Summary of "The Shattering"

Topics: Protestant Reformation, Pope, Middle Ages Pages: 2 (571 words) Published: August 30, 2013
Review of “The Shattering”

In “The Shattering”, William Manchester was trying to convey the link between the Church and the people during the Dark Ages and early phases of the Renaissance. He also tried to show how certain people and events challenged the structure of society and pushed the Dark Ages towards the Renaissance. The church was the most important part of everyday life back then, and it pretty much influenced everything in society at that time. The Pope was held in very high regard, which is still true today but not to the same extent as he once was. Section II of “A World Lit Only By Fire” was basically all about the corruption of the church, and the ways it changed over time. It takes place between the Fall of Rome and the beginning of the Renaissance.

Though most of this section involved the Church, it began with a brief synopsis of Ferdinand Magellan. He challenged the foundations of the Middle Ages by attempting to circumnavigate the globe and prove that the world was not actually flat, but round. The author then goes on to explain how his discoveries were thought to be only myth at first, and he got almost no credit until Francis Drake helped to establish his credibility many years later.

A huge part of this section is the part about Protestant Reformation- which would go on to change the world. Martin Luther was an iconic figure of this vast revolution. Luther believed that salvation was not earned through money or good deeds but through God’s grace and believing in the divinity of Christ. For his radical views he was excommunicated by the Pope and proclaimed an outlaw by the Emperor. I think Luther’s work was influenced by Erasmus: who had dared to criticize the church when no one else had dared to.

Luther’s work split the Christians in half. The ones who followed the Pope became the Roman Catholics, and the ones who followed Martin Luther became Protestants. The Reformation was a huge turning point in history, but it had one huge...
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