The Reformation: Key Figures and their Impact on Christianity

The reformation was a watershed moment in the history of christianity it marked a seismic shift in the way people thought about and practiced their faith for centuries the catholic church had been the dominant religious institution in europe wielding immense power and authority but in the 16th century a wave of religious and social upheaval swept across the continent as people began to challenge the church s teachings and practices

S. No.Key FiguresYearImpact
1Martin Luther1517Nailed 95 Theses, split from Roman Catholic Church
2John Calvin1536Predestination, reformed theology, Geneva
3Ulrich Zwingli1523Reformed Swiss churches, emphasis on Scripture
4William Tyndale1536Translated Bible into English, influenced KJV
5Thomas Cranmer1532Archbishop of Canterbury, Book of Common Prayer
6Menno Simons1536Anabaptist movement, pacifism, communalism
7Desiderius Erasmus1500sHumanism, biblical scholarship, critical of RCC
8Philipp Melanchthon1525Collaborated with Luther, key Lutheran theologian
9Ignatius of Loyola1540Founded Society of Jesus (Jesuits), counter-reformation
10John Wycliffe1370sEnglish translation of Bible, Lollard movement
11Jan Hus1415Czech reformer, influenced Hussite movement
12Martin Bucer1530sWorked with Calvin, unified Swiss churches
13Theodore Beza1560sSuccessor to Calvin, key French reformer
14John Knox1560sScottish reformer, founder of Presbyterianism
15Huldrych Zwingli1519Leader of Swiss Reformation, opposed RCC
16Johann Sebastian Bach1700sLutheran composer, music as form of worship
17Jacob Arminius1600sArminianism, emphasis on free will, against predestination
18Jonathan Edwards1700sAmerican theologian, revivalist preacher
19John Wesley1700sFounder of Methodism, emphasis on grace, personal holiness
20Charles Wesley1700sMethodist hymn writer, brother of John Wesley
21George Whitefield1700sEnglish preacher, revivalist, key figure in Great Awakening
22William Carey1792Baptist missionary, founder of modern missions movement
23Francis Asbury1700sAmerican Methodist bishop, circuit rider
24Charles Finney1800sAmerican revivalist preacher, second great awakening
25Dwight L. Moody1800sAmerican evangelist, founder of Moody Bible Institute
26C.H. Spurgeon1800sEnglish Baptist preacher, “Prince of Preachers”
27John Henry Newman1800sAnglican priest, convert to Roman Catholicism, cardinal
28William Booth1800sFounder of Salvation Army, emphasis on social justice
29Karl Barth1900sSwiss Reformed theologian, emphasis on Christ-centered theology
30Dietrich Bonhoeffer1900sGerman Lutheran pastor, opposed Nazi regime, martyr
31John Henry Newman1800sAnglican priest, convert to Roman Catholicism, cardinal
32William Booth1800sFounder of Salvation Army, emphasis on social justice
33Karl Barth1900sSwiss Reformed theologian, emphasis on Christ-centered theology
34Dietrich Bonhoeffer1900sGerman Lutheran pastor, opposed Nazi regime, martyr
35Reinhold Niebuhr1900sAmerican theologian, social ethics, “Christian realism”
36Billy Graham1900sAmerican evangelist, “crusades” and media outreach
37Martin Luther King Jr.1900sAmerican Baptist minister, civil rights leader
38Dorothy Day1900sAmerican Catholic activist, founded Catholic Worker Movement
39Mother Teresa1900sCatholic nun, founded Missionaries of Charity
40Desmond Tutu1900sSouth African Anglican archbishop, anti-apartheid activist
41Pope John Paul II1900sPolish pope, global outreach, conservatism
42Jürgen Moltmann1900sGerman theologian, “theology of hope”
43Rowan Williams2000sArchbishop of Canterbury, interfaith dialogue
44Timothy Keller2000sAmerican Presbyterian pastor, author, apologist
45Francis Chan2000sAmerican evangelical pastor, author, speaker
46Rachel Held Evans2000sAmerican writer, progressive Christian voice
47Rob Bell2000sAmerican author, pastor, “emergent” Christianity
48N.T. Wright2000sEnglish theologian, “New Perspective on Paul”
49Pope Francis2000sArgentinian pope, emphasis on mercy, social justice
50Beth Moore2000sAmerican author, speaker, Bible teacher

Each of these figures played a vital role in shaping the course of the reformation and the development of protestant christianity their ideas and teachings continue to influence christians around the world today

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