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Conversion to monastic life

Doctor of theology.

Who was Martin Luther?

What is lutheranism, what was radical about martin luther’s teachings, what implications did martin luther’s work have for realms other than the religious, did martin luther have a family.

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Martin Luther

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Martin Luther

Martin Luther, a 16th-century monk and theologian, was one of the most significant figures in Christian history. His beliefs helped birth the Reformation —which would give rise to Protestantism as the third major force within Christendom, alongside Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy . His denunciation of the Catholic church’s doctrine and practices triggered a series of proceedings that culminated in the Edict of Worms, a document that proclaimed him a heretic and declared war on Protestantism. But his actions had already set the Reformation in motion, which would introduce new religious, political, and economic trajectories to Europe and the world.

Lutheranism is one of the five major strands of Protestantism . It is rooted in the teachings of the 16th-century theologian Martin Luther. Lutheranism’s tenets—at odds with many aspects of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy —include the rejection of the hierarchical split between clergy and laity, in favor of Scripture as the ultimate authority in matters of faith ( sola scriptura ); the recognition of only two of the seven traditionally recognized sacraments , namely baptism and the Eucharist ; and the understanding that sinners are saved solely by God’s grace ( sola gratia ), by way of their faith in Christ ( sola fide ). Lutheranism now has over 65 million adherents.

Martin Luther’s understanding of faith departed from the prevailing Catholic belief system in many ways: he believed that salvation is a gift God alone grants to sinners who passively affirm their faith in Christ, rather than something a sinner can actively obtain through the performance of good works; that the Eucharist is a sacrament that undergoes consubstantiation as opposed to transubstantiation ; and that the church is an egalitarian “ priesthood of all believers ” and not hierarchically divided between laity and clergy. His translation of the Bible into German vernacular lessened the laity’s dependence on what he saw as a predatory ecclesiastical authority.

Martin Luther’s teachings had consequences for Western civilization beyond just spawning a new Christian movement. His rhetoric was appropriated by people seeking other types of social reform, such as peasants during the Peasants’ War (1524–25). His translation of the Bible into the vernacular came to bear heavily on the development of the German language. And as Max Weber famously argued, the Protestant belief that emerged from Luther’s teachings paved the way for the emergence of capitalism , a paradigmatic shift that had implications that were perhaps even more far-reaching than the Reformation itself.

Martin Luther did have a family, which reflects one of the radical aspects of his interpretation of Christianity: that he, even as an ordained priest, could marry and have sex. In 1525 he married Katherina von Bora, a former nun remembered by Luther’s students as being well versed in theology. By all accounts, Katherina and Luther had a warm and loving family life, raising five children together. The death of their daughter Magdalene affected Luther profoundly, and that loss—along with the death of a close friend of his not long before—may explain the fixation on death that characterizes his later writings.

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Martin Luther , (born November 10, 1483, Eisleben, Saxony [now in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany]—died February 18, 1546, Eisleben), German theologian and religious reformer who was the catalyst of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation . Through his words and actions, Luther precipitated a movement that reformulated certain basic tenets of Christian belief and resulted in the division of Western Christendom between Roman Catholicism and the new Protestant traditions, mainly Lutheranism , Calvinism , Anglicanism , the Anabaptists , and the anti- Trinitarians . He is one of the most influential figures in the history of Christianity .

Early life and education

Soon after Luther’s birth, his family moved from Eisleben to the small town of Mansfeld, some 10 miles (16 km) to the northwest. His father, Hans Luther , who prospered in the local copper-refining business, became a town councillor of Mansfeld in 1492. There are few sources of information about Martin Luther’s childhood apart from his recollections as an old man; understandably, they seem to be coloured by a certain romantic nostalgia .

Luther began his education at a Latin school in Mansfeld in the spring of 1488. There he received a thorough training in the Latin language and learned by rote the Ten Commandments , the Lord’s Prayer , the Apostles’ Creed , and morning and evening prayers. In 1497 Luther was sent to nearby Magdeburg to attend a school operated by the Brethren of the Common Life , a lay monastic order whose emphasis on personal piety apparently exerted a lasting influence on him. In 1501 he matriculated at the University of Erfurt, at the time one of the most distinguished universities in Germany . The matriculation records describe him as in habendo , meaning that he was ineligible for financial aid, an indirect testimonial to the financial success of his father. Luther took the customary course in the liberal arts and received the baccalaureate degree in 1502. Three years later he was awarded the master’s degree . His studies gave him a thorough exposure to Scholasticism ; many years later, he spoke of Aristotle and William of Ockham as “his teachers.”

Having graduated from the arts faculty, Luther was eligible to pursue graduate work in one of the three “higher” disciplines—law, medicine, or theology. In accordance with the wishes of his father, he commenced the study of law. Proudly he purchased a copy of the Corpus Juris Canonici (“Corpus of Canon Law”), the collection of ecclesiastical law texts, and other important legal textbooks. Less than six weeks later, however, on July 17, 1505, Luther abandoned the study of law and entered the monastery in Erfurt of the Order of the Hermits of St. Augustine , a mendicant order founded in 1256. His explanation for his abrupt change of heart was that a violent thunderstorm near the village of Stotternheim had terrified him to such a degree that he involuntarily vowed to become a monk if he survived. Because his vow was clearly made under duress, Luther could easily have ignored it; the fact that he did not indicates that the thunderstorm experience was only a catalyst for much deeper motivations. Luther’s father was understandably angry with him for abandoning a prestigious and lucrative career in law in favour of the monastery. In response to Luther’s avowal that in the thunderstorm he had been “besieged by the terror and agony of sudden death,” his father said only: “May it not prove an illusion and deception.”

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By the second half of the 15th century, the Augustinian order had become divided into two factions, one seeking reform in the direction of the order’s original strict rule, the other favouring modifications. The monastery Luther joined in Erfurt was part of the strict, observant faction. Two months after entering the monastery, on September 15, 1505, Luther made his general confession and was admitted into the community as a novice.

Luther’s new monastic life conformed to the commitment that countless men and women had made through the centuries—an existence devoted to an interweaving of daily work and worship . His spartan quarters consisted of an unheated cell furnished only with a table and chair. His daily activities were structured around the monastic rule and the observance of the canonical hours , which began at 2:00 in the morning. In the fall of 1506, he was fully admitted to the order and began to prepare for his ordination to the priesthood . He celebrated his first mass in May 1507 with a great deal of fear and trembling, according to his own recollection.

But Luther would not settle for the anonymous and routine existence of a monk. In 1507 he began the study of theology at the University of Erfurt. Transferred to the Augustinian monastery at Wittenberg in the fall of 1508, he continued his studies at the university there. Because the university at Wittenberg was new (it was founded in 1502), its degree requirements were fairly lenient . After only a year of study, Luther had completed the requirements not only for the baccalaureate in Bible but also for the next-higher theological degree, that of Sententiarius, which would qualify him to teach Peter Lombard ’s Four Books of Sentences ( Sententiarum libri IV ), the standard theological textbook of the time. Because he was transferred back to Erfurt in the fall of 1509, however, the university at Wittenberg could not confer the degrees on him. Luther then unabashedly petitioned the Erfurt faculty to confer the degrees. His request, though unusual, was altogether proper, and in the end it was granted.

His subsequent studies toward a doctoral degree in theology were interrupted, probably between the fall of 1510 and the spring of 1511, by his assignment to represent the observant German Augustinian monasteries in Rome. At issue was a papal decree by Pope Julius II that had administratively merged the observant and the nonobservant houses of the order. It is indicative of Luther’s emerging role in his order that he was chosen, along with a monastic brother from Nürnberg , to make the case for the observant houses in their appeal of the ruling to the pope . The mission proved to be unsuccessful, however, because the pope’s mind was already made up. Luther’s comments in later years suggest that the mission made a profoundly negative impression on him: he found in Rome a lack of spirituality at the very heart of Western Christendom.

Soon after his return Luther transferred to the Wittenberg monastery to finish his studies at the university there. He received his doctorate in the fall of 1512 and assumed the professorship in biblical studies, which was supplied by the Augustinian order. At the same time, his administrative responsibilities in the Wittenberg monastery and the Augustinian order increased, and he began to publish theological writings, such as the 97 theses entitled Disputation Against Scholastic Theology .

Although there is some uncertainty about the details of Luther’s academic teaching, it is known that he offered courses on several biblical books—two on the book of Psalms —as well as on St. Paul’s epistles to the Romans , the Galatians , and the Hebrews . From all accounts Luther was a stimulating lecturer. One student reported that he was

a man of middle stature, with a voice that combined sharpness in the enunciation of syllables and words, and softness in tone. He spoke neither too quickly nor too slowly, but at an even pace, without hesitation and very clearly.

Scholars have scrutinized Luther’s lecture notes for hints of a developing new theology, but the results have been inconclusive. Nor do the notes give any indication of a deep spiritual struggle, which Luther in later years associated with this period in his life.

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Martin Luther and the Reformation essay

Before Martin Luther, one of the first people to begin the reformation of religion was John wycliffe of England, who was the first to sound the trumpet for the reformation. Now, we all agree that Martin Luther was the first person to initiate the reformation, but wycliffe also played an important role. In Britain, he used his service and struggle to rehearse many path choices and game models of the religious reform, leaving valuable lessons and experience for later reformers including Martin Luther.

Between 1345 and 1350 wycliffe attended Oxford University, where he taught for more than 20 years. He served as a chaplain to the king from 1369 to 1374 and retired to latworth for the last 10 years of his life.

Like later religious reformers such as Martin Luther, wycliffe did not initially intend to antagonise the holy see. But the more he studied the bible, the more he saw that the holy see had abandoned the faith of god. He called on the people to read the bible and translate it from Latin into English by themselves, so that the authority of the bible could be restored to the highest authority of the church. He was the first to put forward the doctrine of justification by faith, and in this sense Martin Luther said, if wycliffe is a heretic, I am a heretic like him. Of the “big five” of the reformation, at least “bible” and “faith” were wycliffe’s first.

A professor of theology at Oxford University and a noted scholar, wyclef was also an eloquent preacher. He lived an extremely pious life and practiced the truth he preached, which soon won the respect, trust and support of the people.

During his time as a court priest, he courageously opposed the Pope’s order to pay tribute to the king of England, arguing that it was against reason and the bible for the Pope to interfere with the king. The remark quickly gained widespread acceptance among the British upper classes. English Kings and nobles united to deny the political authority assumed by the Pope and to refuse tribute. In this way, the supreme authority that the Pope once enjoyed in England was dealt a heavy blow.

Wycliffe had four contributions: first, wycliffe was one of the first Englishmen to insist on the completeness and authority of the bible; Second, wyclif was one of the first Englishmen to attack and publicly accuse the Roman church of errors; Third, wycliffe was one of the first Englishmen to accept the apostolic method of preaching; Fourth, and most important, wycliffe was the first Englishman to translate the bible into English.

In these senses alone, wycliffe is the first self-conscious religious reformer in history, the pioneer of the wave of European nation-state independence, and the father of Britain. And in that sense, the later reformers, Jan hus and Martin Luther, were students of wycliffe. So the reformation started with Martin Luther, but he wasn’t the originator of the reformation. Wycliffe was. His place in theology and the history of the church was a pivotal link between the past and the present, ending the middle ages and ushering in the modern era.

The second we are going to discuss is jan hus, a Czech patriot and prominent religious reformer. The reformation in the Czech republic led by huss created public opinion for the war in huss and had a profound influence on the reformation throughout Europe in the 16th century.

Hus was born around 1372 into a poor peasant family in the southern Czech village of hussinitz. As the only boy in his family, he was loved by his parents. His parents had worked hard to get him through elementary school in the town of prahtizai, not far from the village. In 1391 huss entered the school of liberal arts at the university of Prague. He graduated in 1394 with a degree and taught at the school. In 1401 huss was elected dean of the faculty of arts at the university of Prague. He was elected rector of the university of Prague in 1402 and began his ministry at Bethlehem chapel in Prague that year.

Hus was a pioneer of the reformation and many of his words were accepted by later protestants. He also had an important influence on the nations of Europe and on Martin Luther King. Hus wrote many books in his life and made outstanding contributions to the history of Czech literature. Huth believe the bible first, rather than the Pope ordered on the clerics, such as rules, emphasized the sovereignty belongs to the church of Jesus Christ, to the thoughts and ideas and wrote a book of church, even harshly criticized the Pope and other clergy, is deviating from the Christian faith, and loved money and abuse of power, and so on, is really to teach one of the pioneers. The church was in the midst of a “great schism” : two competing popes were elected before the Roman cardinal council: quigley xii of Rome and John xxiii of avignon. King John xxiii to combat with the slope and release the indulgences to all who are in need, with money in exchange for huth is once spent a lot money to buy indulgences, but now huth is greatly condemn such violation of the bible teaches, then John xxiii will teach, huth cancel finally, even in the name of the heresy under him into prison. After eight months in prison, haggard and frail, hus was taken to the city gate, tied to a stake and burned to death. This led to the re-emergence of the crusaders and the campaigns of the Bohemian faithful of huss, which did not end until the 15th century. Hus also created a new orthography that laid the foundation for the written language of Czech.

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Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation Essay



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The entire historical course of transforming the Roman Catholic Church into a powerful secular monarchy persistently led to its inevitable departure from the principles of the Universal Church and internal contradiction. The principle of general unconditional obedience was linked not to the Holy Roman Church but its sole leader – the Pope. The latter acted as the sovereign of the monarchs, resorting to armed force to suppress heresies and completing a series of crusades.

In the sphere of moral concepts, there was a departure of Roman Christianity from the Gospel principles. The doctrines of papal indulgences and satisfaction for sins distracted the attention of laity from striving for moral purity and directed to ways of avoiding punishments. 1 Among other challenges, there was simony, the replacement of church positions with people completely inappropriate for pastoral service, the decline of morality among the clergy, large fees, and overall excessive enrichment of the Church.

Martin Luther, a German theologian who was indignant by the widespread trade in indulgences, decided to hold a theological dispute over the identified situation. He disputed whether a sinful soul could be saved for money as the Pope and the Roman curia asserted. According to Luther, this was contrary to the Scriptures and the very idea of a church. The theologian considered that a sinful person who truly believed in an omnipotent and perfect God becomes righteous in His eyes, and he or she does not need any indulgences. 2

Justification understood as forgiveness of sins is, according to Luther, exclusively God’s grace that does not depend on a person’s actions, righteous deeds, or money. The dissatisfaction with the activity of the church had already begun to rise among the laity, but nobody spoke about it since people were frightened to fall into disgrace of the Pope of Rome.

The assumptions proposed by Luther undermined the foundation on which the spiritual power of Catholicism was built and threatened to destroy this foundation completely. Through his theses, Luther declared that the church should not be a mediator between a person and God. It was also claimed that the Pope is not entitled to give absolution because a man can save his or her soul only through faith in the Lord but not by means of the church. 3

At first, the Pope paid no attention to the mentioned ideas since he regarded them as the manifestations of feuds between parishes, which were quite common in that period. Then, the Church regarded Luther’s ideas as threatening, which was based on extremely raising confusion among people and support to such ideas. As a result, the Reformation as a broad religious and socio-political movement in Western and Central Europe of the 16th and early 17th century aimed at reforming Catholic Christianity in accordance with the Bible.

The impact of Luther’s reforms on the laity was enormous since the theological rejected the Papal decree forbidding continuing the controversy and continued to struggle against the infringement of church foundations. Luther wrote and published three temperamentally written books in which he outlined his program, including ting the papal yoke from Germany, abolishing monasticism, priesthood, and ecclesiastical landownership, and focusing on baptism and communion.

In particular, the following actions were suggested: to cancel the mass and cult of the saints as idolatry since God does not need intermediaries, open free access to the Bible, as well as eliminate indulgences and overall secular power. The speech of the identified theologian shook the laity who started to organize the movement, which demanded church transformations and the elimination of monastic rules. Luther gained special support among the emerging capitalists as the papal church rejected the commercial activity along with the economic autonomy of the population by denouncing personal savings.

Luther was a key persona that affected the onset and further transformation of the Catholic Church. As stated by Luther, the focal idea of the Reformation was to non-violently restrict the authority of the Pope of Rome without conflicts. However, the unstructured demonstrations of the population were often followed by massacres of Catholic parishes. Luther began with a critique of indulgences and simplified views on repentance in the Roman Catholic Church, and he came to rather important spiritual and practical generalizations that aimed people at a new attitude to God, the church, and social foundations.

The impact of Luther was revolutionary as it changed the attitudes of people towards the very way of life. The market economy, technical progress, social protection institutions, and struggle for various rights – all these consequences were promoted by the Reformation.

Speaking of Luther’s understanding of God, it is important to pinpoint that his ideas changed with time. In particular, the goal of his life was striving towards God, believing that the soul needs God’s mercy, and it is saved only when it follows the Word of God. 4 The adoption of the thesis of salvation by personal faith, which implies opening one’s soul to the action of God’s grace, contributed to the formation of anti-Catholic and, eventually, an anti-Pap sentiment. Time of the Diet of Worms was the most brilliant moment in Luther’s life – he was not yet the founder of the new church, but he defended the right of people to freedom of conscience. His true greatness was that he solemnly, in the face of the whole world, declared that there is a part of a human life with which no power can interfere.

The main statement of Luther was the idea that the church organization as an intermediary between God and a man is not needed as every believer can communicate directly with God through prayer, fasting, and reading the Bible. 5 No one should authoritatively and coercively instruct people in matters of faith, and they have the right and the ability to decide how to believe and what to do in life. In other words, Luther attempted to state that every person perceives God differently, and it is correct until the universal norms are followed. The provision of a specific definition might lead to social, political, and economic problems based on the fact that Luther wanted to integrate various social layers and resolve the largest political and economic concerns.

In conclusion, it is essential to emphasize that the Reformation was largely driven by Luther’s 95 theses and arguments. They showed the decline of the papal church and defended theological approaches to the ideology of bourgeois emancipation. The theologian justified the secularization of church property and legitimized the shift in property relations in favor of the burghers and nobility. The doctrine of justification only by faith and the priesthood of all believers were put in the foundation of the reformational ideology consistent with the interests of the burghers, the humanist intelligentsia, and laity.

Bobo, David. “The Concept of the Church in the Reformation Movement.” Restoration Quarterly 2 (1958): 220-227.

Luther, Martin. Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the power and efficacy of indulgences . Delhi: Prabhat Prakashan, 2000.

“ Selected Works of Martin Luther 1483 – 1546. ” Internet Christian Library. Web.

Surburg, Raymond F. The Significance of Luther’s Hermeneutics for the Protestant Reformation . Missouri, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 1953.

Wiesner, Merry E. Early Modern Europe, 1450-1789 . 3rd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

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Martin Luther And The Catholic Church

Martin Luther was arguably one of the most important figures in the entire history of Christianity. If the creation of the Lutheran Church was not enough of an accomplishment, he can also be credited with orchestrating the division of the Catholic and Protestant churches. Even as a young Augustinian Monk Martin Luther was convinced the Catholic Church had lost its way. He obsessed over his purity and relationship with God, and strongly believed the Catholic Church had lost its way over the selling of “Indulgences”. Essentially, how the Church misinterpreted and taught the concepts of sin relative to temporal and eternal punishment. He was destined to confront the Catholic Church which he did and ultimately led to the separation events that are still highly relevant to this day. This was the primary driver for the first phase of his rebellion. The second was his German translation of the New Testament, which he used to both teach anyone to read and learn the holy book.

Luther 's Address For The Christian Nobility Of The German Nation

Using the Ninety-Five Theses, Martin Luther almost single handedly lead the reformation of the Protestants in 1520. Although his father was strict, Luther followed his own path by questioning the limits of the church. Because of this, the church shunned Luther and punished him accordingly. Luther spent most of his time studying writings by Augustine which he used these ideas to influence the way Christianity is practiced today. Creating Lutheranism as well as the basic concepts for many branches of religions today.

Luther's Letter Of Indulgences

Luther wrote about his ideas because he saw several faults in how the church was run. He didn't do anything for personal gain, but rather for the good of Christians as he thought the churches had taken away the bases of Christianity. For example, they started selling letter of indulgences, which is something he disagreed on majorly as it is never mentioned in the bible. Luther didn't think it was right that the church could judge you and grant you forgiveness if you paid them, and he thought the only one who could judge anyone was God himself. According to Luther, God didn't care about any letter of indulgences, only your actions.

Martin Luther's Research Paper

Martin Luther's contribution to the Church could easily be dismissed because he is well known as anti-Semitic. In truth, he was, as most people are, more complicated than this. Luther is a wonderful example of the Grace of God using imperfect people. Luther is history's best proponent of justification by grace, yet some of his views did not always reflect God's love. God has not changed, He still chooses the average person to advance His kingdom. And why shouldn't He, we are all He's got!

Essay about Martin Luther's Impact on the Catholic Church

Martin Luther was a Monk, Priest and Theologian born in late 1483 in the German town of Eisleben. His father owned a copper mine and had always wished for his son to go into civil service. When Luther was seventeen he arrived at the University of Erfurt. By 1502, Luther had already received his bachelor’s degree and by 1505 he had a Master’s degree. The same year, while returning to University, he was caught in a tremendous thunderstorm. A lightening bolt struck near him and terrified, he cried out, "Help, St. Anne! I'll become a monk!”. Luther lived, and keeping to his promise, he dropped out of university and entered the monastery.

Martin Luther and the Reformation

A German Augustinian friar, Martin Luther launched the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century. Luther grew up the son of a miner, but he did not maintain that lifestyle for himself. He lived in a period that had a widespread desire for reformation of the Christian church and a yearning for salvation.

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essay on martin luther reformation

Martin Luther and the Reformation

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Religion , Social Issues , History

Christianity , Racism , Medieval Europe

Catholic Church , Martin Luther King , Reformation

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