Definition of the Reformation from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


the Reformation

; NAmE
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the 16th-century European movement, led by Martin Luther and others, to reform (= change and improve) the Roman Catholic Church. Supporters of the Reformation opposed the political powers of the Pope and argued for a simpler form of religion with less ceremony and more emphasis on the authority of the Bible. In England, King Henry VIII appointed himself head of a new Protestant Church of England in 1534, mainly so that he could get divorced from his first wife and marry again. The new Church was supported by bishops such as Thomas Cranmer and Hugh Latimer, and became firmly established under Queen Elizabeth I. In Scotland, the strict Protestant views of John Knox and others led to the creation in 1690 of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. see also Act of Supremacy, Dissolution of the Monasteries

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