On this date in 1564, Pope Pius IV signed a
letter certifying the decisions made by the Roman Catholic Church at the
Council of Trent. This act by the Pope in effect sealed the official
split of the Christian Church between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.
The 16th century was a tumultuous time for
Christianity. Beginning with Martin Luther’s nailing of his 99 theses to the
church door in Wittenberg in 1517 (See October 31: Thesis Day),
individuals began challenging the authority and doctrines of the Roman Catholic
Church. In 1533, the influential French theologian John Calvin broke from
the church, and in that same year, King Henry VIII split from the Catholic
Church, making himself the head of the Church of England. This act of
defiance came about when the Pope refused Henry’s request to annul his marriage
to Catherine of Aragon.
The Council of Trent was, therefore, an attempt by the leadership of the Catholic Church to craft an official response to calls for reform. The council met 25 times between 1545 and 1563 in the northern Italian town of Trent, discussing issues such as the requirements for salvation, the role of Latin as the exclusive language for prayer, the celibacy of priests, and the veneration of relics and saints. The council also authorized the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, a list of books forbidden by the church. Although the Council did create some reforms in church doctrine, it ultimately failed to unify Christianity resulting in the divide that is still present today between Catholicism and Protestantism (1).
When it comes to ideas, the suffix -ism
is the go-to word-ending for words that relate to ideas or ideologies, as in
philosophies, systems, practices, or movements. As we see with Catholicism
and Protestantism, each -ism has its own unique and distinct
history. These words are also noteworthy in that each one attempts to
wrap up a multitude of ideas into a single word. As a result, each one,
whether long (antidisestablishmentarianism) or short (cubism), is
packed with dense meaning.
Today’s Challenge: This-ism and
What is an -ism that you would be interested in exploring to better understand its meaning and history? The list below reflects an A to Z sample of -isms from history, politics, philosophy, art, science, economics, and religion. Select one of the -isms from the list or another one that you’re interested in. Research it for both its history and meaning. Then, write a brief report in which you explain as clearly as possible the ideas and history that are encompassed in the single word.
Behaviorism, Capitalism, Dystopianism, Existentialism, Federalism, Goldwynism,
Hinduism, Imagism, Jingoism, Keynesianism, Libertarianism, Malapropism,
Naturalism, Objectivism, Pragmatism, Quietism, Romanticism, Stoicism,
Totalitarianism, Utilitarianism, Victorianism, Wilsonianism, eXpressionism,
Quotation of the Day: Ev’rybody’s talking about Bagism, Shagism,
Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism -John
Lennon in the song Give Peace a Chance
1- Marsh W.B. and Bruce
Carrick. 366: A Leap Year of Great Stories From History. Icon