WESTERN CIVILIZATION ESSAY

Published: 2021-07-06 23:16:32
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Category: English

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Prior to writing the 95 theses in 1517, Luther was not only a professor in theology but also a priest at the city church in Wittenberg for the past 3 years. That in mind, it also means that he was responsible for the salvation of his church members. His revolutionary ideas were a catalyst that eventually led to his breaking away from the Catholic faith and the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Luther’s inspiration to write the radical“95 Theses” came about when he discovered the extent of corruption within the church during his time. In essence, the Theses challenged Catholic faith and sought to reform the Catholic Church by engaging in debates with other scholars about this and other issues pertaining to church policies.Selling of “indulgences” to people in the name that they would we pardoned or accorded exact penitence for their wrong deeds was one of the key issues that concerned Luther and motivated him to pin the Theses. It was further claimed that indulgences would set one’s loved ones from purgatory once the little pennies were put in the money-box. Luther was aggravated by these acts which depicted God as money-oriented and would be appeased by earthly gifts. To him, these church leaders were misleading the people to believe in man-made doctrines. As much as the Pope had the power to do away with penances imposed on the clergy, only God was able to lead to salvation through interior contrition. That said, indulgences are positively harmful as captured in the Theses because they give believers false assurance of salvation at the expense of true repentance.The publication of the “95 Theses” by Luther was considered a heresy against God and would lead to Luther’s excommunication or even death. Although he knew the associated risks, he still published them in a bid to let the populace and the common person to familiarize with the truth. His motive came to pass when the Theses were translated to German and thereafter distributed worldwide. The result was disenchantment of the Catholic ways by most of its followers.In 1521, Luther was excommunicated by the then Pope, Pope Leo X, and declared a heretic. Moreover, permission was given to anyone to kill him. At this point we realize the judicial power held by the church to pass judgment. Prince Frederic of Saxony, a supporter Luther’s works, decided to offer security to Luther despite the Pope’s order as he truly believed in his teachings. While hiding in Frederick’s castle, it was then that Luther acquired the opportunity to translate the Bible into the German language. 12 years later after the Theses had pinned is when the word “Protestant” became popular to describe all those that supported him against the Catholics. The members of the new church also declared allegiance to God and withdrew any loyalty or commitments that they had for the emperor. This was where the name “protestant” came from and marked all those in support of church reformation. Luther died in 1546 living what is today known as Protestant Reformation.Works CitedJenkins, Philip. “The next christianity.” The Atlantic Monthly 290.3 (2002): 53-68.Kittelson, James M. Luther the reformer: The story of the man and his career. Fortress Press, 2016.Luther, Martin. “Ninety-five theses.” 120 banned (2011): 277.

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