Martin Luther's Views Of The Protestant Reformation And Lutheranism

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The Protestant Reformation was a major religious transition in the Western Hemisphere. It was originally theorized by a man named John Hus in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century. His teachings are thought to be the inspiration for men such as Martin Luther. Luther, an avid reformer, began speaking out about the Pope and the widely used practice of indulgences, which were payments made by members of the Church to repent for their sins. Prior to this uprising there had been grand attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church, but to no avail. Luther’s attacks grew wider in scope as he began to criticize numerous Catholic practices and ideologies. The Reformation movement and Lutheranism rapidly branched off into multiple religious…show more content…
From an early age Martin Luther was drawn to the ways of monastic life, but Luther’s father had other plans for his son. In 1505, Luther graduated as a young lawyer from the University of Erfurt. Later that year, Luther was trapped in a horrifying thunderstorm in which he was nearly struck by lightning. He viewed this near-death encounter as a divine message from God and on July 15,1505 he entered into the Augustinian Monastery. In 1517, Martin Luther, a then unrecognized monk and scholar, released his “95 Theses”, also known as“Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences”, protesting many of the seemingly corrupt acts practiced by the Catholic Church. Acts such as the selling of indulgences, “holy” priests who possessed concubines, and the idea that people could reach the salvation of God with deeds and not their faith in the Almighty. The word spread quickly throughout Germany and rapidly moved into Rome with the use of the new Gutenberg printing press. It was now extremely easy to have multiple copies made, and thus the Gutenberg press became a key factor in the reformation. Lutheranism and its followers became quite provocative among the common people and throughout the Catholic Church, quoting such things as”why does not the pope, whose wealth today is greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build the basilica of St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers?”( On April…show more content…
John Calvin, a French theologian, became the figurehead of the second generation of the Protestant reformers. In 1536, Calvin published Institutes of the Christian Religion. It emphasized the authority of scripture, and the belief that God had predetermined only a select few to enter the kingdom of Heaven. He spread his ideas throughout Geneva until 1538 when he was forced into Germany by anti-Protestants. He was asked to return in 1541 where he established a religious government based on Protestant ideas that he had acquired while in Martin Luther’s home-country of Germany. In 1555, Calvin became the supreme leader of Geneva. Contrary to Luther’s passion, Calvin regarded Protestantism with a more cold and intellectual approach. Under his rule, anyone who did not share his narrow view was either exiled or executed. This allowed Geneva to become the flourishing epicenter of Protestantism, and spread Calvinist views across Europe. This rapid expansion led to numerous branches of the Protestant Movement such as the Puritans of England, the Reformed Church of the Netherlands, and the Presbyterian Scots
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