- Turning Point in History ~Martin Luther and the 95 Theses
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This turned him against many of the major teachings of the Catholic Church. Thanks to the printing press, Luther's '95 Theses' and his other writings spread quickly through Europe. He refused to recant and Emperor Charles V declared him an outlaw and a heretic.
Turning Point in History ~Martin Luther and the 95 Theses
Luther went into hiding at Wartburg Castle. In , he returned to Wittenberg and in married Katharina von Bora, a former nun, with whom he had six children. Luther then became involved in the controversy surrounding the Peasants War - , the leaders of which had used Luther's arguments to justify their revolt. He rejected their demands and upheld the right of the authorities to suppress the revolt, which lost him many supporters.
In , Luther published a complete translation of the bible into German, underlining his belief that people should be able to read it in their own language. The translation contributed significantly to the spread and development of the German language. Luther's influence spread across northern and eastern Europe and his fame made Wittenberg an intellectual centre. It shapes our politics, stokes our appetites, loosens our tongues, heightens our moral panics, keeps us entertained and therefore passive. We engage with it times or more every day, and with every moment of contact we add to the unfathomable wealth of its priesthood.
And we worship it because we are, somehow, mesmerised by it. In other words, we are all members of the Church of Technopoly , and what we worship is digital technology.
The Reform of the Roman Catholic Church in Europe Essay
Most of us are so happy in our obeisance to this new power that we spend an average of 50 minutes on our daily devotion to Facebook alone without a flicker of concern. It makes us feel modern, connected, empowered, sophisticated and informed. Suppose, though, you were one of a minority who was becoming assailed by doubt — stumbling towards the conclusion that what you once thought of as liberating might actually be malign and dangerous.
But yet everywhere you look you see only happy-clappy believers. How would you go about convincing the world that it was in the grip of a power that was deeply hypocritical and corrupt? Especially when that power apparently offers salvation and self-realisation for those who worship at its sites? It would be a tough assignment. But take heart: there once was a man who had similar doubts about the dominant power of his time.
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His name was Martin Luther and years ago on Tuesday he pinned a long screed on to the church door in Wittenberg, which was then a small and relatively obscure town in Saxony. This rebellious stunt by an obscure monk must have seemed at the time like a flea bite on an elephant. But it was the event that triggered a revolution in religious belief, undermined the authority of the Roman church, unleashed ferocious wars in Europe and shaped the world in which most of us at least in the west grew up.
Some flea bite. In posting his theses Luther was conforming to an established tradition of scholastic discourse. In those days, challenging either would not have been a good career move for an Augustinian monk. Challenging both was suicidal. To understand the significance of this, some theological background helps. A central part of Catholic theology revolved around sin and the consequences thereof.
Sins were divided into three grades — original, venial and mortal. The second category consisted of peccadillos. The third — mortal — were grievous sins. The church had established an elaborate machine for enabling its members to deal with their moral transgressions.
They could confess them to a priest and receive absolution on condition that they did a prescribed penance. But for a medieval Catholic, the visceral fear was of dying with an unconfessed — and therefore unabsolved — mortal sin on your record. In that case, you went to hell for eternity, tortured by perennial fire and all the horrors imagined by Hieronymous Bosch.
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If you died with just unabsolved venial sins, however, then you did time in an intermediate prison called purgatory until you were eventually discharged and passed on to paradise. Being in purgatory was obviously better than roasting at gas mark six, and your place in heaven was ultimately guaranteed.
But if you could minimise your time in the holding area then you would. Into this market opportunity stepped the Roman church with an ingenious product called an indulgence. This was like a voucher that gave you a reduction in your purgatorial stay.
Wittenberg: In the footsteps of Martin Luther
Initially, you could get an indulgence in return for an act of genuine penitence — following the confessional model — or for visiting a holy relic. Leo X agreed to sell the office of archbishop to Albrecht for a large sum of money. The family negotiated a loan to pay for it. In order to pay back the loan, they struck a deal with the Pope.
They agreed to allow access to the papal indulgence sellers to their territory, with the understanding that the profits of the sale would be shared. Albrecht of Mainz would use his share to pay off the family debt, and the Pope could carry on his building programme. Indulgence sellers such as Johann Tetzel — were hired, and the sale was conducted among the German peasantry. Luther was certainly aware of indulgences before this time, but it was sales techniques used by Tetzel that brought the matter to his attention.
Luther began to question the practice of selling indulgences and in response wrote the Ninety-Five Theses.
The first two of the Ninety-Five Theses state:. In subsequent theses, Luther questioned the ethics of encouraging peasants to buy indulgences rather than give alms or buy food for their family. He also questioned the authority of the Church to forgive sins, a right that surely belonged to God alone. It is also important to recognize that Luther, a priest and a monk, was raising these issues as an insider.
Scholars have been debating this issue for the last four decades. Other scholars argue that posting notices to debate at a University was such a normal thing to do that it would not have been considered noteworthy at the time. What we do know is that the Theses were printed and circulated around Europe within a period of two months. We also know that Luther sent a copy to Albrecht of Mainz, who now held the most important ecclesiastical position in the empire.
He was not aware of the deal that Albrecht had made with the Pope, or that Albrecht was himself profiting from the indulgence sale. Albrecht sent his copies to the theologians in his city and a copy to Rome. He responded by calling the pope the Antichrist and burning the bull in Wittenberg, two months after he received it. The Edict stated that.
Ninety-five Theses | work by Luther | falktolyjecon.gq
On the contrary, we want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic, as he deserves, to be brought personally before us, or to be securely guarded until those who have captured him inform us, whereupon we will order the appropriate manner of proceeding against the said Luther. Those who will help in his capture will be rewarded generously for their good work.
As a heretic and an outlaw, Luther could certainly have suffered the same fate as Hus. What saved him was his prince, Frederick, and the fact that Emperor Charles needed the support of his German princes, because he was fighting a costly war in Italy against France. Frederick spirited him away and placed him in hiding for a year. He spent that year in Eisenach making the first German translation of the Bible, using the new scholarly tools of the humanists.
Meanwhile, Luther's ideas had touched a nerve all over Europe.