Reformation - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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Reformation

REFORMATION. [This entry discusses the sixteenth-century movement within Western Christendom that led to the emergence of the several Protestant churches.]

The term reformatio (from the Latin reformare, "to renew") was employed in the Middle Ages to denote attempts to reform church and society; the use of the term Reformation in the sixteenth century indicates a sense of continuity with earlier efforts. While the term expressed the notion of turning the church from alleged worldliness and lack of proper theological emphasis, it did not, either conceptually or pragmatically, entail the notion of separation from the one church.

When it became evident in the sixteenth-century controversy over the proper interpretation of the Christian faith that the Protestant reformers in fact believed the Roman Catholic Church to be in theological error rather than merely to have mistaken emphases, a major step in the direction of separation had been taken. The Catholic...

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This section contains 8,378 words
(approx. 28 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Reformation Encyclopedia Article
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Reformation from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.