Religion and Catholic Church Essay

Submitted By stayfly1
Words: 1440
Pages: 6

Question #1: 16th, 17th & 18th centuries. What led to the decline of church and to secularization?
What events &/or trends in the 16th C. led to the decline of the church & secularization of E. society?
-Started with rulers (kings), emphasizing that all power rested in their hands (essentially known as absolutism). The theory of Devine Right was published, which emphasized kings were selected by God Himself. This type of absolute treatment from rulers such as Charles I (r. 1624-1648) and Louis XIV (r. 1661-1715) led to the European Civil War. In 1649, Oliver Cromwell, along with an army, defeated the kings forces and Charles I is executed. This leaves England with no king and no absolute rule. An agreement for the people is published (states that all people have rights). Essentially, Cromwell opposes democratic ideals and he establishes a dictatorship with the common wealth as followers. 1660- Monarch and absolutism re-established by Charles II. Leads to the Glorious Rev. Charles II & James II last absolutist rulers. Parliament establishes new laws: Declaration of Rights (1689) and the Toleration Act (1689)
What events &/or trends in the 17th C. led to the decline of the church & secularization of E. society?
-Scientific revolution: people began wondering and trying to understand why the world was the way it was. Many theories were formed by various philosophers’, one of the first being that the earth sat at the center of the universe unmoving, formally known as the Ptolemaic (geocentric) system, theorized by Claudius Ptolemy. In the 1500s, Nicolaus Copernicus proposed that the earth was not the center of the universe, rather, that the sun was. Although when this theory was first suggested by Copernicus, many rejected the idea and after his death, many other philosophers, such as Johames Kepler (1571-1630) and Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), worked to prove his claim. Ultimately Galileo was able to prove Copernicus’ theory and it is formally known as the Heliocentric System, which we use today.
What events &/or trends in the 18th C. led to the decline of the church & secularization of E. society?
-The Enlightenment: the start of the scientific revolution began to fuel what would soon change the way people not only viewed the world, but also how much of their own personal selves they did not understand. The enlightenment was a period where everyone not only dared to know, but wanted to know about everything ranging from issues on reason, toleration and liberty in order to begin reshaping human society. Men known as “Philosophes“, began using knowledge to try and improve human civilization. Philosopher David Hume proposed that God had nothing to do with the world after it was created. God came, created the world and left; He essentially set everything in motion, but did not control it. Although religious toleration was a main concern for many, it did not specifically apply to one single idea; people wanted toleration for many social categories. Liberty became the main focus; people wanted their voices heard and their rights granted. It was that natural idea of freedom that motivated people to seek a way to gain it.
After the 18th C. is there evidence to suggest how far secularization had proceeded into Europe?
Potential Thesis: Prior to the 16th C, religion dominated many aspects of Euro. life, & no other institution came close to matching the political, economic, and cultural power of the Catholic Church. Beginning in the 16th ______ began to erode the churches power by _______. In the 17th C, this process of secularization advanced further due to _______. In the 18th C, ________ further undermined the power of religious authorities by ______. By the beginning of the modern era at the end of the 18th C, ____ exemplified just how far secularization had reshaped Euro politics, economics and culture.
TERMS: Absolutism- an absolute monarchy were the power lies completely in the hands of a ruler
Secularization- a process