Martin Luther: The Accidental Revolutionary
Martin Luther was a Germanic monk, who was born in 1483 , in a country on the eve of reformation. When Luther was born the Catholic Church was the only church in Western Europe. At the time of Luther’s birth Europe is recovering from the Middle Ages a time of deescalation and disease. In this world the Catholic Church was the one great consolation, with its promise of heaven. In the sixteenth century of Western Europe the Catholic Church was involved in the corrupt practice of indulgences. Indulgences are a paper signed by the Pope, and sold to religiously desperate people, that absolves sins and reduces ones time in purgatory. This corrupt way of collecting money made the Catholic church one of, if not the most, wealthy institution at the time. However, people like Jann Hus, John Wycliff, and Erasmus, were calling for reform, questioning wether or not the church had the power to do this. Luther, who was currently a religious teacher at a college in Whittenburg, challenged the practice of indulgences, exposing the corruption of the church. Around this time the printing press was created, which allowed ideas to be written down and books and other written pieces to be exposed to more people and travel faster. Luther utilized all of the specific faults and corruptions of the Catholic Church and the advantages of the early Renaissance to reform, not break away from, the Catholic Church but he accidentally started a revolution, starting the religion of Protestantism.
As Luther saw people rushing to buy their indulgences from religious officials he became infuriated and nailed his 95 Theses, or complaints towards the Catholic Church, on the door of the local church in Whittenburg. As Luther faced his transformation from monk to reformer he struggled with the need to imitate the perfection of Christ, which was important in the eyes of the church for salvation. Luther realized that because he was human, he was too...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document