Sunday, February 08, 2009

Martin Luther's 95 Theses

Early Modern Illiteracies
Harvey J. Graff

The Reformation “was triggered by the publication of Martin Luther’s ninety-five theses in 1518”. During this time he became increasingly dissatisfied with the Roman Catholic Church and accused them of many heresies. He nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Church at Wittenberg. He felt that the church was wrong in selling indulgences like what was being done by Johann Tetzel, a Dominican priest, and he also challenged the Churches position regarding a man’s salvation. His theses was copied and published in German where it spread like wild fire through out Germany and all of Europe.

Luther’s new Protestant views were condemned by the Church. He was labeled a heretic by Pope Leo X and told that he had to either renounce his views or reaffirm them at the Diet of Worms Assembly. At the Assembly he was asked if he still believed in his views and was given a day to think about it before he made his decision.

The next day he apologized fir the tone and harshness of the theses but said, "Unless I am convinced by proofs from Scriptures or by plain and clear reasons and arguments, I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen." With that he was declared enemy of the Church and an outlaw.


At 11:54 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post.

Martin Luther's role in the Protestant Reformation is an important part of the history of Western Civilization. Understanding the role of print in the religious conflicts of the 16th century is crucial here. Both sides needed the power of print to spread their doctrine. Control over the press was crucial to political and religious power.


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