Ozment, Steven E. The Age of Reform: 1250-1550 : An Intellectual and Religious History of Late Medieval and Reformation Europe. New Haven, Conn. ; London: Yale University Press, 1980. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 5, “On the Eve of the Reformation” pp. 182-222. Part 3, “Religious Culture” pp. 204-222.
By the time of the Reformation “the papacy had long since ceased to be a monarchy capable of imposing its will throughout Europe as in the days of Innocent III” (Ozment 1980, 204). At the same time, “as a system of piety, it found its efficacy questioned by laity and clergy” (Ozment 1980, 205). Though people were active in religious life there was also strong interest in unorthodox spirituality and practice. There was an increasing distrust in the objective, historic rituals (Ozment 1980, 209) while many people wished for more subjective and experiential forms of worship (Ozment 1980, 210). Clergy developed a reputation of greed for power and money while the laity developed a reputation of rebellion against church authority (Ozment 1980, 213).