Protestantism

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Protestantism,

form of Christian faith and practice that originated with the principles of the ReformationReformation,
religious revolution that took place in Western Europe in the 16th cent. It arose from objections to doctrines and practices in the medieval church (see Roman Catholic Church) and ultimately led to the freedom of dissent (see Protestantism).
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. The term is derived from the Protestatio delivered by a minority of delegates against the (1529) Diet of Speyer, which passed legislation against the Lutherans. Since that time the term has been used in many different senses, but not as the official title of any church until it was assumed (1783) by the Protestant Episcopal Church (since 1967 simply the Episcopal Church) in the United States, the American branch of the Anglican Communion. Protestantism as a general term is now used in contradistinction to the other major Christian faiths, Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Branches and Sects

Two distinct branches of Protestantism grew out of the Reformation. The evangelical churches in Germany and Scandinavia were followers of Martin LutherLuther, Martin,
1483–1546, German leader of the Protestant Reformation, b. Eisleben, Saxony, of a family of small, but free, landholders. Early Life and Spiritual Crisis

Luther was educated at the cathedral school at Eisenach and at the Univ.
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, and the reformed churches in other countries were followers of John CalvinCalvin, John,
1509–64, French Protestant theologian of the Reformation, b. Noyon, Picardy. Early Life

Calvin early prepared for an ecclesiastical career; from 1523 to 1528 he studied in Paris.
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 and Huldreich ZwingliZwingli, Huldreich or Ulrich
, 1484–1531, Swiss Protestant reformer. Education of a Reformer
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. A third major branch, episcopacy, developed in England. Particularly since the Oxford movementOxford movement,
religious movement begun in 1833 by Anglican clergymen at the Univ. of Oxford to renew the Church of England (see England, Church of) by reviving certain Roman Catholic doctrines and rituals.
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 of the 19th cent., many Anglicans have rejected the word Protestant because they tend to agree with Roman Catholicism on most doctrinal points, rejecting, however, the primacy of the pope (see England, Church ofEngland, Church of,
the established church of England and the mother church of the Anglican Communion. Organization and Doctrine

The clergy of the church are of three ancient orders: deacons, priests, and bishops.
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; Episcopal ChurchEpiscopal Church,
Anglican church of the United States. Its separate existence as an American ecclesiastical body with its own episcopate began in 1789. Doctrine and Organization

The Episcopal Church maintains that the Holy Scriptures are the ultimate rule of faith.
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; Ireland, Church ofIreland, Church of,
Anglican church of both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. As a separate body the church goes back to the Reformation when the Irish church was officially reformed along the same lines as the church in England (see England, Church of).
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). In addition, there have been several groups commonly called Protestant but historically preceding the rise of Protestantism (see HussitesHussites
, followers of John Huss. After the burning of Huss (1415) and Jerome of Prague (1416), the Hussites continued as a powerful group in Bohemia and Moravia. They drew up (1420) the Four Articles of Prague, demanding freedom of preaching, communion in both kinds (i.e.
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; LollardryLollardry
or Lollardy,
medieval English movement for ecclesiastical reform, led by John Wyclif, whose "poor priests" spread his ideas about the countryside in the late 14th cent.
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; WaldensesWaldenses
or Waldensians,
Protestant religious group of medieval origin, called in French Vaudois. They originated in the late 12th cent. as the Poor Men of Lyons, a band organized by Peter Waldo, a wealthy merchant of Lyons, who gave away his property (c.
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). Protestantism has largely been adopted by the peoples of NW Europe and their descendants, excepting the southern Germans, Irish, French, and Belgians; there have been important Protestant minorities in France, Bohemia, Hungary, and Poland.

The doctrine that the individual conscience is the valid interpreter of Scripture led to a wide variety of Protestant sects; this fragmentation was further extended by doctrinal disputes within the sects notably over gracegrace,
in Christian theology, the free favor of God toward humans, which is necessary for their salvation. A distinction is made between natural grace (e.g., the gift of life) and supernatural grace, by which God makes a person (born sinful because of original sin) capable of
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, predestination, and the sacraments. Certain movements have claimed new revelations (see AgapemoneAgapemone
[Gr.,=abode of love], English religious community of men and women, holding all goods in common. It was founded (c.1850) at the village of Spaxton, Somerset, by Henry James Prince (1811–99), Samuel Starky, and others.
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; Latter-Day Saints, Church of Jesus Christ ofLatter-day Saints, Church of Jesus Christ of,
name of the church founded (1830) at Fayette, N.Y., by Joseph Smith. The headquarters are in Salt Lake City, Utah. Its members, now numbering about 5.
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; New Jerusalem, Church of theNew Jerusalem, Church of the,
or New Church,
religious body instituted by the followers of Emanuel Swedenborg, who are generally called Swedenborgians. Knowledge of Swedenborg's teachings was spread in England largely by two clergymen, Thomas Hartley and John Clowes,
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). Of a fundamentally distinct nature is Christian ScienceChristian Science,
religion founded upon principles of divine healing and laws expressed in the acts and sayings of Jesus, as discovered and set forth by Mary Baker Eddy and practiced by the Church of Christ, Scientist.
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, which as an article of faith repudiates any medical treatment.

Since the 1960s a main thrust in Protestantism has been toward reunification (see ecumenical movementecumenical movement
, name given to the movement aimed at the unification of the Protestant churches of the world and ultimately of all Christians.

During and after the Reformation Protestantism separated into numerous independent sects.
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); this was particularly strong in North America. Most Protestant and many Eastern Orthodox churches are allied in federated councils on the local, national, and international levels (see World Council of ChurchesWorld Council of Churches,
an international, interdenominational organization of most major Protestant, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox Christian churches; founded in Amsterdam in 1948, its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.
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 and National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

For some of the major tendencies in Protestantism, see AdventistsAdventists
[advent, Lat.,=coming], members of a group of related religious denominations whose distinctive doctrine centers in their belief concerning the imminent second coming of Jesus (see Judgment Day).
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; AnabaptistsAnabaptists
[Gr.,=rebaptizers], name applied, originally in scorn, to certain Protestant sects holding that infant baptism is not authorized in Scripture and that baptism should be administered to believers only.
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; BaptistsBaptists,
denomination of Protestant Christians holding a distinctive belief with regard to the ordinance of baptism. Since 1644 the name has been applied to those who maintain that baptism should be administered to none but believers and that immersion is the only mode of
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; CalvinismCalvinism,
term used in several different senses. It may indicate the teachings expressed by John Calvin himself; it may be extended to include all that developed from his doctrine and practice in Protestant countries in social, political, and ethical, as well as theological,
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; CongregationalismCongregationalism,
type of Protestant church organization in which each congregation, or local church, has free control of its own affairs. The underlying principle is that each local congregation has as its head Jesus alone and that the relations of the various congregations
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; LutheranismLutheranism,
branch of Protestantism that arose as a result of the Reformation, whose religious faith is based on the principles of Martin Luther, although he opposed such a designation.
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; MethodismMethodism,
the doctrines, polity, and worship of those Protestant Christian denominations that have developed from the movement started in England by the teaching of John Wesley.
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; PentecostalismPentecostalism,
worldwide 20th–21st-century Christian movement that emphasizes the experience of Spirit baptism, generally evidenced by speaking in tongues (glossolalia).
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; PresbyterianismPresbyterianism,
form of Christian church organization based on administration by a hierarchy of courts composed of clerical and lay presbyters. Holding a position between episcopacy (government by bishops) and Congregationalism (government by local congregation),
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; PuritanismPuritanism,
in the 16th and 17th cent., a movement for reform in the Church of England that had a profound influence on the social, political, ethical, and theological ideas of England and America. Origins

Historically Puritanism began early (c.
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; spiritismspiritism
or spiritualism,
belief that the human personality continues to exist after death and can communicate with the living through the agency of a medium or psychic.
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; UnitarianismUnitarianism,
in general, the form of Christianity that denies the doctrine of the Trinity, believing that God exists only in one person. While there were previous antitrinitarian movements in the early Christian Church, like Arianism and Monarchianism, modern Unitarianism
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.

For individual churches in addition to those already mentioned, see BrethrenBrethren,
German Baptist religious group. They were popularly known as Dunkards, Dunkers, or Tunkers, from the German for "to dip," referring to their method of baptizing. The Brethren evolved from the Pietist movement in Germany.
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; Christian Catholic ChurchChristian Catholic Church,
religious denomination founded (1896) in Chicago by John Alexander Dowie. Its members are sometimes known as Zionites. The church has its center in Zion, Ill., which Dowie founded (1901) as a religious community.
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; Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)Christian Church (Disciples of Christ),
sometimes called Campbellites, a Protestant religious body founded early in the 19th cent. in the United States. Its primary thesis is that the Bible alone should form the basis for faith and conduct, each individual interpreting the Bible
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; Christian Reformed ChurchChristian Reformed Church,
denomination formed after the secession of a group from the Reformed Church in America in 1857. Colonists from Holland who began settling in Michigan in 1846 generally became members of the Reformed (Dutch) church there.
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; ChristiansChristians,
name taken by the followers of several evangelical preachers on the American frontier, notably James O'Kelley, Abner Jones, and Barton W. Stone, all of whom were antisectarian.
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; Churches of ChristChurches of Christ,
conservative body of evangelical Protestants in the United States. Its founders were originally members of what is now the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) who gradually withdrew from that body following the Civil War.
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; Churches of God, General ConferenceChurches of God, General Conference,
conservative evangelical Christian bodies, Arminian in faith (see Jacobus Arminius), with certain Baptist doctrines. The movement originated during revivals held in Harrisburg, Pa.
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; ProtestantismProtestantism,
form of Christian faith and practice that originated with the principles of the Reformation. The term is derived from the Protestatio delivered by a minority of delegates against the (1529) Diet of Speyer, which passed legislation against the Lutherans.
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; Evangelical and Reformed ChurchEvangelical and Reformed Church,
Protestant denomination formed by the merger (1934) of the Reformed Church in the United States and the Evangelical Synod of North America. Both of these bodies had originated in the Reformation in Europe.
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; Evangelical United Brethren ChurchEvangelical United Brethren Church,
Protestant denomination created (1946) by the union of the Evangelical Church and the United Brethren in Christ. Both denominations originated early in the 19th cent. and had similarities in organization and polity.
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; Friends, Religious Society ofFriends, Religious Society of,
religious body originating in England in the middle of the 17th cent. under George Fox. The members are commonly called Quakers, originally a term of derision.
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; HuguenotsHuguenots
, French Protestants, followers of John Calvin. The term is derived from the German Eidgenossen, meaning sworn companions or confederates. Origins

Prior to Calvin's publication in 1536 of his Institutes of the Christian Religion,
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; MennonitesMennonites
, descendants of the Dutch and Swiss evangelical Anabaptists of the 16th cent. Beliefs and Membership

While each congregation is at liberty to decide independently on its form of worship and other matters, Mennonites generally agree on certain
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; Moravian ChurchMoravian Church,
 Renewed Church of the Brethren,
or Unitas Fratrum
, an evangelical Christian communion whose adherents are sometimes called United Brethren or Herrnhuters.
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; RantersRanters,
name given to the adherents of an antinomian movement in England about the time of the Commonwealth and Protectorate (1649–59). Its principal teaching was pantheistic, that God is present in nature.
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; Reformed Church in AmericaReformed Church in America,
Protestant denomination founded in colonial times by settlers from the Netherlands and formerly known as the Dutch Reformed Church. The Reformed Church in Holland emerged in the 16th cent.
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; Salvation ArmySalvation Army,
Protestant denomination and international nonsectarian Christian organization for evangelical and philanthropic work. Organization and Beliefs

The Salvation Army has established branches in more than 110 countries throughout the world.
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; Scotland, Church ofScotland, Church of,
the established national church of Scotland, Presbyterian (see Presbyterianism) in form. The first Protestants in Scotland, led by Patrick Hamilton, were predominantly Lutheran.
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; Scotland, Free Church ofScotland, Free Church of,
the secessionist Presbyterian church established as a result of the great disruption of 1843 in the Church of Scotland. The cause of the separation lay in the demand of the laity for a voice in matters of patronage.
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; Seventh-Day BaptistsSeventh-Day Baptists,
Protestant church holding the same doctrines as other Calvinistic Baptists but observing the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath. In the Reformation in England the observance was adopted by many, and in the 17th cent.
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; ShakersShakers,
popular name for members of the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, also called the Millennial Church. Members of the movement, who received their name from the trembling produced by religious emotion, were also known as Alethians.
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; United Church of CanadaUnited Church of Canada,
Protestant denomination formed in 1925 by the union of the Methodist, Congregational, and Presbyterian churches in Canada. A large number of Presbyterian congregations, however, remain outside the union. The church has continued to form other unions.
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; Universalist Church of AmericaUniversalist Church of America,
Protestant denomination originating in the 18th cent. and represented almost entirely in the United States. Universalism is the belief that it is God's purpose to save every individual from sin through divine grace revealed in Jesus.
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.

Distinguishing Characteristics and Development

Central Beliefs

The chief characteristics of original Protestantism were the acceptance of the Bible as the only source of infallible revealed truth, the belief in the universal priesthood of all believers, and the doctrine that a Christian is justified in his relationship to God by faith alone, not by good works or dispensations of the church. There was a tendency to minimize liturgy and to stress preaching by the ministry and the reading of the Bible. Although Protestants rejected asceticism, an elevated standard of personal morality was advanced; in some sects, notably PuritanismPuritanism,
in the 16th and 17th cent., a movement for reform in the Church of England that had a profound influence on the social, political, ethical, and theological ideas of England and America. Origins

Historically Puritanism began early (c.
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, a high degree of austerity was reached. Their ecclesiastical polity, principally in such forms as episcopacy (government by bishops), Congregationalism, or Presbyterianism, was looked upon by Protestants as a return to the early Christianity described in the New Testament.

Theological Development

Protestantism saw many theological developments, particularly after the 18th cent. Under the influence of romanticismromanticism,
term loosely applied to literary and artistic movements of the late 18th and 19th cent. Characteristics of Romanticism

Resulting in part from the libertarian and egalitarian ideals of the French Revolution, the romantic movements had in common only a
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, which stressed the subjective element in religion rather than the revelation of the Bible, the formal systems of early Protestant theology began to dissolve; this doctrine was best expressed by Friedrich SchleiermacherSchleiermacher, Friedrich Daniel Ernst
, 1768–1834, German Protestant theologian, b. Breslau. He broke away from the Moravian Church and studied at Halle. Ordained in 1794, he accepted a post as a Reformed preacher in Berlin.
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, who placed religious feeling at the center of Christian life. Along with this came the assertion that the fatherhood of God and the unity of humanity were the basic themes of Christianity. Later there was a neoorthodox movement, which, under the leadership of Karl BarthBarth, Karl
, 1886–1968, Swiss Protestant theologian, one of the leading thinkers of 20th-century Protestantism. He helped to found the Confessing Church and his thinking formed the theological framework for the Barmen Declaration.
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 and Reinhold NiebuhrNiebuhr, Reinhold
, 1892–1971, American religious and social thinker, b. Wright City, Mo. A graduate of Yale Divinity School, he served (1915–28) as pastor of Bethel Evangelical Church in Detroit, where he became deeply interested in social problems.
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, sought a return to a theology of revelation; a new school of Bible interpretation as expressed in the work of Rudolf BultmannBultmann, Rudolf Karl
, 1884–1976, German existentialist theologian, educated at the universities of Tübingen, Berlin, and Marburg. He taught at the universities of Breslau and Giessen and from 1921 to 1950 was professor at the Univ. of Marburg.
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; and a theology, derived in part from existentialismexistentialism
, any of several philosophic systems, all centered on the individual and his relationship to the universe or to God. Important existentialists of varying and conflicting thought are Søren Kierkegaard, Karl Jaspers, Martin Heidegger, Gabriel Marcel, and Jean-Paul
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, developed by Paul TillichTillich, Paul Johannes
, 1886–1965, American philosopher and theologian, b. Germany, educated at the universities of Berlin, Tübingen, Halle, and Breslau. In 1912 he was ordained a minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
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.

In the United States, four broad theological positions cut across denominational lines: fundamentalismfundamentalism.
1 In Protestantism, religious movement that arose among conservative members of various Protestant denominations early in the 20th cent., with the object of maintaining traditional interpretations of the Bible and of the doctrines of the Christian faith in
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, which stems from the antitheological periods of revivalism in the 18th and 19th cent. (see Great AwakeningGreat Awakening,
series of religious revivals that swept over the American colonies about the middle of the 18th cent. It resulted in doctrinal changes and influenced social and political thought. In New England it was started (1734) by the rousing preaching of Jonathan Edwards.
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) and adheres to a literal interpretation of the Bible and a pietistic morality; liberalism, the heir to the Social GospelSocial Gospel,
liberal movement within American Protestantism that attempted to apply biblical teachings to problems associated with industrialization. It took form during the latter half of the 19th cent.
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 movement, which encourages freer interpretation of theological doctrines and emphasizes church responsibility for social justice; PentecostalismPentecostalism,
worldwide 20th–21st-century Christian movement that emphasizes the experience of Spirit baptism, generally evidenced by speaking in tongues (glossolalia).
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, which emphasizes ecstatic religious experience especially as communicated through the gifts of the Spirit; and the neoorthodoxy of Reinhold NiebuhrNiebuhr, Reinhold
, 1892–1971, American religious and social thinker, b. Wright City, Mo. A graduate of Yale Divinity School, he served (1915–28) as pastor of Bethel Evangelical Church in Detroit, where he became deeply interested in social problems.
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 and Karl BarthBarth, Karl
, 1886–1968, Swiss Protestant theologian, one of the leading thinkers of 20th-century Protestantism. He helped to found the Confessing Church and his thinking formed the theological framework for the Barmen Declaration.
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.

Bibliography

See P. Tillich, The Protestant Era (1948, repr. 1957); R. M. Brown, Spirit of Protestantism (1961); E. G. Léonard, A History of Protestantism (2 vol., tr. 1965–67); W. Pauck, The Heritage of the Reformation (rev. ed. 1968); R. Mehl, The Sociology of Protestantism (tr. 1970); M. E. Marty, Protestantism (1972); R. T. Handy, A Christian America: Protestant Hopes and Historical Realities (2d ed. 1983); J. Dillenberger and C. Welch, Protestant Christianity (2d ed. 1988).

Protestantism

  1. those western Churches originating as distinct institutions at the time of the Reformation or by subsequent secession from Churches which originated at that time.
  2. a system of Christian faith and practice based on the principles of the Reformation: that the Bible is the only source of revealed truth; the concept of justification by faith alone; and the universal priesthood of every believer. Protestantism also rests on negative views: it rejects the notion of the Church as an autonomous authority, beyond the voluntary association of its believers. The growth of Protestantism is often associated with distinctive features of Western European development. In particular WEBER claimed that the form capitalism took in Western Europe was dependent on what he called the PROTESTANT ETHIC. See also CHRISTIANITY, ROMAN CATHOLICISM. ASCETICISM.

Protestantism

 

one of the three major movements of Christianity, along with Catholicism and Orthodoxy. It includes a number of autonomous churches and sects that differ somewhat in worship and organization but are linked by common origin and dogma.

The term “Protestant” was originally applied at the Diet of Speyer in 1529 to the German princes and cities who signed the Protestatio—a protest against the decision of the majority of the diet to limit the spread of Lutheranism in Germany. Subsequently, “Protestants” included all followers of the new church movements that broke away from Catholicism in the 16th century, during the Reformation as well as those that later broke away from the main Protestant churches. Protestantism arose in the 16th century as a new, specifically “bourgeois variety” of Christianity in opposition to medieval, basically feudal, Catholicism (see K. Marx, Kapital, vol. 1, in K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch, 2nd ed., vol. 23, p. 89).

The basic dogmatic principles of the new branch of Christianity were formulated by the major Protestant theologians of the 16th century, the founders of Protestantism—Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli. One of the main tenets that distinguishes Protestantism from Catholicism and from Orthodoxy is the teaching of man’s direct “relationship” to god. According to Protestantism, “divine grace” is given to man directly as a gift of god, without the mediation of the church or the clergy, and man’s salvation is achieved only through personal faith (the principle of “justification by faith”) in the redemptive sacrifice of Christ and through the will of god. Therefore, in Protestantism, with the exception of Anglicanism, there is no fundamental opposition of clergy to laity, and every believer has the basic right to interpret and expound god’s word in his own way (the principle of the “priesthood” of all believers). All this substantiated the Protestants’ rejection of the Catholic type of church organization (renunciation of the church hierarchy characteristic of Catholicism and repudiation of the pope as its head). The way was opened for the demand for bourgeois-democratic liberties and the development of bourgeois individualism, and impetus was given to the creation of national churches that were independent of the cosmopolitan papacy.

In conformity with the Protestant view of man’s relation to god and the church, religious worship is substantially simplified and less opulent. Protestantism retains only a few religious holidays, there is usually no worship of icons and relics, the number of sacraments is reduced to two (baptism and the Eucharist), and public worship consists primarily of sermons, common prayer, and the singing of psalms. Protestants do not recognize saints, angels, or the cult of the mother of god and reject the notion of purgatory, which is accepted in the Catholic Church. The Protestant clergy is elected by the laity. (In practice, however, this principle is replaced by the appointment of the clergy from above.) Protestantism has no monasticism, and celibacy is not required for the clergy.

In its reform of Catholicism, Protestantism appealed to early Christianity. Protestantism regards as the source of its doctrine the Holy Scriptures (the Bible, which is translated into the living national languages), rejecting Catholic Holy Tradition as human invention.

The original forms of Protestantism that arose in the 16th century were Lutheranism, Calvinism, Zwinglianism, Anglicanism, Anabaptism, and Mennonitism. The Unitarians, including the Polish Socinians, and the Bohemian Brethren allied themselves with the Protestants.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Protestantism, which had been adopted by the most varied social strata, was primarily an ideological weapon of the bourgeoisie, which was fighting against feudalism. Protestantism served as the banner for the first bourgeois revolutions. In the 17th century, Protestantism spread in the British colonies in North America. In England and in English-speaking countries, Calvinism took on the form of Presbyterianism, which did not differ substantially from Calvinism on the European continent (which had absorbed Zwinglianism and is usually called Reformed Christianity). The Congregationalists, more democratic than the Presbyterians, established the autonomy of the religious congregation. In the 17th century, Baptism and Quakerism took shape.

Gradually the older Protestant churches turned into state churches or churches enjoying the same rights as others, and there was an increased tendency to become ordinary church organizations with the formalism and purely external “piety” that are characteristic of churches. New branches of Protestantism, which arose between the late 17th and early 20th centuries, were distinguished by more refined forms of religious influence, and in some the mystical and irrational elements increased. These included Pietism, which originated in the Lutheranism of the late 17th century; Methodism, which broke away from Anglicanism in the 18th century; the sect of the Adventists, which arose in the 1830’s; and the sect of the Pentecostals, which formed in the early 20th century on a Baptist basis.

Protestantism is characterized by intensive missionary activity, as a result of which it spread to most of the former colonies and dependent countries. Since the second half of the 19th century, Protestantism has played a prominent role in the movement of Christian socialism and in the creation of “home missions” in the workers’ milieu as a response to the spread of atheism among workers.

The social interpretation of Christianity was, to a large extent, associated in Protestantism with the propagation from the second half of the 19th century of what was called liberal theology. This movement strove to adapt Christianity to modern times through a more rationalistic interpretation of biblical texts and attempted to “reconcile” religion with science and involve Protestantism in the solution of social problems. Liberalism was the main influence on Protestant theology until the early 20th century. Its major spokesmen were A. Ritschl, A. von Harnack, and E. Troeltsch. This school in its most extreme manifestations tended to view Christianity in essence as mere ethical teaching. Christianity in large measure lost the features of a “religion of revelation” and was treated as a certain aspect of the human spirit, increasingly approaching the idealistic schools of philosophy. (This connection, especially in German Protestantism, was always a significant one.)

Protestant theology of the first half of the 20th century was characterized by the crisis of religious liberalism and the increased influence of an extremely reactionary fideistic movement, Fundamentalism. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, a new movement emerged as the leader—dialectical theology, or crisis theology, as represented by K. Barth, P. Tillich, R. Niebuhr, and E. Brunner. This movement, which proclaimed a return to the teachings of Luther and Calvin, renounced all faith in the moral progress so characteristic of liberal theology, stressing that the tragic contradictions of human existence will never be resolved and the “crisis” within man will never be overcome (a reflection of the real crisis of the capitalist world).

In the 1960’s the influence of neo-orthodoxy, which had come to a dead end in its historical pessimism, began to decline. There was a revival of some liberal currents of Protestantism and a search for ways to rejuvenate religion and adapt it to the present-day needs of society. A theology of “the death of god” in the modern world has been created, and a “religion without god,” close to pantheism, is preached, which attests to the bankruptcy of the theology itself. There has been formulated a new socioethical conception, which recognizes the need for changes in the life of society—for example, what is called the theology of revolution, which is close in essence to revisionist and other an-ticommunist interpretations of revolution.

In the early 1970’s, Protestant churches numbered about 225 million followers, including about 74 million Lutherans, about 50 million Calvinists (Presbyterians, Reformed, and Congrega-tionalists), about 30 million Anglicans, about 40 million Methodists, and about 25 million Baptists. Protestantism is widespread mainly in the Scandinavian countries, the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic, Switzerland, Great Britain and its former dominions (Australia, Canada, New Zealand), the Netherlands, and the USA.

In the 20th century an ecumenical movement has developed. It has set itself the task of unifying the Christian (initially only Protestant) churches. Since 1948 the leading body in this movement has been the World Council of Churches.

REFERENCES

Garadzha, V. I. Protestantizm. Moscow, 1971.
Garadzha, V. I. Krizis sovremennogo protestantizma i poiski “novoi teologii.” Moscow, 1973.
Chanyshev, A. N. Protestantizm. Moscow, 1969.
Levada, Iu. A. Sovremennoe khristianstvo i sotsial’nyi progress. Moscow, 1962.
Veber, M. “Protestantskie sekty i dukh kapitalizma.” A teist, 1928, no. 1.
Kapeliush, F. D. Religiia rannego kapitalizma. Moscow, 1931.
Ferm, V. T. A Protestant Dictionary. New York, 1951.

A. N. CHANYSHEV

Protestantism

the religion or religious system of any of the Churches of Western Christendom that are separated from the Roman Catholic Church and adhere substantially to principles established by Luther, Calvin, etc., in the Reformation
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