History as Past Ethics: An Introduction to the History of Morals

By Philip Van Ness Myers | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVII
ETHICS OF THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION

I. PRINCIPLES OF THE REFORMATION OF ETHICAL IMPORT

In its essential principle the Protestant Reformation was a protest against the principle of authority in the realm of the spirit. It proclaimed the right of individual judgment in matters of religion and morals. There was in this proclamation an ethical implication of revolutionary significance. It was a recognition of the truth "that duty in the last analysis is imposed upon the individual . . . by himself; that there is no authority in moral matters more ultimate than a man's rational conviction of what is best."1

Principle of the selfsovereignty of the individual as the ultimate authority in morals

Of all the agencies which during recent times have been at work moralizing morality and creating for the moral life a permanent and indestructible basis in reason and conscience, this Protestant principle of the autonomy of the individual soul in the spiritual domain has been one of the most efficient and pervasive.

Though the chief significance of the Protestant revolution and its ultimate import for morality lay in this assertion of the self-sovereignty of the individual, still the full ethical consequences of this revolutionary principle did not become clearly manifest till after the lapse of more than three centuries.

The principle of salvation by right belief

Throughout the earlier periods of the Reformation era the moral evolution in Protestant lands was influenced less by

____________________
1
Ralph Barton Perry, The Moral Economy ( 1909), p. 34. And so Thomas Cuming Hall: "The glory of Protestant ethics as founded by Luther and developed by Kant is the autonomous, democratic, unpriestly character stamped upon it" ( History of Ethics within Organized Christianity ( 1910), p. 527).

-333-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
History as Past Ethics: An Introduction to the History of Morals
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 387

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.