Decline of European Christianity (Essay Sample)
Write a 5-page research paper, (This means five page in the body of your paper not including the title page and bibliography and should be at least 1500 words) research paper (Turabian style footnotes and bibliography,12-point Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins on all sides, double spaced), using 3 scholarly sources (i.e. journal articles obtained by using the university’s library search engines), and at least two scholarly books (not including the textbook). Focus on the reasons why European Christianity (both Protestant and Catholic) has declined. Do not focus on a single denomination. The period that can be covered in this paper can be from 1675-present, you can select your own date, as long as the focus is on post-Christian Europe. Use Turabian reference style and place your bibliography as the last pagesource..
Decline of European Christianity
11th April 2012
Decline of European Christianity
There is historical evidence that European Christianity has suffered serious decline. The decline has been more pronounced from the late 17th century to present. Western Europe was the home of many missionaries who went to evangelize to continental Africa, Asia and the America’s. Europe is the home of many great preachers and evangelist in history: Calvin, Luther, Aquinas, and Barth amongst other great spiritual leaders in history. However, history story has changed and Europe itself now needs serious evangelism. Europe has experienced a steady decline in Christian beliefs and practices. There are many reasons for the decline of Christianity in Europe.
One of the major causes of decline in Christianity in continental Europe is the Reformation. Reformation coupled by wars of religion caused a serious blow to Christianity in Europe. During the reformation human reason was elevated beyond what religion termed as divine revelation. Religious beliefs and doctrines were questioned and challenged. Various sects of Christianity were formed which arose from varied interpretation of the bible. This led to the disregard of religious authorities such as papacy. Leaders in Europe were therefore forced to accept diversity of Christianity rather than impose a single orthodoxy. This formed the beginning of the era of religious tolerance.
The basis of decline in Christianity in Europe can also be traced in the thirty years war (1618-1648) in Europe and its consequences. Though the reasons for the war changed but the cause of the war was religious differences. The war started because of religious conflicts between the Protestants and the Catholics in the large Roman Empire. The war deepened the hostility between the Catholics and the Protestant groups.
Religious toleration became the order of the day after the reformation and wars of religion. Initially, it had been agreed upon that the people of a certain nation would follow the religion of their king. Nevertheless this was not the case during the end of the 16th century. More and more sects or religious were allowed and their rights acknowledged by governments. During this period for example partial toleration of Protestants existed in Nantes France. Germany on the other hands gave equal rights to both Lutherans and Catholics. The later years of eighteenth and nineteenth saw advancement of religious toleration in other European countries such as Austria, Britain, Sweden, Ireland, Spain and Denmark. The eighteenth and nineteenth century were not only characterized by religious but also non religious toleration which had adverse effects on Christianity in Europe.
A good example is the advent of Deism. Deism was a religious group that was common especially with the intellectual group which emphasized on more on observation and reason on natural world. This religious group became so common especially in Germany France and Britain. Deists believe that despite god creating us, he left us to have control over the earth. They believe that since our creation God is never concerned about what we do. This religious group became very popul...
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