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Contemporary with Luther and Calvin, there were once again powerful constructive forces at work within the Roman Catholic church. A reformed and rededicated papacy, a revived and purified clergy, a militant spearhead in the Jesuits, and an unequivocal statement of doctrine at the Council of Trent not only contained and turned back the Protestant tide, but also helped the Roman Catholic church become once more a dynamic force in Western Civilization. What happened in the Roman Catholic West during the sixteenth century has frequently been called the Counter Reformation. This term is not altogether accurate, since Catholic revival was only partially inspired by the Protestant movement, and only a portion of its effort was directed against Protestantism. [excerpt]

Additional Resources

Some material in the original text is restricted by copyright. Here are links to earlier editions or translations of the same material:

Saint Ignatius of Loyola. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius (P.J. Kennedy & Sons, 1914).


This is a part of Section VII: The Protestant Movement. The Contemporary Civilization page lists all additional sections of Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, as well as the Table of Contents for both volumes.

More About Contemporary Civilization:

From 1947 through 1969, all first-year Gettysburg College students took a two-semester course called Contemporary Civilization. The course was developed at President Henry W.A. Hanson’s request with the goal of “introducing the student to the backgrounds of contemporary social problems through the major concepts, ideals, hopes and motivations of western culture since the Middle Ages.”

Gettysburg College professors from the history, philosophy, and religion departments developed a textbook for the course. The first edition, published in 1955, was called An Introduction to Contemporary Civilization and Its Problems. A second edition, retitled Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, was published in 1958 and 1960. It is this second edition that we include here. The copy we digitized is from the Gary T. Hawbaker ’66 Collection and the marginalia are his.