Martin Luther

and the

Protestant Reformation



Š     What factors contributed to the rise and success of Protestantism?

Š     Who was Martin Luther?  How did he challenge the theology and authority of the Catholic Church?


Key Terms

1) Indulgences                    6) Frederick of Saxony

2) Treasury of Merit           7) Luther and Reason

3) “Good Works”

4) Johann Tetzel

5) 95 Theses

I. The Context for the Rise of 16th Century Religious Reform Movements


Š     Legacy of Religious Criticism: Wycliffe, Hus, & the Northern Renaissance (Erasmus of Rotterdam)


Š     Humanists & Popular Piety vs. Church Materialism

o  The Sale of Indulgences

o  The Treasury of Merit


Š     Economic Interests: Tithes and Church Property


Š     Political Interests: German Princes and the Catholic Church



II.  Martin Luther’s Reformation (1500-1525)


Š     Martin Luther: Early Life, Career, and Personal Journey to Faith


Š     The Primacy of Faith over “Good Works”


Š     Johann Teztel ,the Legend of the “95 Theses”. Wittenberg, 1517


Š     Rejecting the Church and the Sacraments


Š     Why don’t they just burn him? 


o  Charles V and the Diet of Worms (1522)

o  Frederick the Elector of Saxony and the German Nobility

o  Luther’s Bible and The “Priesthood of All Believers”

o  Spread of Reformation, c.1555

o  Luther as German Hercules (Hans Holbein, 1523)

III. The Other Martin Luther: An Ambivalent Legacy


Š     Luther on “Reason”: A Damned Whore


Š     Luther on Peasants: Robbing Murderous Hordes


Š     Luther on Jews: Liars, Thieves, and Tempters


Š      Luther on Women: Like a Nail Driven into the Wall