22 pages • 44 minutes readMartin Luther
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Born on November 10, 1483, Martin Luther came from Eisleben, then a part of the Holy Roman Empire. Today, it is a town in the province of Saxony-Anhalt in Northern Germany. Luther’s father wanted him to become a lawyer. Instead, Luther studied theology. When a lightning bolt nearly struck him while he was riding on horseback during a storm, Luther vowed to God that would he become a monk if his life was spared.
At the time he wrote the “Ninety-Five Theses,” Martin Luther was a professor of theology at the University of Wittenberg (Introduction). It was not unusual for a document like the “Ninety-Five Theses” to be written by someone in the clergy and spark debate. However, it was unexpectedly popular. Through the recently developed European printing press, copies were widely translated and published throughout Europe. It inspired other widely published pamphlets that either supported Luther or attacked him. Eventually, Luther and his works were condemned not only by church authorities but also by Pope Leo X and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
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As Luther came under increasing attack, his views on religion became more radical. He became a prolific writer who wrote pamphlets and books. Over the course of 1520, he wrote three pamphlets that proved to be hugely influential: