Counter-Reformation and Catholic Reformation Revisited

Michael Mullett shows how the reform of the Catholic Church in sixteenth-century Europe sprang from medieval origins but that, in important ways, it was affected by the Protestant Reformation.

In History Review, Issue 17 (1993), Dr Fernando Cervantes ably argued that the reform changes which took place within the Catholic Church within the sixteenth century ‘ran parallel to the Protestant challenge and [had] origins which preceded Luther’. The whole thrust of this article was to cast doubt on the assumption, contained in the very term ‘Counter-Reformation’, to the effect that the overhaul of Catholicism in the sixteenth century was a simple reflex reaction to the shock of the Protestant Reformation. Even so, 30 years ago, in a textbook carrying the traditional title The Counter Reformation Professor A. G.

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