Martin Luther The Great Emancipator Of Human History The History Of Martin Luther And His Role In The Protestant Revolt Works Cited Included

2853 words - 11 pages

Introduction"When I die, I want to be a ghost, so I can continue to pester the bishops until they have more trouble with a dead Martin Luther then they could have had with 1000 living ones" - Martin Luther (3)"Stand up for what you believe", "All of us are precious in the sight of God", "...God, it's me again...". These are common phrases for our time, but in order for this belief system to be passed onto us, a man named Martin Luther was willing to die. The fact that people believe their relationship with God is personal is the result of Martin Luther. Divisions in the Catholic Church began emerging in the late Middle Ages, "but it was the Protestant Reformation, ignited by Martin Luther, that splintered Western Christianity."(6)Early YearsMartin Luther was born at Eisleben in Saxony on November 10, 1483 to his parents Hans Luther and Margaret Ziegler. Luther was an alter boy; said to have had a painful childhood with failures and lingering feelings of poor self esteem. Some of these issues might be connected to Hans Luther who was a fierce judge of his son. Margaret Luther was also known to be abusive. It would be logical to assume that these early experiences with fear of failure and punishment planted the seeds for future personal torment. (1)Martin Luther came from a family with humble beginnings. They were considered peasants with Hans working as a smelter in the copper mines. The family financial situation began to improve in 1491 when Hans was elected to the city council and in 1511 when he became owner of several mines and foundries. Hans wanted Martin to attend law school to further the family prosperity he had begun. Martin was enrolled at the University of Erfurt in 1501; receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1502 and a masters of arts in 1505. Also in 1505, honoring his fathers wishes, Martin enrolled in law school. (1)Law Student to RevolutionaryIn 1505, a plague known as the "Black Death" struck the college town. It came without warning and because some people got it and some did not; people felt this was God's punishment. Eventually, the plague wiped out almost half the population in Europe; including three of Luther's college friends. (3)The fear of God's wrath began to change Luther's outlook on life. At age 23, while returning to school, Luther was caught in a massive thunderstorm. Luther never wrote the specific reasons why this was such a terrifying experience; however, it is known that he felt he was faced with death. During this storm, Luther struck a bargain with God to become a monk; "he turned away from the secular employment intended for him, to seek the life of a religious." This appears to be when Luther pulls away from his father and takes control of his own life. (4)Personal TortureTwo weeks after the storm, Luther cuts his hair and enters one of the severest monasteries in Germany. Monastic life at the Reformed Congregation of the Eremetical Order of St. Augustine at Erfurt (7) was very regulated. Food was...

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