Germany as Fertile Ground for Luther's Message Essay

Germany as Fertile Ground for Luther's Message Essay

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Germany as Fertile Ground for Luther's Message

On 31st October 1517, All Saints Eve, Martin Luther (a monk and
lecturer at

the University of Wittenburg in Northern Germany) took the fateful
step of nailing a

sheet of 95 Theses, or arguments against indulgences, to the door of

Castle Church. Following this simple act, there came massive
repercussions; indeed,

a reformation of the entire German Church followed.

The news of Luther's act of rebellion spread through Germany rapidly,

caused an almost immediate response. This is surprising because the
theses were

written in Latin, a language in which very few of the German
population were

educated. Despite this, Luther had a following that ranged from the
educated German

nobility to the uneducated peasants. Some historians say that the
peasants only

supported Luther because they misunderstood his message and his

However, some of Luther's grievances linked to the lower classes. For

example, in his theses, Luther was very public about his dislike of
religious taxes and

the sale of indulgences. He believed in the dismissal of religious

(Priesthood of All Believers). He very famously believed in
justification through

faith alone, which meant the dismissal of prescribed strict eating
regimes, working

days, a religiously based calendar and the purchasing of indulgences
would not help

you in the eyes of God, only faith. Cameron said that Luther flattered
the common

people, through his belief that everyone is equal in Gods eyes, there
is no religious

hierarchy. Thi...

... middle of paper ...

...e area. Luther had his 95 Theses distributed within two weeks.
There were

woodcuts within the pamphlets for the illiterate as well as Luther's
Theses and other

writings. This was an excellent way for propaganda to be published and

In conclusion, it can be seen that the reason Germany was such fertile

for Luther's message was the widespread resentment of Rome. The German

could not understand why their money was being taken away from them
and their

political affairs interfered with by a power they could not see. Most
of Luther's

supporters were peasants, and these were the people to whom money
mattered the

most, because they had so little of it. It would seem that the
reformation was

based on economic and political grounds rather than spiritual beliefs.

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