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To what extend does the evidence suggest that technological or scientific change contributed to implementation of the Reformation in 16th century England?

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Introduction

To what extend does the evidence suggest that technological or scientific change contributed to implementation of the Reformation in 16th century England? Science and technological advancements has always influenced the lives of people. In late medieval, early renaissance Europe the Scientific Revolution set in. The expression revolution is used by historians, because the conceptual, methodological and institutional basics of science, as we know it today, were established for the first time and "science" was replacing (slowly but surely) "natural philosophy".1 The 16th century was the period where scholars started to rediscover old knowledge and important social changes took place. This essay will try to explain the role of science during the reformation process and its impact on society in general. Were reformation and science two completely independent separate bodies, or did they interact and influence the other? Why did science become such a dominant factor in our culture? Also the historical background will be considered briefly to distinguish between the old and new kind of science. The author wants to add as well, that it was very hard to find useful literary concerning the topic of the impact of science on the reformation. ...read more.

Middle

Firstly, the high clergy that was announced by the king and often acted as its adviser, developed anti-papal tendencies, secondly, intellectual leadership of an educated middle class in some areas of England, like Cambridge or Oxford (Wiclif) and thirdly the financial and moral bankruptcy of the Crown. One of the advisors of King Henry VIII at this time was Cardinal Wolsey, a papal special legate, who seduced the king to expensive but senseless actions. The aristocracy (1529) overthrew him and the clergy was forced to accept the king as head of church (1531). In 1534 the Anglican Church was accepted by the parliament and between 1543 and 1539 the property of the church (monasteries, land...) was given to the gentry and middle classes. This act is until today the biggest restructure of land ownership in English modern history. Constitution and dogma of the church remained catholic, but Protestant influence grew, and under Edward VI the Anglican church became "officially" a mixture of both, Catholic and Protestant.4 Normal belief today is that the church was broadly anti-intellectual and that the clergy leaders preferred faith and ignorance rather than reason and education. ...read more.

Conclusion

He was educated in Oxford, the first English University, and became a problem to the church by spreading his views. The universities were also important, because in more liberal countries, e.g. Switzerland, they often offered asylum to scholars who could not teach in their own countries. In fact I think that four main reasons exist for the reformation. Firstly a greater urbanisation and population, secondly social change, e.g. the emerge of new middle classes, thirdly a better educational system that enabled lower non-aristocratic and non-ecclesiastical people to receive an education and fourthly the invention of printing. Unquestionably all these reasons influenced and enforced each other going hand in hand with the political reasons of Henry VIII to reform the church. 1 Henry, J.: The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of Modern Science. p.1-5 2 Lindberg, D. C.: The Beginnings of Western Science. The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious and Institutional Context, 600 B.C. to A.D. 1450. p.5 3 Butcher A. F.: Seminar 15 January 2001 4 dtv-Atlas zur Weltgeschichte p.238 5 Lindberg, D. C.: The Beginnings of Western Science. The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious and Institutional Context, 600 B.C. to A.D. 1450. p. 149-51 6 dtv-Atlas zur Weltgeschichte p. 181 ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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