To What Extent Did the Events of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation Create Distinctive Protestant and Catholic Urban Religious Cultures?

To What Extent Did The Events of The Reformation And Counter-Reformation Create Distinctive Protestant And Catholic Urban Religious Cultures?

It would be easy to suggest that the Reformation was a uniform movement, and that sixteenth century Europe was wholly swept up in a revolutionary fervour. However this was not the case. Yes, there were geographical hot-points whereby the Reformation first took a firm hold; however there were vast regional[1] and chronological variations to the progress of Protestantism which spread in its own diverse forms and also many disparities in the Catholic revival. It is also important to highlight that many aspects of pre-Reformation urban religious culture continued into both Catholic and Protestant life following the reorganization of ecclesiastical institutions. Often this was due to the influence of politics and clerical conventionalists such as the monarchy, but more often than not, it was due to the deep-rooted dogmatism and superstition of the public. It should also been noted that although some cultural traditions remained, however stubbornly in the revivified religious atmosphere, some changes did effect urban religious culture. All of these considerations are important in assessing the extent to which urban religious culture was altered by the events of the Reformation and Counter Reformation.

  Firstly, it is important to assess the spread of the Reformation. The seeds of the revolution can be found in The Great Western Schism of 1371 between the Popes of Rome and Avignon[2] which caused massive debate about the sanctity of religious values. Combined with the manipulation of the economy by the secular and clerical rulers following the catastrophic effects of the Black Death on Europe, it was the culmination of many factors that led Martin Luther to pin his 95 Theses to the Door of Wittenberg University in 1517. The scholar Desiderius Erasmus was aware of, and wrote considerably about the corruption and abuse within...