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a reformer who protested against the abuses of the Catholic church in the 1500.


The forgiveness of the punishment due for past sins, granted by the Catholic Church authorities as a reward for a pious act.

Christian Humanists

Scholars of the Northern Renaissance valued the Greek and Roman classics but showed more interest in religon than their Italian counterparts. Wanted to improve themselves and society through education.

The Praise of Folly

an essay written by Erasmus that uses satire to point out corrupt practices of the Church. A big influence on Martin Luther.


a book by Thomas More (1516) describing the perfect society on an imaginary island where there was no personal property or greed.

95 Theses

Arguments written by Martin Luther against the Catholic church. They were posted on October 31, 1517 and started The Reformation.

Holy Roman Empire

Loose federation of mostly German states and principalities in central Europe, headed by an emperor elected by the princes. It lasted from 962 to 1806.

Diet of Worms

Assembly of the estates of the empire, called by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1521. Luther was ordered to recant but he refused. Charles V declared Luther an outlaw


doctrine of John Calvin that adhered to the idea that each person's fate is predetermined by God


In the Reformation, a member of the protestant group that believed in baptizing only those people who were old enough to decide to be Christian and believed in the separation of church and state

Latin Vulgate

the authorized version of the Bible for the Catholic Church

Hapsburg Dynasty

A family that controlled Spain, part of Italy, and part of the Holy Roman Empire. It was extremely powerful until the Thirty Years' War


French Calvinists; brutally suppressed in France

League of Schmalkalden

in Northern Germany formed by newly Protestant (Lutheran) princes to defend themselves against Charles V's drive to re-Catholicize Germany

Peace of Augsburg

1555 agreement declaring that the religion of each German state would be decided by its ruler

Council of Trent

called by Pope Paul III to reform the church and secure reconciliation with the protestants. Lutherans and Calvinists did not attend


Also known as the Society of Jesus; founded by Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) as a teaching and missionary order to resist the spread of Protestantism.

Act of Supremacy

Declared the king (Henry VIII) the supreme head of the Church of England in 1534.

Church of England

Church created in England as a result of a political dispute between Henry VIII and the Pope, Pope would not let Henry divorce his wife

Charles V

Holy Roman Emperor who strongly supported Catholicism. Opposed the Reformation by trying to keep Martin Luther silent.

Henry VIII

King of England who wanted a divorce from his wife because she could not provide him a male heir. Started the Church of England and placed himself in charge of it.

Ulrich Zwingli

Influenced by Erasmus, this religious leader created a theocracy in Zurich and wanted the Bible to be the sole authority regarding religious practice. Saw the act of communion as only symbolic.

Ignatius of Loyola

Counter-Reformation leader who founded the Jesuits

Johann Tetzel

Priest who sold indulgences in Martin Luther's town in order to fund the Italian pope's patronage of works of art.

John Calvin

French lawyer who wrote the Institutes of Christian Religion and started a theocracy in Geneva based on predestination.

Martin Luther

German monk who criticized corrupt Catholic practices and started the Reformation. Believed people should focus on the Bible instead of Catholic leaders.

Katerina von Bora

Wife of Martin Luther who wanted women to have more power in the church and equal rights.

William Tyndale

Translated the Bible into English and was executed for his efforts.

Protestant work ethic

Calvinists believed that hard work and financial success were a sign of God's salvation.

Twelve Articles

The Peasant's War was based on the belief that serfdom was oppressive. They were inspired by Luther although he opposed the rebellion.


The practice of buying an important position within the church.


Rewarding friends and family members with chuch positions.

Elizabethan Settlement

Allowed Protestantism and Catholicism to be privately practiced as long as people publicly committed to the Church of England.


A leader who reaches compromise by finding a practical middle ground on controversal issues.

Catholic (Counter) Reformation

An attempt for the Catholic Church to reform itself by ending corrupt practices and opposing the spread of Protestantism.

Pope Paul III

Catholic leader of the Counter Reformation who sought to improve the church from within and challenge the influence of Protestantism. Organized the Council of Trent.

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