religious politics | Teen Ink

religious politics

October 3, 2007
By Anonymous

While religion played some part in the European wars of the 16th and 17th centuries the t5hirst for political power and territory drove this war to extremes. In Europe during this time period religion and politics went hand in hand; the Catholic Church used religion as means for political power by using the threat of excommunication as a manipulative device that could make anyone do anything. For kings religion was necessary to be a successful rule because the people were religious.

Leaders of the church held strong political power; this power was the power of excommunication. These leaders could utilize this threat to make anyone do anything. Document B states “the books of those heresiarchs, who after the aforesaid year originated or revived heresies, as well as of those who have been the heads or leaders of heretics, as Luther, Zwingli, Calvin … and others like these, whatever may be their name title or nature of their heresy, are absolutely forbidden”, illustrates the use of this power to keep people from reading certain books. “Thus it came about the city and all of its inhabitants fell into the hands of the enemy, whose violence and cruelty were in due part to there common hatred to the adherents of the Augsburg confession”, as stated by the Burgomeister of Magdeburg in document D demonstrates the churches use of the declaration of certain peoples or societies to justify the cruelty and mistreatment of fellow humans.

Being religious was extremely necessary to be a king in 16th century Europe primarily because the people were religious. If religious people had a non religious king they would not trust him because he didn’t have god; on the other hand if the king was religious they would trust him strongly. This is verified by the fair minded historian De Thou stating “and told them that it was the will of the king that, according to Gods will, they should take vengeance on the band of rebels”. Showing the king said what he wanted done and added God into the mix to justify his means. Document E says “In the name in the most holy and individual trinity: Be it known to all, and everyone whom it may concern” this suggests that the treaty has been handed down from God him self and ensures that it be followed.

Religion and politics were used together extensively in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries not only to make kings look better but by the church to control the kings. These religious politics were also used to control the people and to make lasting treaties and documents of importance.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jan. 26 2011 at 1:03 pm
That is true during those ages, but those are our faults. We should learn and don't repeat them.