In what way would it be fair to describe Martin Luther as a revolutionary'?

Essay by mouldy1College, UndergraduateA-, May 2005

download word file, 6 pages 3.0

To answer this question we must address the meaning of the word revolutionary.

A revolutionary is defined in the dictionary as an; extremist; insurgent; radical and drastic. It could be argued that Martin Luther was a revolutionary in his thoughts and beliefs, but not in his actions. It is for this reason that it may be easier to leave Luther with the title of reformer. The dictionary definition for reform is to improve; abandon evil practices and improvement. As a reformer, Martin Luther caused a schism that changed the world of the Catholic Church forever.

This essay will discuss whether Luther was solely responsible for the German Reformation or if it was a culmination of many factors. These factors may include whether Luther himself being in the right place at the right time. In addition, the Renaissance that was taking place, leaving the world and Europe ready for a change.

In 1500, the only religion that existed in Western Europe was Catholicism. For many

Religion was the most important thing, this being the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, the church and clergy were seen as being very corrupt, Rome was making vast amounts of money from the sale of indulgences. Indulgences were sold to the people, absolving their sins and releasing them from time spent in purgatory, all this with a word from the pope. These indulgences were not cheap and not available to many except the rich who could afford them. This did not please the ordinary man, believing it was unfair that they would have to spend more time in purgatory just for being materially less well off. This is where people began to be disillusioned with the church. The corruption within the church led the laity to examine ideas of those who challenged the church, more seriously and with...



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