Previous posts in this discussion:
PostDid Islam Allow the Rise of Protestantism? (John Heelan, UK, 01/10/18 4:11 am)
JE asked on January 9th: "Had the [Roman] Church not been busy struggling against Ottoman expansion, wouldn't Martin Luther's schism have been squashed like a bug? So, to simplify was Protestantism made possible by Islam?"
But only, I suggest, if one ignores the Christian Great Schism of 1054 between the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople, both seeking to expand their hegemony over Christian nations.
JE comments: I'm fuzzy on this history, but didn't the Western Crusaders even sack their fellow Christians in Constantinople? (Yes, on the Fourth Crusade, 1204.)
Did Islam Allow the Rise of Protestantism? From Gary Moore
(John Eipper, USA
01/11/18 11:04 AM)
Gary Moore writes:
Re: Islam’s inadvertent help for Protestantism in the 1500s Reformation
(John Heelan, January 10): both Suleiman, the expansionist sultan of the Ottoman
Empire, and Martin Luther back in newly Protestant Germany, made comments
along the lines of thank God for that distraction--i.e., the Turks distracting the Holy
Roman Empire from fighting the Protestants, and the Protestants distracting them from
fighting the Turks.
Suleiman got within 20 miles of Vienna and consumed Christian
Hungary. But was this really the saving factor for the new Protestants on the other flank?
Their break from the Middle Ages was so fraught with crazy chaos (the Protestants seemed
to try and outdo the Catholics in burning heretics) that the “logic” of the outcome can be
disputed. The long view of centuries (especially after the Enlightenment in the 1700s)
now seems to show that there was indeed a historical inevitability, as the Protestants,
however unwittingly, opened European civilization to free inquiry. But that may have
been less obvious amid the thunder of the events themselves.
JE comments: A related curiosity: what did the Ottomans have to say about Luther's Reformation? Indifference? Or that it was a good thing to see the fragmentation of the Christian enemy?