Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses Essay

1425 Words 6 Pages
Following the inceptive imperial coronation of Charlemagne 400 years after the widespread adoption of Christianity (c. 800 AD), the new theocratic government of the Holy Roman Empire was faced with a monumental challenge: reconciling their subject’s god given freewill with law. As the defining institution of the Holy Roman Empire, the religious schemas taught by Church’s became inextricably wound with politics. One by one, laws were enforced with divine benediction, repurposing the already well-defined belief system into a power structure benefitting those with the divine right to construe the bible to the public – the papacy. In this way, views of Christianity drifted away from the self-humbling image of personal Christian relationships presented …show more content…
Although Martin Luther mainly combated the specific problem of indulgences, his larger motivation was in proving that “no external thing has any influence in producing Christian righteousness or freedom, or in producing unrighteousness or servitude” (Freedom of a Christian 7). The introduction of cheaper printing and educational reforms lead to increased communication, unifying those most affected by the corruption of the Church – the peasants. These accusations set the power structure wobbling atop its ordained pillars in the community. The peasants, although mainly rioting madly, seeked to “demonstr[ate] by Scripture that we are free and wish to be free” (Swabian Peasants 2). Their demands are a measured challenge to the Church’s ability to convey God’s image, which was considered absolute since the Church maintained that God assigned them dominion over the temporal estate. The peasants assert their own competence in “praying to the Lord God, who alone [and no else) can give [Christian doctrine] to us” (Swabian Peasants 4). Without canonical jurisdiction, the ecclesiastical court’s unlimited power was questioned and the barriers to social change were

Related Documents