Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Jaco HammanEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_531

Protestantism is a general term describing the third main form of Christianity alongside Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity. It originated in the sixteenth century when in 1529 German princes presented a Protestatio or letter of protest against the Catholic Church’s prohibition on innovation in the field of religion. This act by the “Protestants” – later also called “Evangelicals” – initiated a movement called the Christian Reformation asking “Who is the true and holy church?”

Despite holding worldviews ranging from open and liberal to nationalist conservative and even fundamentalist, Protestantism is most often characterized by the following: proclaiming that all glory belongs to God (soli Deo Gloria); salvation is by grace alone (sola gratia); the centrality of the spoken and written Word (sola Scriptura); freedom and independence; truth and the church are ever evolving; baptism and communion as the only sacraments; and placing a person’s relationship with God above...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Divinity SchoolVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA