In 1505 during a violent thunderstorm Luther is knocked down by lightning. Terrified he prays, “ St. Anne help me! I will become a monk. ” Two weeks later Luther drops out of law school and enters an Augustinian Monastery against the wishes of his father.
St Augustine Monks Extreme asceticism and self denial could bring a man closer to God He was strict in following principles of Augustinian monasticism including: Poverty, vigils,charity, chastity, sobriety, obedience, and mortifications of the flesh. Luther would fast often, and sometimes three days straight. He slept without blankets in winter. Confessed regularly, often for hours.
Luther ’ s Torment Despite being an impeccable monk. Luther … Was insecure about his prospects of going to heaven. Felt sinful, lost and rejected by God. Began to question the value of self denial. Admitted he began to loath God. See passage in Armstrong 276
1512 Luther earns a doctorate in Theology. Luther teaches at the University of Wittenberg.
Friar Johann Tetzel, sold indulgences in Wittenberg.
Indulgences Originally given to crusaders and crusade sponsors. Technically freed sinner from penance priest had set. “ Sold ” to public as way to release the buyer, or buyer ’ s relatives from time in purgatory. One obtained such an indulgence through a monetary donation. The practice proved to be an effective method of fund raising and was highly abused.
Hawking Indulgences "When the coin in the coffer rings, another soul from purgatory springs."
Copy of the infamous Indulgence by Johann Tetzel.
"Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences" (1517)
95 Theses Luther posted theses on the church doors at Wittenberg, 10/31/1517. Intended to provoke debate amongst religious scholars. Theses were printed and widely circulated. Challenged validity of sale of indulgences. No such thing as Treasury of Merits. Promise of general pardon is damnable. Pope has no jurisdiction over purgatory, and should not use position for dishonest gain.
Advent of print: makes possible the first mass political propaganda against the papacy; reaches all levels of society.
Beyond the 95 In a series of pamphlets Luther elaborates: Salvation by faith alone. The Bible as only authority for Christian life. The priesthood of all believers. Attacked belief that the seven Sacraments were the only means for obtaining grace.
Luther ’ s “ Experience ” Found passage in Paul ’ s Epistle to Romans: “ The just shall live by faith. ” Luther would later write about this: “ I felt myself reborn and have gone through open doors into paradise ”. Here lie the seeds of his Justification of Faith.
Key religious belief of Martin Luther which holds that what "justifies" a man is not what the church knew as "works" (prayer, alms, the sacraments, holy living...) but "faith alone." Martin's key disagreement with the Catholic Church revolved around religious 'authority.' For Martin, the Church had no authority to define 'true Christian belief.' According to Armstrong this doctrine stated that Man could not save himself (277). Justification by Faith
1520:Burning the Papal Bull, which had demanded Luther to recant or face excommunication.
Exile Ends Disorder in Wittenberg ensues without leadership to guide reforms. Frederick the Wise can only offer certain safety in hiding. Luther risks his life in returning to public life, and says he will trust God not the sword. Charles V is preoccupied with foreign wars to pursue Luther. Portrait of Martin Luther, 1525 Lucas Cranach
Peasants interpret Bible as Luther suggested and they seek reform as outlined in the Twelve Articles. Thomas Munzer, one of the leaders of the Peasant Revolt.
Twelve Articles End serfdom End unfair taxation End hunting restrictions End unlawful punishments Institute rent control Right to choose own pastors, fair tithing Call for communal property Scripture justifies their protest
Luther ’ s Response: Against the Rapacious and Murdering Peasants Peasants had misinterpreted Bible. Called on nobility to cut them down without mercy. Authority of overlords should be recognized to maintain peace.
"Do I contradict myself? Very well,then I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes." –– Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass
Luther worked on establishing his church, through writings. The Lutheran church maintained many Catholic traditions, and as Armstrong points out, the orthodoxy of Nicea (Trinitarianism). The changes: Services were conducted in German Priests could marry Faith alone leads to Salvation
Lutheranism prospers 1534: Publication of Bible in German
Luther and the Jews After Gentle ” Gentile ” persuasion proves ineffective at converting Jews, Luther writes Against the Jews(1543). He promotes the burning of their homes, synagogues and religious works.
Lutheranism Thrives Rise of Nationalism Individualism Great debt to printing press German princes saw economic and political advantage of breaking ties with Rome
A cranach Reformation ’ s Legacy Opened door to diversity within a faith. Marked the beginning of numerous denominations and political breaks from Catholic church. German translation of bible help shape language. Wars Fostered Catholic reforms and New World conversion. Strengthened connection between Politics and belief.
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