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PostDid 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?