Reformation and Reform Movement
“Change is the only constant thing in this world.” This famous saying greatly captures the phenomena that are happening in the world. As time passes by, it is quite observable that the world has changed in many ways as compared to the time when individuals are just starting to make a mark in this planet. The rise of the different civilization paved the way for the establishment of a robust society that tends to develop through time. Numerous countries have emerged in different parts of the globe wherein respective groups of people were able to establish their own nations. However, the societal situations within these countries do not remain the same as changes also take place.
The United States of America is one of the most notable countries who experienced many changes since its establishment as a nation. Substantial changes are observed in the country during the period of the Renaissance and Reformation. Being the case, it is essential that the influence of those reformers during the time of Renaissance and Reformation is given due attention and importance so that the way by which they influence the reform movements of today could be identified.
The reformers during the time of the Renaissance and the Reformation were able to influence the current reform movements because they served as the model, which proved that changes are possible if people will only work towards it. In relation to this, the reforms during those times were also able to explain the instances when people should ask for reforms and the ways to do it. The situation or the condition of the environment has an important part in starting a reform movement. Most of the time people ask for changes when they could see that the society is no longer in a good condition. This could be exemplified in situations wherein most of the citizens of the country are experiencing dire poverty or inhumane treatment from the different institutions of the society like the government and the church. This is proven before the Renaissance and the Reformation took place. During those times, the western countries are under the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages is described as “a thousand years without bath” (Estep, 1986: 3). This generalizations like other descriptions about the Middle Ages is not entirely true, it however suggests that the west during that time was filthy in modern standards. This is based on the reality that the peasants and their state of life during that time were in a bad condition. This is proven by the lack of sanitation and ventilation that often leads epidemics. Furthermore, the western nation during the middle ages was an agrarian society in most part. As a result, the Feudal system was implemented which made the situation of the common people more difficult as they have to work for landowners that are mostly exploitative (Estep, 1986).
The Middle Ages is also characterized by the heavy influence of religion in the society. However, even this institution is criticized during that time because many western Catholics were bothered by the some of the practices of the church wherein they implement false doctrines and even the sale of indulgences. In relation to this, there is also the buying and selling of church position, which just further proves the corruption in the church. Being the case, the reformation was established in order to address these issues (Estep, 1986). In this sense, the reformers at that time perceived that changes should happen when the welfare of the society is already being threatened by institutions like the government and the church.
The reformers at the time of the Renaissance and the Reformation could be regarded as the pioneers of reform movements, which the modern reformers as using as an example. It was during those times, that they were able to emphasize the importance of the individual person. In line with this, they were able to highlight the rights that every individual should have and this include protecting themselves and asking for change when their human rights are being infringed upon by an abusive authority. As a result, the modern-day reformers also follow this same principle in fighting for their respective advocacies. They put in mind the untoward situation that they experience and make efforts to push for changes.
Estep, W.R. (1986). Renaissance and Reformation. Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.