GR - part A, History Revision
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Luther's ideas did not emerge out of a ______, they were a response to the _____-_____ _______ within late-medieval Catholic Church.
- deep-seated corruption
Give 4 different elements/examples of corruption in the Catholic Church.
- Simony: buying/selling of ecclesiastical offices
- Pluralism: having more than one ecclesiastical office
- Absenteeism: being absent from an office, thereby neglecting one's ecclesiastical duties/responsibilities.
- Nepotism: showing favouritism in general administration and promotion within Church
What did Popes/Papacy avoid doing? Why? Why did this not promote reform?
- Avoided the convening of Church Councils because of the fear of conciliarism.
- Councils were the main instrument of reform.
Rather than focus on the Church's affairs, Popes were more concerned with?
- administering the Papal States.
- As political rulers in charge of Papal States, Popes would regularly compete with the secular rulers of other Italian city states - on both diplomatic and military level.
Luther's ideas represented....
part of a broader movement of anti-clerical sentiment within the German lands.
Widespread dissatisfaction also arose from the incompetence of parish priests. Give examples of this incompetence.
- Clerical ignorance
- Even illiteracy!
- Clerical concubinage
- Not administering the sacraments
Christian humanism had an _______ relationship with the Protestant Reformation.
- Not sure whether you like it or not.
- Some humanists supported Luther (eg. Melanchthon) while others turned agaisnt him (Erasmus).
Development of a more _______ German/vernacular language and the development of the ______ _____ also helped spread of Luther's ideas. What did Luther do in particular as well to do this to language?
- printing press
- Luther translated the New Testament (1522) and Complete Bible (1534) in vernacular language.
Name 2 late Medieval critics of the Church before Luther. What were their main criticisms?
- John Wyclif - England
- Jan Hus - Bohemia
- Like Luther, they criticised many of the Church's doctrines that had no bases in the Holy Scriptures, and they emphasised that Scripture alone was a source of spiritual authority.
What happened to Hus when he attended an imperial diet? And when?
- Hus was found guilty and though granted a safe-conduct, was burned
What did Pope Leo X do in mid-1510s?
Introduced a new indulgences campaign in order to raise money for the rebuilding of St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome.
Why did the Archbishop of Mainz relying on the selling of indulgences?
- To pay off the debts he incurred in securing the elevation to the archbishopric of Mainz (he acquired via simony).
- This position entitled Albrecht to be one of the seven electors.
- He supervised Tetzel's selling of indulgences.
What evidence (in terms of 95 Theses) is there to suggest Luther's initial intention was not to provoke a revolution?
- 95 These did not represent a radical programme to overturn the established Church - mainly criticised indulgences.
- Written in Latin - intended for theological debate, not for public discussion.
What did Luther principally address in the 95 Theses?
- Attack on indulgences - discredited it.
- Attacked the corruption that surrounded the practice - eg. Archbishop of Mainz.
- Luther extended this to an attack on Pope's wealth.
- Significant that Luther did not merely restrict his attack to the financial corruption of indulgences, but also targeted the teachings that underpinned them.
Why did the 95 Theses spread so rapidly?
- It quickly spread beyond the narrow intellectual circles of Wittenburg university and became a public manifesto because...
- Printed in such centres as Magdeburg and Leipzig (also translated into German in Nuremberg).
- Clarity - was not overly technical - more accessible to wider audience.
- Nationalistic tone - emphasis on "nationalist" resentment of a foreign Pope.
- Angry reaction of Tetzel, Archbishop of Mainz as well as Papacy helped escalate the affair.
What made Luther write his 3 major pamphlets in 1520?
- Church showed an inability to address the corruption within Church - suggested reform would never come.
- Luther became convinced that in order to receive salvation, believers did not need either the institution of the Roman Church or the mediation of priests. He discovered that key to salvation lay in relationship between believer and God.
- No earthly institution should or could stand between God and believer.
What did the 3 major pamphlets represent in general?
represented an outright attack and rejection of the authority, hierarchy and teachings of Roman Catholic Church.
What ideas did Luther put forward in his 3 pamphlets relating to spiritual authority?
- Targeted Papacy as principle source of abuses
- Dismissed Pope's authority within Church as well as spiritual authority of Rome (eg. asserted that no revenues should be directed to Rome.
- Placed responsibility to instigate reform on the German princes.
- Denounced the entire Church hierarchy - challenged the excessive mediatory power given to priests.
- Abandoned dependence on Church tradition as a valid source of Christian teaching. (The Latin Vulgate gave clergymen exclusive access to Bible).
- Identified Bible as sole authoritative text for formulation of Christian teaching.
- Advocated "Priesthood of all Believers".
Luther reduced the number of sacraments from what to what? What did he keep? What did he abandon later?
- 7 to 3
- Later abandoned confession of sins too.
- He kept baptism and eucharist/communion
What did Luther's doctrine "Priesthood of all believers" explicitly challenge? What did he do to challenge this?
- Challenged Church's emphasis on priestly superiority.
- Many sacraments were abandoned because there were no reference in the Bible - Luther accused the Church for using them as a means to emphasise priestly superiority. (eg. ordinance)
- Critical of the mass - main source of priestly spiritual & sacramental power. - Luther promoted communion in both kinds for laity.
Give reasons why Luther's personal contribution was a crucial impetus for the Reformation.
- Able to capture the mood of dissatisfaction with Church corruption within German lands.
- Good communicator: able to articulate ideas persuasively on paper and verbally. Good preacher - important in predominantly oral culture.
- Able to simplify his complex ideas: more accessible.
- Prolific author - produced many works.
- Courage and determination: eg. defensive stances at Augsburg and Leipzig & willingness to attend Diet of Worms (even though Hus burnt in similar situation)
- Luther's pragmatism: realised he would need the support of the German nobility. (Address to Christian nobility... & condemning peasantry after Peasants' war).
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