It [the Reformation] challenged the idea that divine authority should be mediated through institutions or hierarchies, and it denied the value of tradition. Instead it offered radical new notions of the supremacy of written texts (that is, the books of the Bible), interpreted by individual consciences.Conversations with sk8eeyore make me want to do loads of research into various aspects of Christianity and hash out much more thoroughly just what it is i believe. (I really should bookmark all the entries in which we have theological disccussions for future reference.) The above quotation fairly well defines my approach to my personal theology.
-Philip Jenkins, "The Next Christianity"
Another interesting quote from the article:
Out of this impasse, this failure to impose a monolithic religious order across the Continent, there arose such fundamental ideas of modern society as the state's obligation to tolerate minorities and the need to justify political authority without constantly invoking God and religion. The Enlightenment—and, indeed, Western modernity—could have occurred only as a consequence of the clash, military and ideological, between Protestants and Catholics.