Martin Luther
1483 - 1546
German Reformer
Luther led the Protestant Reformation in Germany and he became the first great figure of Protestantism. He preached the revolutionary idea that salvation could not be attained through priests or donations but only through faith.

Luther was born in Eisleben, Germany. He spent three years in a monastery and was ordained in 1507.

After a visit to Rome he was angered by the sale of indulgences and in 1517 he drew up 95 theses on indulgences, which he nailed on the church door at Wittenberg.

He was summoned to Rome to defend his theses, but refused to go. At a disputation in Leipzig (1519) Luther denied papal primacy, the tradition of the church and the infallibility of councils.

After his break with Rome an order for the destruction of his books was issued. In 1521 he was summoned to appear before the Diet at Worms, and was put under the ban of the Empire by Charles V.

Granted refuge by Frederick the Wise at the Wartburg Luther made a great contribution to German literature with his translation of the Bible, which introduced the 'High' German of modern times.

Luther also wrote many commentaries on Scripture, theology and ecclesiastical abuses.

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From the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy