Was the Reformation driven by the desire to seize Church lands?

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,669
Luther was supported by German princes. England and Sweden became Protestant by royal decree. Obviously, the Catholic Church was extremely corrupt, but was the wealth and support from those obtaining lands a motivation for the Reformation?
 
Oct 2015
999
Virginia
I always thought so (fwiw)...along with capitalism and the German princes desire to be free of the Emperor's influence. The Church certainly needed reforming, but it had reformed itself from within many times before (Luther himself was a monk wasn't he ?) and would again. What was different in 1500? (nationalism, statism and capitalism?)
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,970
Dispargum
I'm sure some people sided with the reformers because they saw an opportunity for personal enrichment. That doesn't mean everyone was out for money, nor that the movement started for personal gain. Every movement has its share of true believers.
 
Oct 2015
999
Virginia
I'm sure there were innumerable legitimately pious believers who were disgusted with unqualified, corrupt or absentee clergy, disliked the sale of indulgences etc, and who wanted to read the bible in their native languages. But were they responsible for shattering Christianity into a dozen contending sects?
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,982
Cornwall
Vaguely connected but the Cathar Crusade was largely motivated by a massive land grab - Simon de Montfort and the French king. Plus the fear of lost income for aforementioned Catholic Church

All above religious piety!
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,623
Sydney
The motivation of the Princes was as varied as can be imagined , Greed ,Faith , National spirit , revenge , jumping on the bandwagon of a strong movement
to spite an enemy , the list is as long as you can conceive

Certainly the Church was immoderately rich for no actual physical strength , an unstable situation

keep in mind that the reformation started as one of many calls for reform of the Catholic church ,
the definite break with Rome took several decades
it became reform within Rome or reform without Rome
the end of all hope of reunification was the council of Trent
 
Jan 2020
1
Ullava, Finland
I can't speak for the reformation overall, but atleast Sweden was so quick to convert largely because that allowed the state to seize church property.
 
Sep 2013
1,467
Ulster
I'm sure some people sided with the reformers because they saw an opportunity for personal enrichment. That doesn't mean everyone was out for money, nor that the movement started for personal gain. Every movement has its share of true believers.
Yes there were many who were burned at the stake.
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,685
Netherlands
Maybe it is the opposite: Stopping the church from obtaining more land and not getting any yourself. Ie one of the main movers for the Dutch revolt was the proposed reorganization of the church, which amongst others meant the nobles losing all kinds positions and influence.
Also the regular executions and banishments of heretics wasn't really everybody's cup of tea either.
 
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