Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 49

Martin Luther - Early life, Monastic and academic life, Justification by faith, The 95 Theses, Widening breach

issued reformer german indulgences

Religious reformer, born in Eisleben, EC Germany. He spent three years in an Augustinian monastery, obtained his degree at Erfurt, and was ordained in 1507. His career as a reformer began after a visit to Rome in 1510–11, where he was angered by the sale of indulgences. In 1517 he drew up 95 theses on indulgences, which he nailed on the church door at Wittenberg. Violent controversy followed, and he was summoned to Rome to defend his theses, but did not go. He then began to attack the papal system more boldly, and publicly burned the papal bull issued against him. An order was issued for the destruction of his books; he was summoned to appear before the Diet at Worms, and was put under the ban of the Empire. In 1525 he married a former nun, Katharina von Bora. The drawing up of the Augsburg Confession, where he was represented by Melanchthon, marks the culmination of the German Reformation (1530). His translation of the Bible became a landmark of German literature.

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