The Enlightenment and the Reformation Comparison Essay by Champ

The Enlightenment and the Reformation
This paper compares the social, economic and intellectual causes of the Enlightenment and of the Reformation.
# 98846 | 990 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2007 | US

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This paper explains that, unlike the gradual, cultural shift of ideas and attitudes, which characterized the Enlightenment, the Protestant Reformation had concrete institutional causes and was a profound institutional change in the governmental and religious structure of Europe. The author points out that the Enlightenment, which ultimately spawned the American and French Revolutions of the late 18th century, was not spurred into being by an increasingly strong set of nation-states like the Reformation but rather by the increasingly weak, corrupt and ossified monarchies of Europe, such as Louis of France and George of Great Britain. The paper relates that the intent of the Enlightenment philosophers was not to reject tradition in their quest for knowledge or to eradicate entirely the institutions, which had stimulated their own intellectual development.

From the Paper:

"During the pre-Reformation, the age of the Renaissance, secular kingdoms with increasingly powerful chief executives and the decline of feudalism weakened the Pope's role in the political power plays of Europe. Before, popes had great power as they were the strongest land-owners in Europe, but now princes began to command armies of lords--secular power was less diffuse. And by far, the most famous allegations of Martin Luther against the Catholic Church were its sale of indulgences, which seemed to embody the church's craven and worldly institutional nature."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Wright, D. F. "Protestant Reformation: General Causes." 1997.
  • Jones, Rodger. "The Enlightenment." Philosopher

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

The Enlightenment and the Reformation (2007, October 21) Retrieved May 31, 2020, from

MLA Format

"The Enlightenment and the Reformation" 21 October 2007. Web. 31 May. 2020. <>