As a result of studying the materials of the part, the student must:


• Religious specificity of religious liberalism and conservatism;

• the confessional structure of Christianity;

• the main currents in other world religions;

• trends in modern religions;

• the essence and manifestations of cultural religiosity;

be able to

• to determine the factors secularizing the influence of the culture of the New and Newest Times on religion;

• it is reasonable to distinguish between conservative, modernist and fundamentalist tendencies of modern religiosity;

• use religious knowledge in teaching activities

• justify the value of religious tolerance;


• Religious competence sufficient to analyze the religious processes taking place in modern society

• the criteria for identifying new religious movements;

• Criteria and methods for isolating cultural transformations in the context of secularization and posterity;

• the ability to identify elements of new religious practices in the culture of modernity.



At the end of the Renaissance the cultural situation is changing, in Christianity significant changes occur, which resulted in the appearance of Protestantism.

By Protestantism is usually understood as the totality of a large number of dissimilar communities, the impetus for which was directly or indirectly given by the Reformation. These communities have a characteristic of generating each other (secessionism).

Among the predecessors of the Reformation are usually called the Czech priest Jan Hus (1370-1415) and the English John Wycliffe (1320? -1384), condemned by the Constance Cathedral on charges of heresy.

The question of the more general causes of the Reformation is still a matter of controversy. Generalized different points of view can be defined as follows:

- the action of the subjective factor, i.e. the activities of the reformers, especially M. Luther;

- situational conditionality of the event: crisis phenomena in the church during the Renaissance;

- the effect of internal patterns of the course of history, including, perhaps, certain cycles or phases of the cultural process;

- all sorts of combinations of previous concepts.

According to the researchers, the reasons for the Reformation are numerous and unequal in importance, they can be combined as follows.

First, these are objective reasons of a cultural nature: cultural changes caused by the influence of Renaissance ideas, in particular, anthropocentrism (the desire to transfer a person to the center of the world), individualism, emphasizing individual freedom) , the aspiration of a number of states, including the German principalities, to independence, including from Rome, the desire to reduce the cost of maintaining the entire church apparatus with the appropriate redistribution of finance.

From a culturological point of view, the Reformation is usually considered the end of the Renaissance with its cult of man and the notion of the self-worth and self-sufficiency of the human person (from which one can infer that man is able to communicate with God himself without the mediation of the Church and the clergy and saints or without the decisive influence of such mediation).

However, it also contained features of the reaction to the latter. It is interesting that the largest representatives of the German Renaissance, who are considered to have largely prepared the reformation mood, Erasmus of Rotterdam and I. Reichlin remained in the bosom of the Catholic Church without joining the Reformation.

The attitude to knowledge and education in the reformatory environment was different.

Thus, M. Luther translated the Bible into German using the text in the original languages, but criticized the sophisticated intellectual theology of medieval scholasticism. However, his attitude from the very philosophy of the medieval type was not so unambiguous, especially at the beginning of his activity. He opposed the line that goes back to St. Thomas Aquinas, but he himself was an adherent of U. Occam (1285-1349), i. E. another line of the same philosophy.

Among the Anabaptists openly cultivated ignorance and denial of rational knowledge and education.

Secondly, it is objective reasons of the internal church nature: the decay of church life in the Renaissance, the lowering of the moral level of the clergy, the low literacy of a number of clerics, a number of abuses, for example, with indulgences some as forgiveness of sins (including uncontrolled collection of monetary donations, sometimes perceived as actual sale).

Third, there are subjective reasons, beliefs and the resulting activities of reformers, ideologists and organizers of the reform process (M. Luther, J. Calvin strong> (1509-1564), T. Münzer (1490-1525), N. Storch, M. Bucer (1491 - 1551), U. Zwingli (1484-1531)), who offered their own variants of understanding Christianity, the vision of its authenticity and its own reform programs (see Figure 42). The success of their activities often depended on the support of state power, for example, princes and city magistrates.

The Reformation was not a homogeneous current. Already in the XVI century. it formed a number of directions, sometimes very different. Thus, M. Luther sharply criticized the understanding of the participle of J. Calvin and W. Zwingli, condemned the Anabaptists.

It is possible to single out a moderate and radical branch (depending on the moderation of the reform program), aristocratic, burgher and popular reformation (depending on which social strata were the initiators and on whom the reformers mostly relied), finally, we can apply geographical principle: they sing out the continental and insular Reformation (England), as well as the late (Scandinavia), where the reformation moods came again and where they differed moderation, for example, without removing icons, completely abandoning the traditional GOVERNMENTAL vestments, etc.

The reaction to the Reformation was Counter Reformation (set of measures to resist Protestantism) and Catholic Reform (measures to carry out weighted reforms in the Catholic Church itself). These two processes are often combined, although they are still different phenomena, the counter-reformation is rather part of the Catholic reform.

The peak of the counter-reform events was the Council of Trent. He certainly condemned all the innovations of the Reformation-Protestant character, qualifying them as heresy and finally declared their adherents to be outside the Church. The traditional Catholic doctrine was confirmed, some theological formulations were refined, made more precise.

The most important results of the council (in the form of its final decisions and measures for their implementation immediately after it) were:

- the creation of the doctrinal vault - the "Roman catechism", which expounded the doctrinal truths in a clear form,

easy to remember. The Catechism had an official character and was the basis for the creation of any other;

- unification of worship. The rite of the Roman Mass was declared unchanged and everlasting by the pope sv. Pius V (1566-1572). It remained intact until the second half of the 20th century;

- a number of organizational reforms, in particular, ordering the allocation of indulgences, the introduction of compulsory education in seminaries for candidates for the adoption of dignity, strict ecclesiastical discipline.

In the post-Reformation period, the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit order) is beginning to play a big role, one of the goals of which was to raise the level of education among the clergy.

The Reformation led to the religious, political and cultural disunity of Europe. In countries with a predominance of Protestantism, culture began to take shape with a number of features (later they were most clearly reflected in the United States).

The question of the relationship of the Reformation to the formation of a capitalist industrial society is very complex. There is a point of view according to which the Reformation and Protestantism simply moved along the lines of the objective process of the formation of bourgeois-capitalist relations. On the other hand, the German sociologist M. Weber believes that it was Protestantism (especially Calvinism) that influenced the emergence of capitalism by its relation to work as a sacred religious duty. A number of other authors believe that Weber underestimated the role of Catholicism in this process, opposing Protestantism and Catholicism too much, that certain economic backwardness of some countries with the predominance of Catholicism (Italy) and the rapid economic growth of countries with a significant representation of Protestantism (USA) can not be treated in a straightforward manner. Traditional Christianity did not encourage idleness and did not condemn well-being in and of itself (rather, it blamed its abuse, turning into an end in itself and idolatry before money), but it also did not make a profit in an indispensable religious duty.

The term Protestantism is well established, but not entirely successful, as not everyone understands its origin. The name arose from a historical episode when several German princes adherents of the Reformation were followed by an objection, a protest against the decision of the Reichstag 1529 to deny the right freely to choose religious affiliation for themselves and their subjects. But often the word "Protestantism" is interpreted as a protest in general, including a protest against the traditional church, and this sense also has some sense.

As the community of Protestants is very heterogeneous, some researchers generally suggest abandoning this term, which is the reason, but according to the established tradition it continues to be widely used. At the same time, a number of other authors insist that Protestantism is quite an integral, though internally diverse, phenomenon. Hence, it is clear why many difficulties are associated with the classification of Protestantism.

Conditionally, Protestantism is divided into conservative, or moderate (primarily Lutheranism, Anglicanism, a number of Calvinistic communities) and extreme or radical, depending on the degree of departure from the traditional model of Christianity.

We can cite, of course, with a high degree of conventionality, the common features of Protestantism:

- emphasizing the role of the Bible until the complete rejection of the Holy Tradition (true, with the creation of their own "traditions"); encouraging its individual interpretations;

is the individualization of faith (especially the concept of "justification by faith") and the diminishing role and rights of the clergy and the emphasis on the "general priesthood";

- simplification of worship and the introduction of arbitrary, not prescribed rigidly its forms; reducing the number of sacraments, changing their understanding and reducing their importance;

- denying the cult of the saints or reducing it to a minimum;

- rejection of veneration of relics, icons, relics or recognition of it as irrelevant.

Of course, this list is very generalized and does not replace the consideration of each religious group. In different branches of Protestantism these tendencies are expressed in very different degrees, the understanding of certain moments has changed over time, which once again makes it legitimate question whether Protestantism exists as an internally absolutely unified phenomenon.

Schematically represent the main directions of Protestantism (Figure 22).

The main directions of Protestantism

Fig. 22. The main directions of Protestantism

thematic pictures

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