The Social Motivations of the Radical Reformers Persuasive Essay by scribbler

The Social Motivations of the Radical Reformers
An argument that the radical reformers, in formulating theirs views on justifiable violence, were motivated more by social political concerns than by scriptural interpretations.
# 152649 | 1,458 words | 1 source | APA | 2013 | US
Published on Apr 09, 2013 in History (European) , History (Religion)

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This paper presents the argument, based on "The Radical Reformation" by Baylor, that the radical reformation was a social movement rather than a spiritual one, with religious fragmentation simply serving as the most immediate path to resistance of the reigning hegemony. The paper discusses Thomas Muntzer as an eminent example of the primacy of social imperatives in forming the motives and driving the actions of the reformers and specifically notes the way he criticized his precursor in Martin Luther for failing to truly depart from the authoritarian model imposed by the Church. The paper clearly shows how the reformation was a process of social revolution precipitated from within the religious community. Furthermore, the paper points out how reformers would point to the scriptures merely as a way of shielding individual disgraces or ethical trespasses but would hold tightly to the more constant importance of improving the social order.

From the Paper:

"Thomas Muntzer is an eminent example of the primacy of social imperatives in forming the motives and driving the actions of the reformers. Baylor describes the German theologian as inherently desiring to endorse the structural implications of the church while desiring to improve upon its social record. Ultimately though, he would find himself at the center of a major social shakeup. His outrage at social conditions manifested itself through his religious observation. Above all, it bears noting, that he viewed himself to be a man of God. This was the only law that he saw fit to recognize. So his divergence from the conventions of the Catholic Church was an act guided by compliance rather than defiance. But his ideology would spark massive reexamination and change, suggesting that it was certainly resistant to many of the prevailing forces of the time and place. Perhaps there may be no genuine reconciliation of these two ostensibly contradictory roles, both of which, one could argue, this movement embodied. However, a more direct study of the motivations and tenets of the Radical Reformers seems to suggest that these were, in both intent and aesthetic, conservatives who, by way of social circumstances, came to be regarded as revolutionaries."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Baylor, M.G. (1991). The Radical Reformation. Cambridge University Press.

Cite this Persuasive Essay:

APA Format

The Social Motivations of the Radical Reformers (2013, April 09) Retrieved March 31, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Social Motivations of the Radical Reformers" 09 April 2013. Web. 31 March. 2023. <>