Biography of Martin Luther | German theologian.

(Eisleben, Thuringia, 1483-1546) German theologian. Steely criticisms Martín Luther approached the moral dissipation of the Roman Church, focusing initially on trade in bulls, earned him a quick excommunication in 1520, but also became the head of the Reformation, religious movement that rejected the authority of the papacy and aspired to a return to the primitive spirituality.

Martin Luther
Throughout the 16th century, by the action of Luther and other reformers and with the support of princes and monarchs eager to increase his power and independence, the reform would lead to the establishment of various Protestant in the North of Europe churches and so-called "religious wars" between Catholics and Protestants. With this last of the Great Schism of Christianity, the Protestant schism, ended the hegemony of the Catholic Church in the old continent and was configured the religious map that generally has lasted until today: national churches decoupling of Rome in the countries of the North and survival of the Catholic Church in the countries of the South.
Contrary to the will of his parents, Martín Luther became an Augustinian monk in 1505 and began studying theology at the University of Wittenberg, where earned a doctorate in 1512. Already a Professor began criticizing the situation in which the Catholic Church was: Luther protesting the frivolity that lived much of the clergy (especially the high hierarchy, as he had seen during a visit to Rome in 1510) and also censured the ecclesiastical bulls (documents that theoretically granted indulgences to the faithful by the sins committed) were subject to a purely mercantile traffic.
Criticism of Luther reflected a fairly widespread climate of discontent by the degradation of the Church, expressed from the late Middle Ages by other reformers that predecessors of Lutheranism, as the English John Wyclif (14th century) or the Bohemian Jan Hus (15th century) can be considered. The protests of Luther were rising tone until, following a campaign of selling bulls ecclesiastical to repair the St. Peter's basilica, he decided to go public with their protest drafted his famous ninety-five theses, which nailed to the door of the All Saints Church of Wittenberg (1517) and that would soon be printed under the title questioning the power and efficacy of indulgences.

Luther exposes the 95 theses (1517)
The Church did appear several times to Luther that he retractase of those ideas (in 1518 and 1519); but in every controversy Luther went further and rejected the authority of the Pope, of the councils and of the "church fathers", referring instead to the Bible and the use of reason. In 1520, Lutero completed the cycle of his break with Rome to develop their ideas into three large «written reformers»: appeal to noble Christian of the German nation the Church-Babylonian captivity and on Christian freedom. Finally, Pope León X condemned and excommunicated as a heretic in a bull Lutero publicly burned (1520); and the new emperor, Charles V, declared him outlaw after hearing its reasons in the diet of Worms (1521).
Luther remained a year hiding under the protection of the elector of Saxony Federico; but their ideas had found echo among the German people, and also among some Princes eager to assert their independence against the Pope and the Emperor, so Lutero quickly receive props that made him leader of the religious movement known as the Reformation.
Lutheran theology
Separated from the Roman obedience, Martín Luther undertook the reform of the ecclesiastical sectors that followed him and formed the first Protestant Church, which gave a theological basis. Lutheranism is based on doctrine (inspired by the writings of St. Paul and St. Augustine) that man can be saved only by his faith and by the grace of God, without that good works are necessary or much less sufficient to obtain the salvation of the soul; as a result, records as the bulls that the Catholic Church sold not only were immoral, but also useless.
Luther defended the doctrine of the "universal priesthood", involving a direct personal relationship of the individual with God in which disappeared the mediating role of the Church, depriving it of its traditional justification; the interpretation of the Scriptures did not have to be an exclusive monopoly of the clergy, but that any believer could read and freely examine the Bible, which should be translated, therefore to languages which all believers could understand. The own Luther translated it into German, creating a literary monument of great impact on the language written in Germany in the later centuries.
He also denied other ideas assumed by the Church throughout the middle ages, such as the existence of purgatory and the need that the clergy remain celibate; for example, he married a former nun converted to Lutheranism. The Catholic sacraments, Lutero only considered valid the two that found reflected in the Gospels, is to say, baptism and the Eucharist, rejecting others.
Rejecting the centralizing authority of Rome, Lutero proclaimed the independence of the national churches, whose head should be the legitimate Prince of each State; the possibility of doing with the domain of the local churches (both in its heritage and the propaganda machine to control the consciences) attracted many German princes and facilitated the extension of the reform. More as soon as that Lutero insisted on obedience to the civil power, contributing to strengthen the monarchical absolutism and refuting popular movements inspired by his teaching, as which triggered the 'war of the peasants' (1524-25).
The spread of Lutheranism resulted in the "wars of religion" faced by Catholics and Protestants in Europe throughout the 16th and 17TH centuries, although religious differences were little more than the pretext to channel power struggles in which mixed political, economic and strategic interests. Protestantism eventually consolidate itself as a Christian religion separated from Roman Catholicism; but, at the same time, also was divided into multiple streams, to appear radical dissidents in the own Germany (as Thomas Münzer) and Protestantism spread to other European countries, where local reformers who created their own churches with different theological doctrines (as in the England of Henry VIII or the Switzerland of Ulrich Zwingli and Juan Calvino) appeared.
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
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