The divided Europe

About that time, – the ancient story says, – the exotic dream dreamed to Friedrich, Elector of Saxony in his Schweinitz castle. Came in dream to it, as if the monk Martin Luther traced several words on the Wittenberg castle chapel and is so sharp and accurate that the Elector could sort them from the Sewer. And that feather to which the monk wrote began to grow, grow, grew to Rome, concerned a papal tiara, and that began to hesitate on the head of the father; here the Elector conceived to give a hand that to grasp that feather., also woke up”. The dream of the Elector was truly exotic. It was obviously cast by a story about how the monk-Augustinian Martin Luther from Wittenberg on October 31, 1517, on the eve of a holiday of all Saints, beat to doors of church the well-known 95 theses against trade in indulgences. But, alas, this history repeating uncountable number of times throughout more than three centuries, apparently, is only one of many historical legends. It was supposed that the eyewitness – the close associate of Luther Johann Schneider from Aysleben who even specially emphasized that he “can testify” as if everything occurred quite so told the first it. However the words “can testify” – result of the wrong reading of the Latin expression actually meaning “in a moderate form” (it was talked of a form in which Luther put forward the theses). Moreover, studying of the manuscript of Schneider leads to unexpected result: there nothing is told about 12 o’clock in the afternoon, even about October 31, 1517, about a castle chapel. Luther in one of the numerous compositions and letters, in the autobiography does not mention the well-known scene when it beat the theses at an entrance to church in Wittenberg. But, perhaps, to it there was also no need to mention all known episode? That’s just the point what is not present: during lifetime of Luther any of contemporaries reported nothing about this drama beginning of the Reformation. For the first time one of ideologists of Protestantism – F. Melankhton – in the preface to the second volume of the compositions of Luther which appeared soon after death of their author started talking about it. Melankhton in October, 1517 was not in Wittenberg, and in Tuebingen, and it in general allowed many notorious inaccuracies in the preface. The latest researches show that on October 31 1517 Mr. Luther only sent the theses to the archbishop mayntssky Albrecht and one more of the highest church dignitaries. They interested in preservation of former abuses did not award Luther with the answer, and transferred its theses to the henchman Dominican Tetsel who began polemic with them even before their publication. Luther’s theses were published in January, 1518. Luther’s plans in 1517 consisted in partial reform of church, in restriction of the power of the father (though they absolutely also did not go as far as the Protestant legend created subsequently would like to convince us of it). Well, and how to be with not less legendary dream of Friedrich Saxony who managed to make out not hung out theses? Perhaps, the fact that the aspiration of the Elector to grasp Luther’s feather pursued Friedrich even in a dream is most characteristic in this legend. Desire – not only the father of thought, speaking to words of east proverb, but also the main source of sleepy dreams. The imminent public requirement drove a hand of the Wittenberg theologian, overcame his doubts and fluctuations, gave invincible force him to contest of the right of the father to distribute treasures of church. From the very beginning the Reformation objectively undermined also bases of an old system. Before entering successful fight against secular feudalism in each country, it was necessary to destroy its central organization – Catholic church. There came a new rough era in the history of the European continent. The monk-Augustinian Luther rejected the Catholic doctrine about grace according to which the person can get into to himself the grace of God external acts, belonging to church, performance of church sacraments, gifts in favor of church, charity. And the Calvinism fixed this denial by the doctrine about predetermination claiming that a fate of the person, his eternal rescue or eternal death do not depend on its acts and are in advance established by “God’s election”. This doctrine, as we know, was religious expression of that terrestrial fact that in new, bourgeois society the destiny of the individual was defined by action of the powerful economic forces which are not controlled, not learned by it. It is easy to understand that the doctrine about grace was one of the main objects for criticism from Protestants, but, perhaps, only “psychology” of the century conflict could induce the theologian Nikolay Amsdorf to proclaim loudly in 1559 that “good deeds harm achievement of pleasure” and that this view “is faithful to spirit of Christianity”. In the western literature – since an exit in 1929 to the public books of the English historian R. Tony “Religion and raising of capitalism” – became attempts to present Calvinists in the form of “Jacobin” or “Bolshevist” party of the 16th century. (Also professor of Harvard university M. Uoltser in the book “Revolution of Saints” published in 1965 tries to draw such analogy.) At obvious insolvency of this parallel it is necessary to remember that the Calvinism was the ideology which is the most corresponding to interests of the bourgeoisie during an era of so-called initial accumulation. “Where Luther saw only one religious doctrines, Calvin saw policy, – Balzac acutely wrote about two heads of the Reformation. – While the German in love, the fat admirer of beer, battled against a devil and said it an inkwell directly, the cunning ascetic-pikardiyets nourished military idea, directed fights, armed governors, lifted the whole people, having aroused republican ideas in heart of the bourgeois and rewarding itself for universal defeats on the battlefield everything new victories over consciousness of people in the different countries”. Each turned swore an oath to observe and try to obtain God’s compliance with law in its Calvinist treatment. Within any country in which Calvinists kept the sermon they tried to create the strong organization. So, in France it was the network of congregation, directed by pastors, teachers of youth and deans, in duties to which were imputed care about poor and supervision over morality. All congregations submitted to the National synod into which the most influential Huguenot pastors and laymen entered. Along with the bourgeoisie the Calvinist movement was adjoined in some countries, especially in France, by considerable part of the noble nobility. Unlike the allies who were traditionally speaking out in defense of the strong central government against feudal anarchy and now only considering necessary to replace the power of the king with the power of own representatives, the noble aristocracy dreamed to weaken the reached unity of the country, to return itself former position of semi-independent governors of extensive areas. This prospect attracted in ranks of supporters of the gloomy ascetic doctrine of Calvin of land magnates of the French South whose fathers generously took from a cup of vital culture of the Renaissance. The great French educator Voltaire noted that “Calvin widely dissolved doors of monasteries, but not in order that all monks left them and to tire out there the whole world”. Geneva where since 1541 the wheel of board had Calvin became the gloomy monastery. “The Geneva father” created institute of especially entrusted people who in every quarter strictly monitored observance of the prohibitions extending to all aspects of life, regulating all trifles of life, beginning from details of clothes and finishing music and festivities. Creation of wide system of espionage for inhabitants, encouragement of denunciations, furious punishments for the slightest manifestations of disobedience – cruel tortures and the “qualified” executions became methods of board. According to Calvin’s doctrine, punishment without fault is more preferable than not punishment of the guilty person. Terror equally fell also upon noble and patrician opposition, and upon ideologists of national bottoms – supporters of more radical currents in Reformatsii6. It is undoubted that construction in system of the bourgeois direction in the Reformation penetrated by spirit of intolerance, refusal of any compromises, Calvin to a great extent promoted transformation of fight between Catholicism and Protestantism in the century conflict. Calvin sought to turn Geneva into the main ideological center of Protestantism, was engaged in preparation of clergy for many countries, printed the religious literature intended for distribution in various parts of Europe. The bourgeois historiography for a long time attacking traditional idea of the Renaissance recognizes survivability of “old” views. “The myth still exerts powerful impact, – the English historian R. Nisbet writes, for example, – and it is frequent as it seems to me concerning this myth, we do not destroy”. Revival was and remains to one of great progressive shifts in the history of mankind. The community of social roots of humanity and burgher reformation is clearly traced, but it is also accurately visible that externally they were ideological alternatives of a transitional era. It is so obvious that promotion by humanity of universal values, its anti-clericalism and a tendency of toleration, let still not clear libertinizm, a worship for terrestrial human nature and terrestrial pleasures of life, a cult of beauty and talent, protection of the right for not limited scientific research – all this contradicted the spirit of Protestantism though originally it could accept humanistic coloring in the accusations of abuses of Catholic clergy. However that there were only seeming alternative ways. The humanity could not become an ideological banner of social movements during an era when the consciousness of masses was penetrated by religion. It could leave a noticeable mark on the reformational movement only. Emergence of the century conflict prevented it to play this role – and here one of the main reasons of a victory of a zigzag way over direct – in development of the European social thought of the XVI and first half of the XVII century.

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