compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion
It was a big risk. Nevertheless, 500 years ago it was not just men who
advocated the reformation of the Church, but confident women too.
They created a female side to the religious movement, as Luther expert
Sonja Domröse reports.
ANYONE following the discussion of the anniversary of the Reformation
in 2017 could easily form the impression at first glance, that the events
which took place 500 years ago were only shaped by men. At best,
Katharina von Bora, Luther’s wife, receives public coverage.
“There were however many more courageous women in the early
modern period who adhered to their faith privately and publicly ”
says the Luther expert Sonja Domröse, pastor in Stade.
In England, the Reformation began with Henry VIII’s quest for a male
heir. When Pope Clement VII refused to annul Henry’s marriage to
Catherine of Aragon so he could remarry, the English king declared in
1534 that he alone should be the final authority in matters relating to
the English church. Henry dissolved England’s monasteries to confiscate
their wealth and worked to place the Bible in the hands of the people.
Beginning in 1536, every parish was required to have a copy. After
Henry’s death, England tilted toward Calvinist-infused Protestantism
during Edward VI’s six-year reign and then endured five years of
throne and, during her 44-year reign, cast the Church of England as
a “middle way” between Calvinism and Catholicism, with vernacular
worship and a revised Book of Common Prayer.
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