Sunday, June 23, 2019

Nature of the Reformation

"The break-up of united Western Christendom with the coming of the Reformation was by far the most important thing in history since the foundation of the Catholic Church fifteen hundred years before.

"Men of foresight perceived at the time that if catastrophe were allowed to consumate itself, if the revolt were to be successful (and it was successful), our civilization would certainly be imperilled,  and possibly, in the long run, destroyed.

"That indeed is what has happened. Europe with all its culture is now seriously imperilled and stands no small chance of being destroyed by its own internal disruption; and all this is ultimately the fruit of the great religious revolution which began four hundred years ago.

"That being so, the Reformation being of this importance, it ought to form the chief object of historical study in modern times, and its nature should be clearly understood, even if only in outline."

~Hilaire Belloc: Characters of the Reformation, Chap 1. (1936)

Diptych with the Portraits of Luther and his Wife, by CRANACH, Lucas the Elder. Oil on wood; Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan.

Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon, by CRANACH, Lucas the Younger. Oil and tempera on wood, transferred to canvas,1559; St├Ądelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt.

The Calvinist Iconoclastic Riot of August 20, 1566, by HOGENBERG, Frans. Copper engraving, 1588; British Museum, London.

Portrait of John Calvin (1509–1564). Oil on panel, c. 1550. (Anonymous)

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