter originally settled in the Low Countries but found the licentiousness there, where the state hesitated from enforcing religious practice, as unacceptable, and thus they set out for the New World and the hopes of a Puritan utopia.

Eastern Orthodoxy

Orthodox Reformation

The fall of Constantinoplemarker in the East, 1453, led to a significant shift of gravity to the rising state of Russiamarker, the "Third Rome". The Renaissance would also stimulate a program of reforms by patriarchs of prayer books. A movement called the "Old believers" consequently resulted and influenced Russian Orthodox theology in the direction of conservatism and Erastianism.

References

Further reading

  • Esler, Phillip F. The Early Christian World. Routledge (2004). ISBN 0415333121.
  • White, L. Michael. From Jesus to Christianity. HarperCollins (2004). ISBN 0060526556.
  • Freedman, David Noel (Ed). Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing (2000). ISBN 0802824005.
  • Pelikan, Jaroslav Jan. The Christian Tradition: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600). University of Chicago Press (1975). ISBN 0226653714.


External links



See also



History of Christianity: The Reformation
Preceded by:
Christianity in
the 16th century

17th
Century
Followed by:
Christianity in
the 18th century






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