Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What were the religious and political implications of Luther's reforms?

Martin Luther believed that the Catholic Church needed to be reformed. According to Luther, German rulers should be the reformers of the Church because the Church was weak to do it by itself. He also attacked the Church about indulgences and other corruptions that were going on.

He denounced the extremes of the church. He made a great emphasis on the Word and deeper desire for learning the religion. Luther promoted free education for all children to support the increasing literacy and to continue the path of education. Luther rejected religious superstructure of Catholicism. The monastic and Episcopal lords received wealth and lands which was envied by people. In addition, the clergy had low moral and intellectual condition which, Luther believed were a humiliation to the church. He wanted the religion to be free from the unnecessary display and ceremony, a pure Christianity.

The attack on indulgences, which is forgiveness of punishment for sins, usually obtained either through good works or prayers along with an appropriate sum of money for payment, was a part of his theses. He believed that God is the only on that could give forgiveness to people and indulgence was a way of taking money from the people without apparent reason. In a way it could be argued that indulgence is a corruption that existed in the church.

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