• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How far do you agree that the church in England on the eve of the 16th centaury was in need of reformation?

Extracts from this document...


How far do you agree that the church in England on the eve of the 16th centaury was in need of reformation? The Reformation of the 16th century was a movement within Western Christianity that removed the church of medieval abuses to restore the practices that the reformers believed conformed with the Bible and the New Testaments model of the church. This led to a break between the Roman Catholic Church and the reformers whose beliefs and practices came to be called Protestantism. However was there a need for this too take place? With the benefits of hindsight we can now form two main views about the state off the church pre-reformation. The traditional viewpoint, is that it was inevitable and was necessary, the second is a revisionist viewpoint which attempts to deny the generally accepted past events and furthermore opposes this view that a reformation in the English church was necessary. The main criticisms of the Church that suggest reasons for reform were anticlericalism, antipapalism, erastianism and heresy. This essay will analyse the impact of such criticisms and the contribution they played to reform. Anticlericalism is direct criticism of the personnel of the church, from parish priests to Roman cardinals, it claimed that all member were lazy, poor workers and uncommitted to church ideals. ...read more.


It is important to note nevertheless that these were rare exceptions, and for the very few clergymen that did hold numerous posts, the work was carried out promptly and carefully. Simony relates to the buying and selling of posts. This capitalist approach to gain privileges can be seen to be the only offence that can not be justified by the clergy, but the true extend to which simony was exploited is still very indistinct. It is fair to say though that the preponderance of the clergy were well thought of, hardworking, dedicated members of the church. A key criticism of Church that could lead to reform was antipapalism. Antipapalism was the questioning of the authority of the pope and the dispute over who should be in control of the church in England. Already in Germany there were widespread feelings of antipapalism due to the sentiment that papal agents and the pope were exploiting them. In England, conversely, the effects of Antipapalism were lesser felt; the main reason for this was probably the combined control of the pope and the king of the church. The pope was the official leader of the church however the king did have a large input as well; so this caused a minimal antipapal pandemonium. ...read more.


This was not, however a new issue, it had been staged in the 1500's by a group called the Lollards, inspired by John Wycliffe. They believed in an English bible so opposed Wolsey's humanist ideals; they also did not believe in transubstantiation, a common view shared by Protestants, they were punished for openly talking about their views. Another small insignificant and ineffective supporter of the Lollards was a group call the White Hourse, there ideas proved weak but they were still punished. Heresy had spread very little within the regular clergy and overall the majority of the public and church opposed ideas of heresy and supported the church, showing that it was a week complaint. The four key points that all contributed to the underlying causes of the reformation, with close examination, actually have very little significance. The circumstances all had very little impact and in most case did not even exist only for an exaggeration or a general summary of the whole Church. It is clear to see that from the 1500's protestant viewpoints and ideals had been stirring with the uprising of the Lollards and the position of the king and this controversy could portray reformation inevitable, however on a wider scale the problems discussed were so trivial and had such a little impact that there was no need for reformation., agreeing to a revisionist historian viewpoint. ?? ?? ?? ?? Louisa Hull Mr Hunter The English Reformation 1485-1558 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Places of Worship section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Places of Worship essays

  1. relgion becoming secular

    After all the more people who are religious, the more people there will be who are diverted from the aspect of the fact of life: there cannot be an after-life, for we are just animals, living beings. Why should there be an after-life for us, just because we are more advanced than a dog, for instance.

  2. Free essay

    "The Roman Catholic Church gained more from the Lateran Pacts than did the government ...

    This gained him and the fascist party great support within Italy. This was seen when the Fascists gained over a million extra votes in the 1929 election. They gained these extra votes because Mussolini was seen as a great figure that was endorsed by the Pope himself.

  1. "Calvin's success in Geneva was due to the organisation and disciplineOf the movement rather ...

    Discipline was also enforced by a consistory compromising 12 lay elders and six clerical pastors, who had the power to investigate and punish anyone. Dancing, singing outside the church, excessive drinking, gambling and even wearing ostentatious clothing are just some that were heavily censored, this made society much more pleasant and moral.

  2. English Reformation

    This may not have been an overall accurate representation of the efforts made to revitalise the conditions of the church courts. These courts are identified as having been unaffected by the Reformation. Stephen Lander debates that their jurisdiction was fortified by the legislation of the time of Henry VIII, and

  1. The storm-troopers of the counter reformation. Is this an accurate description of the Jesuits?

    elite of the reform movement, the shock troops of a revived Catholicism'.7 They were a movement of highly educated and spiritually resilient priesthood. They were prepared to go wherever the pope instructed them to go and they willing to adept to any circumstances so they could get their message across.

  2. Were abuses the source of the Reformation?

    reason for denunciating the church on this basis it is not wholly valid. History is all too often viewed form a teleological standpoint and in this case because the outcome that was the reformation has always been known, historians have been all too tempted to conclude that the church must

  1. Why was the Catholic Church so weak by 1780?

    Catholic rulers were often wrong in their attempts to arrest the decline. Catholic rulers wanted to reduce idleness, eliminating disorderly behaviour by promoting devoutness. They sought to achieve this by reducing the frequency and amount of feast days pilgrimages and the like.

  2. You don't need to go to the MosqueTo be a Good Muslim.

    Without this, a mosque would not be a mosque because this is where Muslims come. > The Washing Facilities: I think this is important because people might be coming to the mosque and break their wudu on the way. If this happens, then they can still come to the mosque and do the wudu again at the mosque.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work