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Religion

종교 탐방

II. HISTORY OF THE PROTESTANT MOVEMENT

 
 

Protestantism was given its name at the Diet of Speyer in 1529. At that imperial assembly the Roman Catholic princes of Germany, along with the Holy Roman emperor Charles V, rescinded most of what toleration had been granted to the followers of Martin Luther three years earlier. On April 19, 1529, a protest was read against this decision, on behalf of 14 free cities of Germany and six Lutheran princes, who declared that the decision did not bind them because they were not a party to it, and that if forced to choose between obedience to God and obedience to Caesar they must choose obedience to God. They appealed from the diet to a general council of all Christendom or to a congress of the whole German nation. Those who made this protest became known as Protestants. The name was adopted not by the protesters but by their opponents, and gradually it was applied as a general description to those who adhered to the tenets of the Reformation, especially to those living outside Germany. In Germany the adherents of the Reformation preferred the name evangelicals and in France Huguenots. (see also Index: Lutheranism)

The name Protestant was attached not only to the disciples of Luther (c. 1483-1546) but also to the Swiss disciples of Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531) and later of John Calvin (1509-64). The Swiss Reformers and their followers in Holland, England, and Scotland, especially after the 17th century, preferred the name Reformed. (see also Index: Reformed church)

In the 16th century the name Protestant was used primarily in connection with the two great schools of thought that arose in the Reformation, the Lutheran and the Reformed. In England in the early 17th century the word Protestant was used in the sense of "orthodox Protestant," as opposed to those who were regarded by Anglicans as unorthodox, such as the Baptists or the Quakers. Roman Catholics, however, used it for all who claimed to be Christian but opposed Catholicism (except the Eastern churches). They therefore included under the term Baptists, Quakers, and Catholic-minded Anglicans. Before the year 1700 this broad usage was accepted, though the word was not yet applied to Unitarians. The English Toleration Act of 1689 was entitled "an Act for exempting their Majesties' Protestant subjects dissenting from the Church of England." But the act provided only for the toleration of the opinions known in England as "orthodox dissent" and conceded nothing to Unitarians. Throughout the 18th century the word Protestant was still defined in relation to the historical reference of the 16th-century Reformation. Samuel Johnson's dictionary (1755), which is characteristic of other dictionaries in that age, defines the word thus: "one of those who adhere to them, who, at the beginning of the reformation, protested against the errours of the church of Rome."

   

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