Chapter

Society

in The Reformation

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780199231317
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191777066 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780199231317.003.0005

Series: Very Short Introductions

Society

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)
  • History of Christianity

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‘Society’ looks at the social impact of the Reformation. The Reformation was a communal phenomenon that sought to transform society. The creation of municipal poor relief is one aspect of the social mission that allowed communities to gain control of parish affairs. Higher standards were demanded from clergy, and their education was improved. Protestantism raised marriage to the highest level of Christian life. Patriarchy was reinforced, and both Reformation and Catholic Reformation policed marriage more closely. Although women's opportunities were reduced by the closure of convents, and enclosure of Catholic nuns, they remained enthusiastically religious. Elements of traditional religion were accommodated and incorporated into the new confessions.

Keywords: Angela Merici; Martin Bucer; Catholic League; Catholic Reformation; clergy; Gunpowder Plot; marriage; Radical Reformation; Council of Trent; Juan Luis Vives; William of Orange

Chapter.  4705 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700) ; History of Christianity

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