7b – The Age Of Discovery: 1500-1800 AD

Notes Outline


      1. As a movement, the Enlightenment was born in and around France.  Rene Descartes (1596-1650) argued for the exclusive certainty of human reason (cf. cogito, ergo sum, i.e. “I think, therefore I am”); Baruch Spinoza (1632-87) wrote extensively on the pantheism of Nature; and Pierre Bayle (1674-1706) decried the intolerance of the puppeteer Roman Church.  Ultimately, France produced the “prophet of progress,” Francois Marie Arouet, i.e. “Voltaire” (1694-1778), who more than any other brought the antiauthoritarian thinking of the Enlightenment to the masses through biting sarcasm.
        1. As the French Enlightenment spread, its greatest region of impact was England where John Locke (1632-1704) and his view of the human person as a blank slate (i.e. tabula rasa) had established the inherent liberty of the human person, which undergirded the Revolutionary Era (c.1750-1850).  
        2. This environment gave rise to such prominent English figures as David Hume (1711-66), who echoed the harsh skepticism of Voltaire, Edward Gibbon (1737-94), whose Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire markedly criticized early Christianity, and Thomas Paine (1737-1809), who defined much of the Enlightenment Deism that drove the rebellion of the American colonies to the British crown.
      2. The Enlightenment culminated with the work of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), esp.  Critique of Pure Reason (1781), who systematized and sealed it within the Western mind.  Drawing heavily from Hume and Newton, Kant set the stage for future progressivists, such as Johann Fichte and G.W.F. Hegel, which in turn developed into the social evolutionism of Herbert Spencer, et al.
    1. The Revolutionary Era (c.1750-1850)
      1. The Age of Enlightenment is generally considered to have ended with the French Revolution (1789-99), which was the culmination of the social and political ferment caused by Enlightenment antiauthoritarianism and the logical consequence of its egalitarian philosophy.
      2. After a brief and quickly squelched democratic movement in France in the 1760s, the American Revolution (1775-83), which embodied the ideals of the “philosophes,” ushered in and validated a movement of democratic revolutions throughout Europe, e.g. Spanish (1823), Polish (1831), Italian (1848), and German (1848).
      3. Embodying the ideals of the Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte ended the anarchy in France and set out to free Europe from the tyranny of Christian monarchies (i.e. Christendom), establishing the rights of the individual in the Napoleonic Code, which laid the administrative and judicial foundations for most of Europe (and thus the world through colonialization).


    1. Protestant Reformation
      1. Martin Luther (1483-1546)
        1. Born the son of a peasant copper miner, Luther was plagued with depression throughout life.  After nearly being struck by lightening at 22, he became an Augustinian monk at Erfurt, but went on to get his doctorate at the University of Wittenberg (1512).  Soon after, he began lecturing on the Epistle of Romans (1515), wherein he received his illumination of Romans 1:16-17.
        2. In 1517, Luther nailed the Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences on the doors of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, which triggered a sudden and dramatic string of events: Heidelberg Disputation (1518), excommunication (1519), Three Treatises (1520), Diet of Worms (1521), Wartburg Castle exile (1521/2), Peasants’ War (1524/5), Marburg Colloquy (1529), Protestation at Speyer (1529), and Diet of Augsburg (1530).  Luther’s health began to dramatically deteriorate in 1531, which continued until his death in 1546.
      2. Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) – Born and raised in a small village in northern Switzerland, Zwingli became a mercenary in campaigns to Italy (1512-15).  In 1518, he became a priest in Zürich, preaching against nominal Christianity and organizing the church into discussion groups.  After a series of disputes (1522-23), many left his ranks to the Anabaptists, and though backed by the city council, Zwingli died in battle when Catholic cantons surprise attacked Zürich in 1531.
      3. John Calvin (1509-64) – Trained as a humanist lawyer in France, Calvin converted and broke from the Roman Church sometime in the late 1520s.  After being denounced as a heretic in 1533, Calvin fled to Switzerland, where he was invited to lead the Protestant church in Geneva (1536).  In time Calvin consolidated power over most of the city, and with the establishment of his collège and académie (1559), Geneva became a base for the spread of the Reformation throughout Europe.
    2. Catholic Reformation
      1. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)
        1. Born to a wealthy landowner in the northwest Spain, the youngest of 13 children, Ignatius became a soldier in Spain’s war with France.  After being severely wounded, he was discharged in 1521, and during his recovery he vowed to become a soldier for the Catholic Faith.  During his recovery he experienced many visions as well as great trials and despair, which produced his famous Spiritual Exercises (1524).
        2. After traveling widely and studying in different schools, he finished at the University of Paris (1534), where he had a following of students, including Francis Xavier, who bound themselves by a vow of poverty and chastity to “enter upon hospital and missionary work in Jerusalem, or to go without questioning wherever the pope might direct.”  In 1537, they traveled to Rome for the approval of their new order, the Society of Jesus.
        3. Immediately, Jesuits were sent throughout Europe to strengthen, reform and create schools, colleges, and seminaries to evangelize the heathen and fight the Protestants.  The Jesuit movement became seminal in the Catholic Counter-Reformation, and at the time of Ignatius’ death in 1556 there were over 13,000 members in the society dispersed throughout Europe, poised for the evangelization of the New World, the Muslims, and the Far East.
      2. Council of Trent (1545-63)
        1. Primarily in response to the external demands of the Protestants, yet largely due to the internal force of the Jesuits, the Catholic Church convened a 25-session council over three periods (1545-49, 1551-52, and 1562-63) in Trent, Italy.
        2. The Council produced definition of Catholic doctrines in response to Protestant accusation, outlawed the sale of indulgences, and encouraged the education of clergy.  However, Mariology, the ultimate authority of the Church, and the veneration of saints and relics were all strongly reaffirmed.  The Council concluded with the condemnation of dissenting Protestants as anathema (“accursed”).
      3. Various Catholic Orders
        1. The 16th century witnessed the proliferation of Catholic orders that brought reform to every area of the Catholic Church.  Founded in 1524, the Theatines (known for incorporating monasticism and mendicant preaching) primarily under the leadership of Saint Cajetan (1480-1547), who also founded the Oratory of Divine Love in 1523, were instrumental in the calling of the Council of Trent and became a model for other reformative orders (e.g. Jesuits, Barnabites, Caracciolini, etc.).
        2. Saint Cajetan went on to help Saint Jerome Emiliani (1486-1537) found the Somaschi Fathers in 1532 based on the same model as the Theatines.  This “Company of the Servants of the Poor” spread throughout Europe encouraging religious and social reform totaling 119 houses by the French Revolution.
        3. The Capuchins were founded in 1528 under the leadership of Matteo da Bascio (1495-1552) as a Franciscan reformation movement.  Traveling throughout central Italy, Matteo and his companions preached to the commoners, cared for the poor, and performed many miracles.  The movement spread rapidly throughout Europe numbering over 31,000 by the end of the 18th century.
        4. Saint Angela de Merici (1474-1540) organized a group of Augustinian nuns in Northern Italy in 1535 to care for the sick and educate girls.  They became known as the “Company of St. Ursula” (4th century British saint who was their patron saint), and their numbers multiplied to over 20,000 during the 18th century.
        5. Likewise, the Discalced Carmelites (“Barefoot Carmelites”) were organized c.1562 by Theresa of Avila (1515-82) and her disciple John of the Cross (1542-91) to restore the mendicant Carmelites to their original rule of poverty, devotion and preaching.
        6. Begun c.1570, the Fransciscan Récollets established houses throughout France for renewed consecration and “spiritual recollection.”  The movement fueled the evangelization of the French colonies in Canada in the early 17th century and numbered over 2500 cloisters by the time of the French Revolution, which decimated its ranks.
        7. Many other orders such as the Adorno Fathers (f.1563), Camillians (f.1591), Lazarists (f.1624), Sisters of Charity (f.1633), Eudists (f.1643), Lovers of the Holy Cross (f.1670), Marian Fathers (f.1673), Baladites (f.1694), and Spiritans (f.1703) are less known but contributed to the reformation and renewed missionary focus of the Catholic Church.
    3. German Pietism
      1. Philipp Jakob Spener (1635-1705)
        1. Born in northeastern France and brought up a Lutheran, Spener was educated at Strasbourg, where he was exposed to the spiritual writings of several Puritans and in particular the German Johann Arndt, cf. True Christianity (1605).  After completing his doctoral dissertation, he was prepared to teach, but ended up serving as a pastor of the Lutheran church in Frankfurt in 1666.
        2. The deadness and moral laxity of the congregation moved him to offer a specific program for change, spelled out in Pia Desideria (1675), i.e. “Pious Desires,” which marked the birth of a renewal movement in Germany called “Pietism.”  In 1691, he accepted a rectorship in Berlin and was instrumental in the establishment of the University of Halle, which in time became the base of the pietist movement.
      2. August Hermann Francke (1663-1727)
        1. Born in Lubeck, Germany, Francke was educated at the University of Leipzig, where he met Spener and experienced a radical conversion and “new birth.”  After graduating with a degree in Greek and Hebrew studies, he founded the Collegium philobiblicum by the encouragement of Spener for the systematic study of the Scriptures.
        2. At Spener’s request, Francke was invited to teach at the University of Halle, where he labored for the remaining 36 years of his life.  As his influence and leadership rapidly increased, Francke established many ministries, which helped establish Halle as a hub for the spread of pietism throughout Europe.  Moreover, Halle became a famous missions training center for the burgeoning Protestant missions movement.
      3. Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-60)
        1. Born to an aristocratic family in Dresden, Germany, Zinzendorf was the godson of Spener.  Raised by his pietist grandmother after his father’s death, he was tutored in Francke’s advanced school at Halle.  After purchasing the Berthelsdorf Estate in 1722, Zinzendorf was persuaded to allow ~300 persecuted Hussite Moravians to live on his land, forming a community he called Herrnhut, i.e. “Watch of the Lord”.
        2. After a renewal in 1727, the community organized itself around 24/7 prayer, which is commonly credited as the fuel behind the missions engine that initiated the Protestant missions movement.  By 1776, 226 missionaries had been sent out from the community, a 60:1 ratio (vs. the typical 5000:1 Protestant missionary ratio).
    4. English Evangelicalism
      1. Puritanism
        1. After the English Reformation (cf. 1534 Supremacy Act), the daughter of Henry VIII, Mary I, came to power (1553-58) and being a devout Catholic sought to stamp out Protestantism (cf. “Bloody Mary”).  Many leaders fled to mainland Europe, especially to Geneva where they were trained at Calvin’s Academy.  After Mary’s sister, Elizabeth I, reestablished Protestantism in England (1559-1603), those leaders returned seeking further reform and purity (thus initiating the Puritan movement).
        2. By the end of the 16th century, Puritan leaders (e.g. Cambridge professor, Thomas Cartwright) faced increased pressure and persecution.  This resulted in fragmentation of the movement (cf. Anglican, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, Quakers, etc.) as they divided over issues.  Under the reign of Elizabeth’s son, James I (1603-25), persecutions increased causing many to flee to the New World (cf. “pilgrims”) in hopes of establishing “holy commonwealths.”
        3. English Puritanism (which produced the Westminster Confession and Catechisms, c.1643-46) culminated with the “Puritan Revolution” (1649-58) under the leadership of General Oliver Cromwell.  Puritan struggles thus set the moral standard and social atmosphere for future English evangelical renewals.
      2. John Wesley (1703-91)
        1. Born the son of a pastor and the 15th of 19 children, Wesley studied theology at Oxford and is known for organizing the “Holy Club” (of which George Whitfield was a part).  In 1735, he sailed for Georgia as a missionary to the American Indians, only to return in 1738 depressed and defeated.  Impressed by an encounter with a Moravian family on his voyage, he sought out a Moravian meeting in London, which resulted in his famous Aldersgate experience.
        2. Later that year Wesley traveled to Herrnhut for six months, and after a dispute with Zinzendorf, he returned to England to help organize the Moravian Fetter Lane Society.  At the encouragement of Whitfield, Wesley broke with the Moravians in 1739 and began preaching in open air venues (i.e. streets, fields, etc.).  Many conversions and great renewal followed (with much opposition), and Wesley traveled throughout England organizing “societies” and “bands” based on the Moravian model.  By the time of his death in 1791, there were ~71K Methodists in England and 15K in America.
    5. American Revivalism
      1. Jonathan Edwards (1703-58)
        1. “Widely acknowledged to be America’s most important and original philosophical theologian,” Edwards was born into a family of prominent Congregational ministers in East Windsor, Connecticut.  A year after his graduation from Yale in 1724, Edwards was ordained a student minister at his grandfather’s Congregationalist church in Northhampton, MA.
        2. The most notable events of his tenure were the revivals of 1734 and 1740–41, the latter of which came to be known as the Great Awakening.  After being dismissed because of a dispute over qualifications for church membership in 1750, Edwards retreated to an Indian mission at Stockbridge, MA.  Just before he died in 1758 from a smallpox inoculation, he was appointed President of the College of New Jersey (i.e. Princeton).
      2. George Whitefield (1714-70) – The preacher of the Great Awakening (vs. Edwards the theologian), loud and boisterous, emotional preaching, 20K in Philadelphia.


    1. Roman Catholic
      1. Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith (1622)
        1. Founded in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV’s bull Inscrutabili Divinae: 13 cardinals, 2 prelates & 1 secretary to care for the propagation of the faith.  Société des Missions Éntrangères (1663) – seminary in Paris to train clergy in missions.
        2. Tragic Collapse – during the last half of the 18th century: encroachment of Protestant powers (England, Holland and Denmark), Asian persecution (Japan, China, Siam and Vietnam), and dissolution of the Jesuit Order (July 21, 1773) which numbered over 22K members and 11K priests.
      2. Asia
        1. India – Portuguese explorers est. 100K ancient Nestorian Christians, Jesuits founded a seminary at Vaipicotta (Goa) for the training of clergy, in Latin and Syriac
          1. Francis Xavier (1506-1552) – Basque companion of Ignatius Loyola.  Arrived in Goa in 1542 as a rep. of the king of Portugal, many churches but no morality, moved to South India (1542) among fisherfolk caste (10K baptized in 1536).  Gift of tongues, rough translations, gathered and instructed boys to teach older people.
          2. Robert Nobili (1577-1656) – Italian Jesuit, worked in South India for 50 years.  Began in Madurai, India (1605), inspired by Ricci, adopted Brahman culture, mastered Tamil, Telugu & Sanskrit. 63 converts of good caste by 1609, allowed to observe caste rules, later extended mission to Trichinopoly and Salem.  Divided church among castes as lower castes converted > mass movement, thousands.
          3. John de Britto (d.1693) – Portuguese Jesuit, worked in Marava country (Rāmnād/ Pudukottah), great devotion and gentleness, success then persecution, arrested and beheaded in 1693.
        2. Japan – Francis Xavier (1506-1552), Yajiro escaped justice and met Xavier in Goa (1548), telling him of the superior people, landed with 2 Jesuits and Yajiro in 1549, genuine openness because of political disorder and discredit of Buddhism.  Stayed 27 months, left 3 small groups of converts.  first converts among poorer classes, mass movement of 50K (1571-75), 300K by 1600, political order > persecution; death or apostasy of almost all believers
        3. China
          1. Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) – Brought by Valignano from the seminary at Goa.  Learned language and customs in Macao, moved to Chaoch’ing (1583) and to imperial capital, Peking (1600).  Skilled in clock repair and map-making, gained imperial favor, church of 2000 at death.  Left three great converts: Paul Hsu, Michael Yang,  & Leo Li.  Studies Chinese classics, made Christianity as little foreign as possible, T’ien Chu (Lord of Heaven), paid reverence to ancestors, esp. Confucius. 
          2. Johann Adam Schall von Bell (1591-1666) – German successor of Ricci, Arrived in Peking (1622), competent astronomer, appointed to calendar board (1630).
          3. Lo Wen-Tsao (1611-1691) – Chinese bishop, Born a peasant, converted in 1633 by Spanish Franciscan, studied in Manila, Appointed Vicar Apostolic of Northern China, used Chinese in liturgy.
          4. All Jesuits priests (38) expelled in 1664, converts: 150K in 1650, 255K in 1664, Edict of Toleration in 1692, paved the way for Dominicans and Franciscans.
        4. Philippines – Augustinians landed in 1565 > by 1600 filled with Christian teachers, strong Christian village (church, school, hospital, orphanage), within century, whole pop. Xn (people superficial/leaders wealthy).
        5. Vietnam – Alexander de Rhodes (1623), born in Avignon, arrived in Macao, South Vietnam in 1623 (Jesuits<8yrs), expelled (1625), N.Vietnam (1627) for 3 yrs (baptized 6700), Sinoa, S.Vietnam (1640), banished permanently (1645).  Reduced Vietnamese language into writing and formed the ‘company of catechists’, celibate lay brotherhood > growth rapid, 300K in 1658.
      3. North & South America
        1. Franciscans, Dominicans, & Jesuits – Rapid Spanish & Portuguese conquest (~1515-1550), priests and friars came with every expedition.  Bishoprics founded in Santo Domingo (1511), Tlaxcala (1525), Mexico City (1526), Caracas (~1540), Lima (1541), Asuncion (1547), San Salvador de Bahia (1551), Buenos Aires (1582).
        2. Bartholomew de Las Casas (1484-1566) – Arrived with Columbus (1502) in Caribbean islands, converted/became priest in 1514, preached against cruelty for 50 years.  Emperor Charles V mostly ended encomienda with the New Laws (1542).
        3. Canada – Jean de Brebeuf (1593-1649), population (~150K) consisted of Iroquois, Hurons and Algonquins, constantly at war.  Worked w/Hurons near Georgian Bay (1625), mass acceptance, learned language, translated scriptures and liturgy, work destroyed by 5 Nations Iroquois.  Other Jesuits later arrived (1632), cf. Mary of the Incarnation.
      4. Africa
        1. Angola – Repeated attempts by Portuguese Capuchins along the west coast of Africa, Jinga (converted in 1656), princess of Matamba in Angola, wrote Pope for missionaries.
        2. Congo – Capuchins baptized 600K from 1645 to 1700 (also Angola), and 12K/year from 1700 on.  Instruction level low > no permanent church.
        3. Mozambique – Jesuits in 1612, 8 stations and 20 miss. by 1624 > died out.  
        4. Madagascar – French Lazarists (Vincentians) sent in 1642, but massacred by locals in 1674.
    2. Eastern Orthodox
      1. Russia
        1. Introduction – New attitude toward missions: 1) opposition to Islam (Muslim Tartars), 2) The fall of Constantinople (1453) and Moscow as “third Rome,” 3) Ivan III (1462-1505) as 2nd Constantine & Ivan IV the Terrible’s (1533-84) holy war >>> Rapid geographic extension (accomp. by E.O. Church).  Peter the Great set forth a ukase to extend the Orthodox faith to the Siberian peoples (6.18.1700).
        2. West Siberia – Filofey Leschinski (d.1727), bishop of Tobolsk (1702), vast and desolate diocese among the Ostiaks, Voguls, Yakuts and others (churches: 160>448, baptized: 40K).
        3. East Siberia – Cyril Vasilyevich Suchanov (1741-1814), part of 13 missionaries sent to Lena and Dauria, bought slaves to work monasteries, layman missionary to the nomadic Tungus people of Dauria, first church in 1776, taught faith, agri. and handicraft.
        4. Kamchatka – Ioasaf Chotunshevsky (1745), distant peninsula of volcanoes, military station and penal colony.  Apostle of Kamchatka, arrived in 1745, stern measures and strategic mission, 11K converts by 1748.
        5. Alaska – Ioasaf Bolotov (1794), sent to the Aleutian islands (1794), radical conversion, 10K by 1796, work extended to American mainland.
    3. Protestant
      1. Introduction 
        1. Early Protestantism had little time for missions until the Peace of Westphalia (1648), wasting their strength in endless scholastic divisions and controversies.  Moreover, most Reformers held to the idea that the Great Commission had been fulfilled during the Apostolic Age and was thus an irrelevant mandate.
        2. The Protestant missions model generally mirrored that of the medieval Roman model, i.e. win the area’s leader and establish a territorial church (cf. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, etc.).  Almost all early Lutheran missionaries were former monks and students from Wittenburg, which was also the case for Calvinism and the Academy at Geneva.
        3. Protestant missions began with Dutch and English commercial ventures in Indonesia and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Dutch East India Company (f. 1602) set up seminary in Leyden for spiritual care of Dutchmen in East and conversion of natives > 100K in Java, 40K in Ambon, superficial.
      2. North America
        1. Puritans in the New World first initiated mission to the Native Americans in the 17th century.  John Eliot (1604-90) – learned language (1632), formed ‘Praying Towns’ among Iroquois in MA (1651), 3600 by 1671, trained Indian preachers, translated Bible into ‘Moheecan’.  David Brainerd (1718-47) – utmost holiness, friend of Jonathan Edwards, diary an inspiration to future missionaries (e.g. Carey, Martyn, Wesley).
        2. Moravians – sent two brethren to St. Thomas (early 1730’s), sold themselves as slaves, and Dutch Guiana (1738), slow progress, 6 years before first convert, continued until today.
      3. Greenland – Hans Egede (1686-1758) – Norwegian Lutheran missionary, called the “Apostle of Greenland,” theology at Univ. of Copenhagen, arrived in 1721, worked 15 yrs, founded Godthåb (Nuuk) meaning “Good Hope,” the capital of Greenland.  Care during small pox epidemic (1733) won the people.
      4. India
        1. Bartholomew Ziegenbalg & Henry Plütschau (1706) – German, sent by King Frederick IV of Denmark (Royal Danish Mission with Missionary College in Copenhagen, Denmark), 1st non-R.C. missionaries to Tranquebar, India (9 July 1706).
        2. Christian Friedrich Schwartz (1726-98) – German, 48 years in India, 2000 in Tanjore Church (1778-98), character first, wide knowledge of languages, extreme simplicity, simple faith > left a model and legacy for Indian missions.  Mass movement near Cape Comorin in Palamcottah, from 1795 to 1805 Tanjore missionaries baptized 5000 > Tinnevelly Church
      5. Africa – Moravian Georg Schmidt worked from 1737 to 1744, Moravians returned and founded a station at Genadendal (1792).  British domination in 1795; three peoples: nomadic Bushmen, more civilized Hottentots, and warlike ‘Kaffir’ Bantu peoples.