Willis Miller

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS)



First Advisor

Carole D. Spencer

Second Advisor

R. Larry Shelton


Standing up to the ecclesiastical institutions of the late fourteenth century, the Devotio Moderna formed in the hopes of reforming the Catholic church. By comprehensively reviewing the Devotio Moderna, this thesis explores the question; was the Protestant Reformation possible without the steady and penetrating influence the Devout Brothers and Sisters? In contrast to the schismatic Reformation arriving a century later, this reformation pursued spiritual renewal for both laity and clergy. The movement achieved a measure of success, but in a manner the founders might not have anticipated. The Devout Brothers and Sisters lived in stark contrast to the failing Church; thus, the movement became a beacon of hope for a society growing increasingly disenchanted. The preconditions necessary to precipitate the Protestant Reformation rest in the whole of the Devotio Moderna movement. In addition, the Devout produced significant writers: Erasmus, Thomas a Kempis, Wessel Gansfort, and Gerard Zerbolt. Their works directly influenced the fundamental philosophies of the sixteenth Protestant reformers Luther and Calvin.

Included in

Christianity Commons