Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christianity: A History - "Reformation"

The Reformation.

The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to ("protested") the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led to the creation of new national Protestant churches.

This BBC documentary is presented by Ann Widdecombe, a former British Conservative Party politician and has been a novelist since 2000. She is a Privy Councillor and was the Member of Parliament for Maidstone from 1987 to 1997 and for Maidstone and The Weald from 1997 to 2010. She is a convert from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism.

Ann Widdecombe personal view of the reformation, a moment in time she describes as one of the saddest periods in Christian History.

Nearly five centuries ago, the Reformation split the medieval Church into competing Catholic and Protestant factions. Ancient customs were abolished, the Pope was declared the Antichrist and Christian killed Christian in the name of their faith as religious wars and massacres raged.

Ann was brought up as a Protestant in the Church of England but later in life converted to Catholicism. In her search for the causes of the Reformation, Ann sets out to learn more about the turbulent years that saw merciless intolerance drive a bitter divide between Catholics and Protestants.

Beyond the battles of kings, popes and theologians Ann explores how the Reformation came to affect the common people and why it led to many religious breakthroughs: from attacks on church corruption to the translation of the Bible into English.

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