Who is Martin Luther? How did he come about? What has he done to change Christianity? Are some questions frequently asked by adults and students who don t know to much about Martin Luther. So this paper is going to discuss the following issues or question that were just asked. So that hopefully when this paper is over the issues will be answered, and in the process people will have a little more knowledge.
Martin Luther was born November 10, 1483 in the town of Eisleben. His mother s name was Margaretta Luther, and his father s name was Hans Luther. Hans Luther eventually moved at of Eisleben, because he was disappointed with business prospect. So he moved to Mansfeld to become a copper miner, because they had a lot of mining areas there. Martin Luther than attends several different schools as a child including Mansfeld Lateinschule in March 12, 1491when he moved to Mansfeld with his father. Boarding school in 1497 at Magdeburg. Luther than begin attending the parish school of St. George in Eisenanch in 1498. (Reu 37)The following school just named were where Luther received his primary and secondary education. It was not until 1501, at the age of seventeen when Luther enrolled himself into the University of Erfurt one of the best at the time. He began to study liberal arts, a year later in 1502 he received a bachelor s degree, and a master degree in 1505.(Smith 5-7) After he graduated his farther wanted him to go to law school at the University. So that summer he started studying Law, but something happen something that would probably change his life for good. He dropped his book, and abandoned his studies. Several Months Later, after what seems to have been a sudden religious experience he entered an Augustinian Monastery at Erfurt. Luther Made his profession as a monk in the fall of 1506, and his superiors selected him for the priesthood, and was ordained in 1507.(Ritter 27 ) After his ordination, Martin Luther was asked to go back to college to study theology in order to become a professor at one or the many new German Universities staffed by monks. Luther gradually accepted and in 1508 he was assigned to the new University of Wittenberg (founded in 1502) to give introductory lectures in moral philosophy, and get a degree in theology. He received his bachelor s degree in 1509, when he decided to returned to Erfurt, where he stayed there from 1509-1511 to teach and study.(Todd 24 ) In November 1510 at the age of 26, on behalf of seven Augustinian monasteries, he took a journey to Rome. He Performed the religious duties customary for a pious and was shocked by the worldliness of the Roman clergy. (Todd 33) One year later in 1511 he resumed his duties in Erfurt, soon after he was reassigned to Wittenberg, and was asked to go to College to study for the degree of doctor of theology. In 1512 he received his doctorate and took over the chair of biblical theology, in which he would hold on till death. ( Reu 47)
Also when he came back from Rome, and while he was at Wittenberg he developed a great spiritual anxiety about his salvation. So he studied the Scriptures, (Mainly St. Paul) he found a loving God who bestowed upon his sinful humans the free gift of salvation, received by faith alone. (Alano 4-8 ) Luther was active as a preacher , teacher, and administrator during these times. He studied the New Testaments in preparation for his lectures, and one day when he was studying them he came to believe that Christians are saved not through their own efforts but by the gift of God s Grace.( Alano 9-10) These view right here was crucial in his life, because it turned him against some of the major tenets of the Catholic church, and got him on the way to the Reformation of the Church. Also after getting his doctorate in theology, instead of settling down to a calm and scholarly monkish life or an uneventful university career teaching theology, he began to develop his own personal theology, and began to view other people beliefs and action.
Luther become aware of a view or belief that bothers him. It was from Johanna
Tetzel, he was selling indulgences on the border of Saxony in order to raise money for the building of Saint Peter's in Rome. ( Smith 42) Indulgences were given by the pope, they forgave sinners. Not for the sins, but the temporal punishment applied to the sin. I was kind of a way for the church to make so extra cash, big business back in the day. This gave way for Luther s "95 Theses" which he posted on Wittenberg Castle Church Door in October 31, 1517.(Smith 40) Luther theses protested against use of indulgences, so he sent He also sends copies of the theses to a few bishops and some friends.( Smith 43-46) His intent was to raise debate, he got little response. Until March 26, 1518 Heidelberg begins. It was a debate of Luther s ideas at a meeting of the Augustinian chapter. The papal court begins an inquisition in Rome in response to Luther ideas. Luther is tried in his absence on charges of heresy. August 7 Luther is summoned to Rome within sixty days to answer charges against. October 12 Luther begins his interview with Cardinal Cajetan in Augusburg. Cajetan tells him to recant on what he said, and return to the heart of the church and stop his disruption of church life. Than on October 14 Luther ends his interview with Cajetan, he refused to recant, and he fled from Augsberg the next day in fear of his life.(Smith 46-50)
Know his propositions were made public, they caused great excitement and were
immediately translated into German and widely distributed, but they were a threat to the
church. October 30 Luther returned back in Wittenberg and was under Elector Frederick III of Saxony Protection.(Smith 50) In March 29, 1519 Luther Wrote a letter to Pope, it stated that it was not his intention to undermine the authority of the pope or the church, and he was going to recant. (Smith 56) It never got to the pope or something happen. In 1520 Luther begins an intensive period of polemic writings. He begins to use them in debates at Wittenberg and at other cities. It caused an investigation by Roman Curia that led to the condemnation in June 15, 1520 because his teachings and then excommunication on January 1521. ( Ritter 93-96) Because He burned the condemnatio publicly. Also because of a book he wrote called Freedom of the Christian Man, not really the book but the letter to the pope at the end of the book. He apologized to the Pope but denounce what he sees as false doctrine and corruption.(Ritter 100-101) In 1521, April 17 the first hearing of the Diet of Worms began. An official of Trier points to table of books and asks Luther if he is willing to recant. Luther sees that some of the books are his writings on Sripture. These he is unwilling to recant. He asked for a recess.(Smith 104-112 ) April 18 during the second hearing of the Diet, Luther says, "Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other My conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me"(Smith 104-112) April 25 Diet of Worms is Dismissed, and he was hidden away in a castle in Wartburg where he continued to develop his new church. Under protection of Elector Frederick III of Saxony, Luther translated the New Testament from Greek into German and began a translation of the entire Bible. ( Smith 126) Disorders in Wittenberg caused by some more extreme followers forced his return to the city in March 1521, and he restored peace through a series of sermons. His opposition to the Peasants' War (1524-25) cost him some popular support. Nevertheless, through his forceful writings and preaching, his doctrines spread( Smith 166)
Martin Luther stands in history as one of those unique forces, an individual who by
force of will and by his ideas changed the world fundamentally. What had started as a furious attempt to reform the church overnight turned into a project of building a new church independent of the Catholic church. Nevertheless, this small work, "The Freedom of the Christian," is the theological and ideological core of Luther's thinking; the fundamental term of value, that center around which every other aspect of his thought rotates, is the concept of Freiheit, "freedom," or "liberty." ( Reu65)This is not our concept of freedom, but in the eventual turn of time it will give rise to the notion of "individual freedom," and later "political freedom," and later "economic freedom." Most of the European Enlightenment revolves around freedom and the project of "liberating" people, Westerners still participate in this Enlightenment project today. This idea of "liberating" people, so common to the international politics of our own period, comes out of Luther's idea of "freedom." He was a good man, and strong belief that are still with us