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Home » Catholic Church » Chapter 16: Perspectives of the True Church (1300 – 1517) – Part II

Chapter 16: Perspectives of the True Church (1300 – 1517) – Part II


King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella

King Fernando (1452 – 1516) and Queen Isabel (1451 – 1504) of Spain


For next Thursday, April 10 we will cover the last three sections of Chapter 16: Old Worlds Bring New: Humanism (1300 – 1500), Reforming the Church in the Last Days (1500), Erasmus: New Beginnings?

Please write on one of the topics below:


  1. Describe the development of humanism during the 14th century in Italy.  What was it?  Why did it start there?  How did the rediscoveries and translations of the works of Plato by Marisilio Ficino, the writings of Cicero, and other classical works change Europe during this time?  Do you believe the humanists’ aims were to overthrowing the old ecclesiastical system of the Catholic Church?
  2. What was the effect of the reign of King Fernando (Ferdinand) and Queen Isabel (Isabella) when they reclaimed Spain from the Moors in 1492?  What circumstances led to the expulsion of Jews from Spain during this time?  Discuss the plight of conversos (converted Jews) and moriscos (converted Muslims).  Also write about the expulsion of Muslims as well.
  3. Describe the rise of the Spanish Inquisition.  Why were its works (often brutal) justified in the eyes of the Catholic population?
  4. Why did Italy see that the world was living in the Last Days during the late 1490’s and 1500’s?  Describe the effect the charismatic Dominican friar Girolama Savonarola’s fiery preaching had upon the Catholic Church.  Explain how the Piagnoni movement came about.
  5. Describe how Desiderius Erasmus‘ new Greek translations of the New Testament and key early Christian texts in 1516 inspired the future Reformation movement.  How did his critique of established Catholic doctrine such as Purgatory and the veneration/perpetual virginity of Mary spur Church reform?
  6. Why did Erasmus dislike Augustinian theology?  Why did he prefer Origen’s theology?  Describe his ideal vision of what Christianity should be like.


Desiderius Erasmus

Desiderius Erasmus, “Erasmus of Rotterdam”, (1466 – 1536)


Responses will be posted next week.





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