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El Escorial (Nazanin)

In “Catholic Reform,” we will see how Catholicism transformed itself during the sixteenth century, an era usually characterized by the Protestant Reformation. In response to the Protestant challenge, Catholicism began to reform key aspects of its practices, yet Catholic leaders resolutely defended their theology against Luther’s and Calvin’s attacks. And Catholicism also experienced transformations that had begun long before Luther launched his reforming campaign in 1517. A debate still exists amongst historians regarding the origins of Catholicism’s sixteenth-century reforms. Were these changes purely a response to the Protestant challenge? Or did Catholicism begin its early modern reforms long before Luther was ever born. This module explores these questions, along with the vibrant Catholic culture that emerged during the era of the Reformation.

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