Religion in the Renaissance
Religion in the Renaissance can be best summed up by saying that the Renaissance was a period of huge religious turmoil. The studies and teachings of the Humanists eventually lead to the Reformation, and many of the religious debates can be broadly (and as inaccurately as broad generalisations usually are) categorised as a battle between the Reformers and the Catholic Church, or the Humanists and the Scholastics.
Having said that, the man in the street took a much greater interest in religion during the Renaissance than during the Middle Ages -- if only because the religious discourses of the time affected his or her life to a much greater extent than previously. Joe Average of 1540 would be much more likely to hold a strong religious opinion than Joe Average of 1340 -- who would most likely have simply believed whatever he heard at the pulpit.
- Pope Nicholas V (1447 - 1455)
- Pope Pius II (1458 - 1464)
- Pope Sixtus IV (1471 - 1484)
- Pope Alexander VI (1492 - 1503)
- Pope Julius II (1503 - 1513)
- Pope Leo X (1513 - 1523) -- Pope at the time of Martin Luther's protest in Wittenburg.
- Girolamo Savonarola (1452 - 1498), a noted anti-Renaissance preacher, Dominican priest, and book-burner.
Important figures of the Reformation
- Martin Luther, the founder of Lutheranism
- John Huss, an early reformer (1369 - 1415, burned at the stake).
- John Calvin, the founder of Calvinism, which was the religious basis of the Huguenots in France and the Presbyterians of Scotland and elsewhere.
- Huldreich Zwingli, mad as a cut snake and the founder of the Reformation in Switzerland, especially Zurich.