Catholic Religion Practice Essay on Resilience of the Catholic Tradition When Confronted by a Significant Challange

Topics: Catholic Church, Protestantism, Protestant Reformation Pages: 8 (2181 words) Published: July 21, 2013

There are different types of questions. One type involves a quote (or a cartoon) that you must ‘discuss’ in reference to your outcome. You MUST explore the quote itself and then structure your essay according to the quote. You will lose many marks if you just write your standard essay and just start each paragraph connecting it to the question. So forget anything you have already written and start with the question itself.


Resilience: – the ability to recover from or adjust to unexpected change or disturbance.

(Australian Oxford Pocket Dictionary)

Using the above definition, discuss the resilience of a religious tradition you have studied, when it has been confronted by a significant challenge.

PLANNING YOUR ESSAY. It important to use reading time to mentally plan your essay and then start by writing your plan for your essay.

1) Explore the quote itself

Resilience: – the ability to recover from or adjust to unexpected change or disturbance.

This quote has a lot of possibilities. It has six sets of key words that need exploring. Let’s start at the end (which is usually the best place to start),

• ‘change or disturbance’:

o When there is a comparison like this you must ask, what is similar or different between the two alternatives. Disturbance may not lead to change, but is annoying and therefore a negative thing, whereas change could be negative or positive and has an effect which disturbance may not.

o Next you try to come up with examples related to the outcome. Luther was a disturbance to the Catholic Church, whereas the establishment of the Lutheran Church was a negative change to the church. So for ‘change or disturbance’ relates very well to our topic. You can then go through other possibilities.

• Unexpected: Where these changes or disturbances unexpected? Having new ideas was not unexpected during this time period due to the renaissance, but continuing to challenge the Church was. The establishment of the Lutheran Church was also unexpected.

• To recover from or adjust to: To recover from means that the challenge has been overcome so it no longer is present within the religion, whereas adjust to means that the challenge has been incorporated in some way within the religion. Did the Church recover from or adjust to Luther? The Church recovered from the false teachings of Luther through the council of Trent, but had to adjust to a Europe that was now divided between Catholic and Protestant.

• ‘the ability’: means that it has the potential to do these things but it may or may not have exercised that ability. The Church had the ability to reconcile with Luther but since many (eg Cardinal Cajetan and Johann Eck) took an aggressive approach rather than a conciliatory approach like Karl von Miltitz reconciliation did not happen. The Church did recover from the Protestant reformation internally, and developed the ability to adjust to the new divided Europe.

From these points a major contention should be established as part of your discussion. Eg The Church always has the ability to recover from or adjust to challenges, but the success depends on the attitude (conciliatory and not aggressive) the negotiators take.

Once you have worked out the major contention, then you are ready to start to write the essay. It may pay to do some more planning though.


Since we have opened up the question, this particular question lends itself to relating the context material to the question as well. This is best done as a table.

Take up the key terms of the question and apply them to the context. In some cases it may apply different ways.

|Context |Ability |Recover or adjust |Unexpected |Change or disturbance | |Plague: negative |Yes |Did not fully recover with many still having this |Yes...
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