Martin Luther

Article

January 20, 2022

Martin Luther (born November 10, 1483 in Eisleben in the German-Roman Empire, died February 18, 1546 in Eisleben) was a German Reformer and theologian who was one of the most central figures during the Reformation and an influential person in the history of Christianity. He originally became a Catholic priest in the Order of the Augustinian hermits. He received a thorough education of his order and became a professor at the University of Wittenberg. In his early 30s, he developed theological views on the authority of the church, the sacraments, man and his relationship with God which - together with his distancing from ecclesiastical evils, for example in the way indulgences were practiced - gave impetus to the Reformation and led to the founding of the Evangelical Lutheran Churches. The starting point for the Reformation is traditionally stated as All Saints' Eve on Saturday 31 October 1517, the day he sent out his discussion theses against aspects of indulgences, which he nailed to the church door in Wittenberg, according to a much-publicized but somewhat historically obscure event. But in itself this incident did not represent a landmark breach. On the other hand, it was the way in which the conflict between Luther and his opponents developed, both in its ever-escalating form and in its gravity toward theologically more central issues than just aspects of ecclesiastical penance, that produced an irreversible rupture within a few years. In 1521, Luther became outlawed, and he took refuge with a benevolent and powerful prince. His movement suffered some setbacks in connection with the German Peasant War and when it failed to keep the church-critical factions together due to divergent theological views. Luther's translations of the Bible were of great importance for the development of the German language. His hymn poetry inspired the flourishing of Christian congregational singing also in other denominations. His marriage to the nun Katharina von Bora gave the priesthood legitimacy in several Christian traditions. Luther's Reformation blew up ecclesiastical unity in continental Western Europe and Northern Europe and also had major and lasting political and cultural change consequences.

Upbringing, education, priestly marriage (1483–1509)

Martin Luther was born into a family in Eisleben on November 10, 1483, and was baptized the next day in St. Peter's and Paul's Church. (November 11 in the Catholic calendar is the day of remembrance for Martin of Tours.) Martin Luther's birthplace was lost in the city fire of 1693. The plot was acquired by the municipality, who erected a new building on the site, in memory of Luther. He grew up in Mansfeld (near Eisenach) where his father Hans Luder (from Lothar) worked in the mines. The father later became a councilor in his hometown. Here Martin got into the whole atmosphere of late medieval folk piety. In it, the belief in witches and devils played a not insignificant role, along with other superstitions. At the same time, he was strongly attached to the church. One lived in the church and with the church, as the church lived in and with the people. . Martin's educational path was also completely embedded in ecclesiastical life: Latin school in Mansfeld (1489-95) and in Magdeburg (1495-97), where he lived with the Brothers of the common life and became acquainted with "Devotio moderna". Then school in Eisenach (1498–1501). From 1501 he studied in Erfurt, where in 1505 he completed the basic philosophical course as Magister artium. His stay in Erfurt came to have great significance for his theological course. There the Occamist-nominalist "via moderna" was taught in philosophy and theology. This school of Catholic theology did not have much support in the rest of Europe, but in Saxony it was strong. It was his father's wish that Martin should become a jurist. But on July 2, 1505, when he was at Stotternheim on his way to Erfurt, he felt guilty when lightning struck right next to him. In a prayer, he promised to become a monk if Saint Anna saved his life (the Virgin Mary's mother, St. Anna, was the miners' patron saint, and Martin had

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