Abolition Of Images

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This essay will focus on the above epigraph from “On the abolition of images and that there should be no beggars among Christians” pamphlet, published in 1522, Lindberg, C. (ed.) (2000) The European Reformations Sourcebook, Oxford, Blackwell, P, 57 by Reformation reformer Andreas Karlstadt (1483-1546). The epigraph will be used as a springboard, which will discuss the theme of authority during this period, and how religion was challenged during the Protestant Reformation in Germany. The significance of the quote will be examined by exploring the background in which it was written. This will be followed by looking closely at the text of the pamphlet “On Images” and the epigraph within it, and discuss to what degree it challenged authority. …show more content…
In the Early 16th Century, some scholars including Luther began to question the teachings and the authority of the Roman Catholic Church; this came about after studying translations of original texts from the bible, which became more widely available. Philosopher Augustine (340–430) proclaimed the bible was more authoritative than church officials. He also believed that salvation could only be obtained by god’s forgiveness, and therefore, the men of the church had no authority at all when it came to forgiveness. The Catholic Church taught that salvation was possible by attending mass and good works, which would please God. Luther agrees with Augustine’s beliefs, which formed the basis of Protestantism. The 95 Theses questioned the Roman Catholic faith and became the foundation of the Protestant reformation. In the next few years, attempts were made by Habsburg Emperor Charles V (1519-56) and Pope Leo X (1513-21) to subdue Luther. He was summoned before Pope Leo to appear before Charles to explain his actions at what we now know as the Diet of worms. (Grell, Chapter 4.2 The Protestant Reformation and iconoclasm, The Wittenberg iconoclasm. P.174, 2014) It was feared that not only was Luther challenging the authority of the Catholic Church but that he was also destroying the respect people had for tradition and rules. It was feared that these challenges would cause upset, especially among the poor. After Luther’s excommunication, he was held under armed protection at Wittenberg castle. During this time, 1521, Karlstadt began to assume a position of influence or authority. Karlstatdt began to gain the trust of Lutherans and believed it was his Christian duty to remove all images because he was doing gods will, which lead to iconoclastic disturbances in Wittenberg. In march of 1522, Frederick the wise agreed to release Luther, to

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