I is for Indulgences

Czech manuscript shows Satan distributing indulgences. Image from wikipedia.

Indulgences had a huge influence on the Renaissance in a not-so-pleasant way. These are dispensations granted by the Catholic church under very specific conditions, but those conditions weren’t always followed. Representatives, particularly far from Rome, bent the rules, until the rules were in pretzels. Which might remind you of Germany, and that, as it happens, is where the end of the Renaissance sprouted like a seed.

Just to be clear, indulgences aren’t, on their own, a problem. The church still issues them, and the internet is replete with modern info-graphics on how they can be acquired. It’s just that they aren’t sold on the open market or include absolution for 20,000 years. Clarification is required.

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