Session Notes

What We Will Learn Today

  1. Luther’s Assessment of Church Visitation Records
  2. Second-Generation Reformers
  3. The Spread of the Reformation through Europe
  4. Reformation in the New World


Session One: Part Four

Tracing the Reformation

  1. Failure? What have we seen so far that might suggest hits?
  2. What have we seen that might suggest it wasn’t a failure?

What place did church visitation records have in Luther’s assessment of the Reformation

  1. A big role in his assessment
  2. The problem with these sources?
    1. Only asked for negative information

Question: How does Luther’s “Theology of the Cross” help us understand his pessimism in the context of his theology?

  1. Luther’s doctrine of the Hidden God doesn’t allow use to always call things “successes or failures”- everything is a failure
  2. Dates:
    1. 1555- Peace of Augsburg
    2. 1580- Lutheran Book of Concord

These things represent the high point, or end of the first portion of the German Reformation

  1. Sometimes German historians have concluded the Reformation story in 1555 with the Peace of Augsburg- but, the Reformation spread later and beyond this time period

Melanchthon and Beza are the second generation reformers

  1. Melanchthon helped spread the reformation beyond Germany by giving it an intellectual tradition
  2. Common for this “second generation” of Reformers who helped make the reformation global
  3. Professions and vocations changed

Figures of the Reformation were:

  1. Professors
  2. Lawyers
  3. Women
  1. It was a Reformation of the Common people

Reformation was a theological way of looking at the world and

  1. Vocation
  2. Education
  3. Family life
  4. Art


  1. Reformation from Above (with the support of the King, Gustavus Adolphus)

Italy and Spain

  1. Parallel or hidden Reformations
  2. Reforms works being passed along in Catholic lands
  3. Mystics tended to dig Luther- such as the Spanish Alumbrados

Eastern Europe

  1. Used a Calvinist model of using church orders to arrange a functioning reformation church


  1. A reformation, but emphasis on religious freedom. It became the place for trading and moving people and ideas.

The New World Today

  1. Canada
    1. There is a Reformation tradition in Canada that ties itself back to the Catholic Counter Reformation
  2. New England Colonies
    1. Calvin’s Geneva was the model for the first colonists (who came to the New World from England via the Netherlands)