Free «The Role of Religion as a Source of Authority in Europe from the 1500s to 1700s» Essay Sample

Even before 1500, Christianity had spread its wings beyond the Mediterranean. Most of the world’s major religions rose during the same time as Christianity and Christianity did not stand out amongst these. This is because other religions like Hinduism and Islam were uniting people and generally contributing to the world than Christianity. Christianity was made more popular during the Renaissance in Italy. The period from 1500 to 1700 was a huge time for Christianity and it left a big mark in Europe. The paper will discuss the role of Christianity as a source of authority in Europe during this period. Some of the impacts that were as a result of Christianity were in politics, economics and cultural aspects.

During the Renaissance period, Christianity spread and dominated in Europe with a little competition from the other religions. Christianity was a monotheist religion and stayed much the same especially among the Protestants and Catholics. Christianity as a religion remained a major influence for most of the people in Europe and influenced a number of authors and artists who came into the Renaissance. At the same time, Christianity continued to be a source of massive powers for the church and other religious figures during this time. Religion gave these leaders a lot of power and more control of Europe as a result. The leaders as a result set churches all across Europe as they continued to spread the influence of Christianity even more in Europe. Christianity was and remained a uniting source for the people in Europe. This led to making Europe a powerful and rich force in Europe mainly because many of the religious leaders appeared to continue the old Roman legacies (Montaigne, 1580).

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Christian leaders used to teach to masses that:

…no good can profit an unbeliever to justification and salvation; and, on the other hand, no evil work makes him an evil and condemned person, but that unbelief, which makes the person and the tree bad, makes his works evil and condemned. (Martin Luther).

Basically this meant that a man was made good or bad based on his faith or unbelief. This made people belief and trust more in Christianity and its leaders. In this way, Christianity continued to gain authority over the masses. Martin Luther further says that Christianity and its leaders is a spiritual power that rules in the center of its enemies. It is powerful in midst of distress. People were made to believe that they can turn their weakness into strength and all things can be turned into profit of salvation (Martin Luther).

Priests were regarded as having a dignity higher than that of the kings. Priests were seen as worthy to appear before God, to teach others mutually things that are Godly, and pray for others. These things were seen not to be permitted by non-believers and hence people had to get ‘saved’ such that they can also be fellow-priests and come into the presence of God. To the contrary, it was believed that to an unbelieving person, there was nothing that worked for good. But such a person’s things turned evil for him because he/she is servitude to all things and thus he/she is profane and does not appear before God as God never hears sinners (Martin Luther). Such heavy repercussions made people to believe in Christianity and its leadership or else they suffered.


The period from 1500 to 1700 was a huge time for Christianity. Christianity and its leadership continued to be a source of massive powers for the church and Europe in general. Christianity as a religion remained a major influence for most of the people in Europe as the subjects feared ‘sinning’ and annoying their priests. The leaders as a result used Christianity as an authority to govern the people.  


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