Martin Luther (Word Count 507)

Martin Luther is well known for his revolution against the Catholic Church, making him one of the most famous religious revolutionaries of all time. However, many people do not consider the fact that Martin Luther also started a social revolution in Germany, and in the Western world as a whole when he nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg. Luther was a revolutionary for three majors reasons: his criticisms of the church and society, his proposed reform, and the impact that he had on Germany and the western world. Martin Luther had many criticisms against the Catholic Church. Most of them had to do with the church’s connection to the economy, the wealth of the Pope, the construction of churches with the money of the poor, selling salvation for a price, and how exactly one becomes saved anyway (around 3:00). Because the Catholic Church had a strong hold on society at the time, one could argue that Luther’s attack of the church was one against society as a whole, or at least the church’s control of society. He also directed his criticisms to the German nobility of the time as well, attacking this secular part of society (around 11:40), and their allowance of Rome to set laws and take German money. One of the reasons that Luther’s revolution was so successful was that many people agreed with his criticisms. Not only did the public agree with his criticisms, but Martin Luther also proposed reform that many people could agree with. Luther argued that the people of Germany needed to stand up to Rome (around 13:35). He argued that the Church invented 5 of the 7 sacraments, because only two could be found in the Bible. Traditions such as these needed to be destroyed (around 24:30). He also proposed that the Church needed to be freed of “the hands of crooks” (around 23:00). He declared that the church did not have the right to make laws for anyone, because “every man was God’s priest” (24:30). Luther’s impact on Germany was made possible through the printing press (around 10:10). He could reach a large number of people, and therefore, his impact was spread across the western world. As Luther travelled across Germany, he was greeted by many of his followers. When he returned to Wittenberg after his trial, he realized he had had a hug impact not only on the Church, but on society (around 43:00). Many people had seized control of the town administration, church funds, and schools. He was shocked at the effect he had had, and even tried to reverse some of it. He hadn’t meant for it to be as radical as it had been (around 44:45). In this way he was the “reluctant revolutionary.” Luther was indeed a religious and social revolutionary, as he propelled the Christian faith forward into the Reformation. He even had an impact on the secular world. He gained this fame through his criticisms, proposed reform, and his impact on the western world.

ger/102/2012/winter/nora_beswick-_martin_luther.txt · Last modified: 2012/03/09 10:40 by nkbeswick
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