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The Renaissance had placed human beings at the center of life and had shown that this world was not just a ‘vale of tears’ but was something that could be meaningful and it was possible for people to live without reference to the divine <ref>Giustiniani, Vito. "Homo, Humanus, and the Meanings of Humanism", Journal of the History of Ideas 46 (vol. 2, April – June 1985), p 178</ref>. The Renaissance or ‘rebirth’ was influenced by the ideas of the ancient past and it drew from Roman and Greek civilization in order to provide a solution to current problems. The Renaissance was a Pan-European phenomenon and changed the mental worldview of the elites in Europe and indeed the emerging middle class across the continent. The cultural movement was to have a profound impression on people’s worldview. The Renaissance produced the Humanists who were a movement of educationalists and scholars, they sought truth and knowledge by re-examining classical texts and the bible. The Humanists ideas, the growth in textual analysis, and the Northern Renaissance changed the intellectual landscape and encouraged many Church reformers, such as Martin Luther and they later broke with Rome and divided Europe into two confessional camps, Protestantism and Catholicism.
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==What was the Reformation==
The Reformation is the schism that divided the Roman Catholic Church and ended the old unity of Christendom. The origins of the Reformation were in an attempt to reform the Church, there had been many attempts in the past to reform the Church but they had all failed. By the early sixteenth century there was a growing crescendo of calls for the reform of the Church and for an end to the immorality and corruption of the clergy<ref> Payton Jr. James R. Getting the Reformation Wrong: Correcting Some Misunderstandings (IVP Academic, 2010), p. 78</ref> . The Reformation was not an attempt to divide the Roman Catholic Church but it was an effort to reform it. The failure of the Catholic Church to reform and its attempts to suppress the Reformers meant that it drove many to establish their own churches. The Reformation was an attempt to return to the original teachings and values of the early or ‘Apostolic’ Church<ref> Payton, p. 113</ref>. It claimed that only the bible could teach and instruct men about the Word of God and had little regard for the received wisdom and authority. Anything that was not in the bible was not to be regarded as the Word of God and should be rejected. The Reformation placed more emphasis on the individual and in the words of Luther, people could not be saved by good works or sacrament but by ‘faith alone’ <ref> Payton, p. 118</ref>. This meant that the reformers rejected much of the traditional teachings of the Church. This resulted in at first a theological dispute between the reformers and the Church, especially in Germany, that later led to a schism in the Catholic Church and the formation of separate Protestant Churches. The causes of the Reformation were manifold but the Renaissance and the Humanist movement were crucial and indeed decisive <ref>Patrick, James. Renaissance and Reformation (New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2007), p. 113</ref>.