History of the Protestant Traditions

By kzuzik
  • 313

    Edict of Milan

    This was an agreement between Constantine I and Licinius. With this decree the practice of Christianity was legal. The newly converted Constantine would make Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.
  • 325

    First Council of Nicaea

    This council was called by the Catholic Church to deal with the many heresies emerging as Christianity began to flourish. Further, the council would also debate key theological issues of the time. The main accomplishments of this first council was the proclamation of the Nicene Creed and the doctrine of the Trinity. Thus the basic statements of belief of the Roman Catholic Church were established.
  • Dec 25, 800

    Coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emporer

    Charlemagne is crowned Holy Roman Emporer by Pope Leo III who was grateful for Charlemagne's intervention and protection. With this move there is a merger of church and state.
  • Jul 16, 1054

    East-West Schism

    The East-West Schism signalled the official break of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Western Roman Catholic Church. The East continued with autocephaly as a form of government while the Roman Church established papal primacy.
  • Jan 1, 1307

    Avignon Papacy

    The Avignon Papacy lasted in unitl 1377 in France. During this time period, the French take the pope and relocate him to France in and attempte to influence the Papacy. This is one event in the long line of corruption within the Papacy, and therefore, one of the reasons Luther spoke against a corrupt papacy.
  • Jan 1, 1337

    Hundred years war

    The Hundred Years war between France and England had an extreme cost of life. This event is also an example of a growing sense of nationalism fracturing the strength of Christendom. This is another foundational event the paved the way for Luther
  • Jan 1, 1347

    Black Plague in Europe

    The Black Plague struck Europe between 1347 to 1352 and decimated half of the population. This event led to increased tensions between the pesants and the nobility. This event is one of several that lays the groundwork for Martin Luther.
  • Jan 1, 1378

    Great Western Schism

    The Great Wester Schism resulted in 3 men claiming to be Pope. that lasted until 1418. The Renaissance Papacy follows this time period. There were great excesses in this time of the papacy. While this was a time of great expansion and restoration, it was also a time of episcopal abuses (such as pluralism and simony) and various clergy abuses. Luther dierectly speaks against these abuses of the Catholic Church in his 95 Theses.
  • Dec 31, 1384

    Death of John Wycliff

    John Wycliff was the first person to translate the Bible into to vernacular, English in this case. He was then able to offer critiques of abuses of power and authority. When he dies, his ideas were written down in a book. This book ends up in Prague where Jan Hus reads it. Along with Jan Hus, is considered the "Morning Star of the Reformation".
  • Jul 6, 1415

    Death of Jan Hus

    Jan Hus reads Wycliff's book in 1415. When he goes to Rome to voice his views on he ends up being burned at the stake for heresy. Hus and Wycliff are noted influences of Martin Luther.
  • May 29, 1453

    Fall of Constantinople

    Constantinople falls to the Turks. Also one of the groundbreaking events that paves the way for Martin Luther.
  • Jan 1, 1455

    Gutenberg Bible

    Gutenberg's Printing press revolutionized society. The Gutenberg Bible is the first printed book published. With the establishment of the printing press books, pamphlets and newspapers would be available to a wider audience. This allows more people to have access to the sources, giving them the ability to question church teachings and actions.
  • Nov 10, 1483

    Birth of Martin Luther

    Martin Luther had a strict upbringing. He had a fear of God and judgement that led to anxiety and depression. He joined the priesthood against his father's wishes. This aspect of his early life influenced his perspective on justification, one of the main issues that led to the protestant reformation. Luther died 18 Feb 1546.
  • Apr 21, 1509

    Henry VIII of England is crowned King of England

    Henry VIII is crowned king following the death of his brother. He married his brother's widow to maintain his Spanish Ally. However, the marriage was an unhappy one, producing no male heir. Henry seeks to divorce Catherine and is refused by the Roman Catholic Church. Henry claims that is was unlawful for him to marry his brother's widow. This begins the separation of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Jul 10, 1509

    Birth of John Calvin

    Born in France, Calvin's father used an ecclesiatical post to secure education for his son. Cavin studied theology and law and was exposed to humanism. His theology was influence by his studies. He converted to Protestantism in 1534 when he gave up his eccesiastic post.
  • Oct 31, 1517

    Posting of the 95 theses on the Cathedral at Wittenberg

    Luther was given a teaching post at the University in Wittenberg where he studied scritpture. His insights in his studies were the ideas of justification by faith, sola gratia, sola fides and sola scriptura. His initial discussion at the university was given no real attention. However, his 95 theses were also translated and published and distributed. This did cause attention both politically and theologically.
  • Jan 28, 1521

    Diet of Worms

    The Diet of Worms began in January and lasted until May of the same year. Luther was given safe passage so he might discuss his ideas. Once there, he was asked by the Church to recant his views e. He refused and is declared a heretic. He also challenges the authority of the state. He is ushered to safety by Frederic the Wise, who was a convert. While in hiding he translates the Bible into German, thus allowing his countrymen to read it and to question the church's teachings.
  • Jan 1, 1524

    Peasant Revolts

    Poor economic conditions around Europe finally came to a head in 1524 - 1525 with Peasant revolts. While violence frequently errupted in the past, this revolt was different because it had religious overtones. The Peasants felt emboldened in their effort because of Luther's teachings and interpretations of scripture. However, when the violence got out of hand, he approved of the government supressing the revolt causing many deaths. As a result Luther lost many followers.
  • Jan 21, 1525

    Baptisms of Blaurock and Grebel

    Blaurock and Grebel were critics of Luther and Zwingli, and felt that their reforms didn't go far enough. These men believed in adult baptism as a free choice and pacifism. The anabaptist movement began when Blaurock and Grebel re-baptized one another. The anabaptists were considered subversive by most groups and were put to death.
  • Mar 15, 1529

    Second Diet of spire

    Here the Edict of Worms, which declared Luther a heretic, was upheld by Charles V. However, the princes in attendance were supporters of Luther and stood in protest against Charles' ruling. Thus the term "protestant" was coined. This was also the time that the Augsburg Confession, Luther's confession of faith, was affirmed
  • Jan 1, 1534

    Henry VIII's Act of Supremacy

    Henry VIII reenacts ancient laws that put the clergy under the authority of the King. Having done this, the King places himself at the head of the Church of England. He then severs funds to Rome, and renders his marraige to Catherine null. This establishes the Church of England, and also lays the groundwork for the future bloodshed over religion through his heirs.
  • Feb 1, 1534

    Radical Anabaptist Movement

    From Feb. 1534 to June 1535, a radical group of anabaptists came to a head at Munster. Under the direction of Melchoir Hoffman, the taking up of arms was justified. Munster fell after much violence. The fall of Munster brings a new chapter in the Anabaptist movement under the direction of Menno Simmons.
  • Mar 1, 1536

    Calvin publishes Institutes of Christian Religion

    Soon after converting, Calvin seeks to fill in the gaps of Luther's basic doctrine. This work had six chapters in its first edition and underwent many revisions as he developed his theology. This book has become the main theological source of Calvinistic thought.
  • Jan 1, 1538

    Calvin's time in Stasbourg

    Calvin spends from 1538 to 1541 in Strasbourg. This follows his time in Geneva, where the Reformation was in disaray. With William Farel, Calvin attempted strict reforms that shocks some of the people. He is expelled and goes to Strasbourg. There, he deveops his pastoral theology, french liturgy, translates scriptures to French and expands his Institutes.
  • Jan 1, 1539

    Publication of Menno Simmon's Foundations of the Christian Doctrine

    Menno Simmons was a Catholic Priest who left the priesthood over the issue of infant baptism. He was peaceful followers of the Anabaptist movement after the radical movement. He reaffirmed the foundations of the Anabaptism movement that included Pacifism. His followers today are called Mennonites. The Amish are also descendants of the Anabaptist movement.
  • Dec 13, 1545

    Council of Trent

    This council lasted from 1545 to 1563. One of the many issues that this council addressed was the issues raised by Luther and the Reformation. The end result of this council was a theology cearly defined. However, there were also many condemnation on both sides that would divide the two groups for centuries.
  • Jan 28, 1547

    Death of Henry VIII

    At his death the struggle over heirs and religion begins. Edward VI, his only son, was influenced by Protestantism and develops the Book of Common Prayer. He dies young. Mary Tudor is next in line, but is Catholic. She brings Catholicism back to England, but a firm protestantism resists, leading to much bloodshed. Elizabeth I succeeds Mary and achieves a tolerating peace with the via media. The book of common prayer now reflects both theologies.
  • Jan 1, 1559

    Founding of Genevan Academy

    In 1541, Calvin returned to Geneva to finish his work there. He succeeds in reforming the area, which becomes a model city for the reformation. In 1559 the Genevan Academy is founded and is run by Theodore Beza. This sschool educated youth according to the protestant tradition.
  • Jan 1, 1563

    Thirty-nine Articles (Church of England)

    These articles define the Church of England against the Catholic Church and the Calvinistic thought. These articles begins to establish the theology of the Anglican Church. Following the death of Elizabeth I, there is much unrest in England. This continues until William, Prince of Orange, and Mary uphold the 39 articles and Elizabeth I's attitude of religious tolerance.
  • May 27, 1564

    Death of John Calvin

    Calvin's views on the Eucharist, the role of the church in government, and on predestination separated him and his theology from Luther and the Luthernism that developed.
  • Plymouth founded as a Puritan Colony

    The 1600's bring the first major, successful colonies to the Americas. Plymouth was founded as a Puritan Colony.
  • Founding of Rhode Island colony

    The Rhode Island colony was founded as a Baptist colony, but was tolerant of other religions. There was not a policy of tolerance at many of the colonies. Rhode Island, however, welcomed those who were not welcome at other colonies.
  • William Penn's "Holy Experiment"

    William Penn was a Quaker who was awarded a large peice of land in America, which became Pennsylvania. In America, William Penn enacted a "holy experiment" of religious tolerance.
  • First Great Awakening

    The first great awakening began intellectually with the work of Jonathan Edwards before it more to an emotional response to scripture. The awakening united the colonies and brings about religious revival. The Baptist and Methodist Traditions were influenced by the emotional response to scripture. These traditions discuss a personal assurance of salvation.
  • American Revolution

    The American Revolution leads to new denominations that are clearly American. The Unitarian Church is an example of this. This denomination denies the Trinity in a rationalist reaction to orthodoxy. The Disciples of Christ are another example. Their intent was to unite all churches as one, but only becomes one of the many.
  • Second Great Awakening

    The Second Great Awakening takes root by the turn of the century. While this movement begins intellectually, it quickly turns emotional and quickly anti-intellectual. This is the time period of the tent revival. The Baptist and Methodist movement benefited here. But there was also the emergence of many new denominations: Seventh Day Adventist and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.
  • American Civil War

    Many denominations break over slavery: Baptists, Methodist, Quakers, Presbyterians. After the war new denominations emerge in the South to accomodate a black population that is unwelcome in many churches: Baptist, CME, and AME. The 1860's also brings the emergence of the YMCA/YWCA and the Salvation Army.
  • Fundamental Protestantism emerges

    Beginning in the 1840's wit the Evangelical Alliance, the Fundamental Protestants in the South reacts against Liberal Protestantism in the North. In the North, new methods of Biblical Criticsim are accepted along with a social and economic view of the Gospel. The Southern reaction was to return to the fundamentals including the inerrancy of the Bible.
  • Emergence of Pentecostalism

    Pentecostalism is a growth from the Methodist Revival movements of the late 1800's. Pentecostalism distinquishes itself by an emphasis on Spirit Baptism, faith healing and the second coming of Christ.