Theological Debates in the Reformation
Russel Tarr outlines what was at issue in the clash between Catholics and Protestants.
The impact of Martin Luther's attack on the Catholic Church was cataclysmic. In the short term, Christendom was shaken to its foundations and so too were the social and political structures which had been built upon it. Even in the long term, the recent history of Northern Ireland illustrates how religious disagreements between Protestants and Catholics can still reach murderous proportions. The severity of these short- and long-term effects highlights the depth of the theological divisions between the two camps who, despite the desperate efforts of Emperor Charles V, could not reach an acceptable compromise on what they considered to be key tenets of the Christian faith. An understanding of these tenets is therefore crucial to an understanding of the topic as a whole.