When German peasants, inspired in part by Luther’s empowering “priesthood of all believers,” revolted in 1524, Luther sided with Germany’s princes.

By the Reformation’s end, Lutheranism had become the state religion throughout much of Germany, Scandinavia and the Baltics.

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Between 15, Luther published more works than the next 17 most prolific reformers combined.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) was an Augustinian monk and university lecturer in Wittenberg when he composed his “95 Theses,” which protested the pope’s sale of reprieves from penance, or indulgences.

After Henry’s death, England tilted toward Calvinist-infused Protestantism during Edward VI’s six-year reign and then endured five years of reactionary Catholicism under Mary I.

In 1559 Elizabeth I took the throne and, during her 44-year reign, cast the Church of England as a “middle way” between Calvinism and Catholicism, with vernacular worship and a revised Book of Common Prayer.

The Catholic Church was slow to respond systematically to the theological and publicity innovations of Luther and the other reformers.

The Council of Trent, which met off and on from 1545 through 1563, articulated the Church’s answer to the problems that triggered the Reformation and to the reformers themselves.

Although he had hoped to spur renewal from within the church, in 1521 he was summoned before the Diet of Worms and excommunicated.

Sheltered by Friedrich, elector of Saxony, Luther translated the Bible into German and continued his output of vernacular pamphlets.

Historians usually date the start of the Protestant Reformation to the 1517 publication of Martin Luther’s “95 Theses.” Its ending can be placed anywhere from the 1555 Peace of Augsburg, which allowed for the coexistence of Catholicism and Lutheranism in Germany, to the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years’ War.

The key ideas of the Reformation—a call to purify the church and a belief that the Bible, not tradition, should be the sole source of spiritual authority—were not themselves novel.

In England, the Reformation began with Henry VIII’s quest for a male heir.