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The Influence of Religion on Society

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Ever since the dawn of the 16th Century, much of the European countries were controlled or greatly affected by reining religions. Throughout much of history, the dominating Roman Catholic Church was the major cause of battles and wars. This was especially a causing factor of the Thirty-Year’s War in Western Europe. Many rulers used religion as an excuse to disturb the peace and take control of another country. During those times, religions were used as force. Whenever the Emperor or Empress of a different belief inherits or steps into power, their whole country is officially under their religion. (Modern World History, Unit 2) The most significant religion change came when Henry VII of England wanted to divorce to have a boy. The pope denied this right, thus leaving him without a heir. Acting as a very desperate man, he banned the Catholic Church and became Protestant. (Modern World History, 51) Church is where everybody, poor and rich gather for a prayers. Sometimes people go to church for salvation and a passage to heaven. Unfortunately the Roman Catholic Church took advantage of those people, taking money from people to be forgiven by God. Indulgences occurred during the time of Pope Leo X whereas people paid large sums of money to the clergymen for the clergy’s own well being. Adding to the fact, popes of the Roman Catholic Church had the luxury of eating well, dressing well and hunting; which disturbed many people to see the head of the church act this way. This upset many people, thus lead to the Reformation. (Martin Luther: Saint and Sinner, 70) The Reformation, as it was know began when a scholar, Martin Luther saw follies of religious and moral deficiencies of certain sections of the clergy of the Holy Roman Empire in Germany in 1517. However, the reformation was much influenced by political and economic factors. The sale of indulgences to gain salvation gave large sums of money, most of which contributed to the wealth of the clergy. ( In the meanwhile, there was a growing reaction of princes and jurists against the materialism of the papacy and the growing wealth of the clergy in Germany. Action came about, the princes and jurists revolted changing their religion to Lutheranism. More so did it help the wealthy than the paupers did. (Martin Luther: Saint and Sinner, 134) The German nobles adopted the new ideas of the Lutheran doctrine that enabled them to appropriate Church property, challenging the authority of the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, thus challenging the right of ownership of land. The acquisition of land and church was synonymous. ( If the German noble was of Lutheran persuasion, it was then decreed that all of his subjects were Lutheran. Therefore, all of the tithe made by the subjects would be paid to the noble. In addition, churches and cathedrals that were formerly Catholic was confiscated, and became the property of the Nobles. All former Holy Roman church property, and all of the subjects, were gained as property of the Nobility, thus increasing their wealth and power. ( Meanwhile in the science community during 1564-1642, Galileo had found out that many previously held beliefs about nature to be false. One of the most important was that the universe revolved around the Earth. This brings Galileo into conflict with the Church because many of these deceits were part of church dogma. He denies that psychological knowledge can be studied scientifically thereby preventing the development of psychology. Galileo showed that several of Aristotle's truths to be false and, by using a telescope. He extended the known number of bodies in the solar system to 11. Galileo also argued that science could deal only with objective reality and that because human perceptions were subjective, they were outside the realm of science. The Church found

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