Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Question from Lillie - Use of the term "Protestant"

My understanding is that original term for protestantism is as follows:the term "Protestant" historically referred to those who broke their allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church. And I know that Martin Luther started the movement in roughly 1517.

What am I wondering is during Tudor times were protestant people refered to as Lutherans or Protestants? Techincally is anyone who broke with the catholic church was protestant then lollardy would be protestants too?

1 comment:

Lucretia said...

This is an interesting subject.I did a quick Google search on the origin of the term "Protestant" and found that, according to


it was from Middle French, with a Latin origin, and first used in 1539 to refer to "any of a group of German princes and cities presenting a defense of freedon of conscience against an edict of the Diet of Spires in 1529 intended to suppress the Lutheran movement."

There is a fascinating discussion on The Anne Boleyn Files called "Anne Boleyn and the Reformation" regarding her actual religious beliefs. It states that "although Chapuys called Anne and George Boleyn Lutherans, [G.W.]
Bernard points out that anyone who supported a break with Rome was Lutheran in the ambassador's eyes." I remember reading somewhere else that "Lutheran" was commonly used in England at the time to refer to anyone considered a radical religious reformer, not necessarily a follower of Luther.

I don't know if Lollards were considered Protestant during the Reformation period, but I think that today they are considered proto-Protestant.