Martin Luther: Reformer
Martin Luther was born in Eisieben, Germany, on November 10,1483, St. Martin’s Day. He was the son of Has Luther, a coal miner, and Margarethe. Martin’s parents were of the middle class and were unbending in their disciplinary acts. He attended the best schools in his region but all of them held to the barbaric discipline system of the times. This had a big impact on Martin’s personality. But he did receive some positive influence from his home environment. His parents were very pious people and brought him up to be one too. His parents also gave him a strong sense of superstition. At the age of 14 Luther went to grammar school at Magdeburg. There he got attracted to the Church and particularly the Lollards. Then in 1498 he moved to Eisenach and came in contact with a warmer church life than he was use too. He also made some important friends here including Fran Ursula Cotta. He really started going into the Church works when he attended the University at Erfurt. He was a very diligent student and quickly rose through the academic ranks. Meanwhile his father upon hearing of his son’s achievements had great hopes for him. Luther was preparing to be a lawyer to some prince or town after he received his degree in philosophy. But halfway through his training he decided to quit and take up life permanently in an Augustine monastery.
Historians speculate on why such a successful young man would want to join the monastery. Historians believe a string of events led Luther to choose the path of the Church. Being superstitious, Luther might have thought that this was god trying to get him to join the monastery. Luther made hid decision to go into the monastery during a thunderstorm. A bolt of lightening hit just a few feet away from him and threw him up into the air. He saw this as an act of god and joined the monastery. Later he and his father would look back and wonder whether it was God or the devil.
His methods of teaching were a bit unorthodox but had a natural talent for speaking to the masses that listen to him. He often used vulgar language in his classes and had liberal ideas that he preached. His vulgarity came from a few things. First of all he was constipated and often talked about it in class. He rel...
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...ed that Catholic services be followed. It also outlawed the practice of Lutheran services in all the Catholic States. The angered many of the Lutheran princes and nobles and said they would Protest this unfair decree. From this Protest came the term Protestant, or a person who protests against the Catholic Church. Charles V never seriously enforced the edict and allowed the Lutheran countries to continue their reforms. A group of Protestant Princes and Cities came together and formed the Schmalkaldic League named after they city in which the first meeting of their league was held. Also in 1530 another diet was called and the Lutheran princes decided to put their complaints in writing so they sent a scholar named Philipp Melanchuthon to what was called the Augsburg Confession. The Augsberg Confession was the systematic statement of the Lutheran belief. The Confession was written as uncontroversial as possible. Charles handed the Confession to a team of theologians to analyze and their report stated that the Church did indeed have some problems. Charles said that he would help correct the problems of the Church and that he hoped the Protestants would rejoin the Church. They did not.
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