History of Luther’s Protestant Reformation –

The Protestant Reformation marked a before and after in the political and religious sector of our history. Do you want to know more about this important fact? Keep reading, we are going to explain what happened, why, what consequences it had and who originated this reform.

History of Luther’s Protestant Reformation

As we can see, it was Martin Luther who started the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, between 1517 and 1520; dates between which the publication of Luther’s 93 theses takes place, in which a doctrine is established that led to the salvation of the soul through faith (not by works) and the great religious rupture of the European continent.

Later we will explain in depth what these theses published at the gates of Wittenberg consisted of, although in general terms we should know that in them the corruption of the religious community was criticized, especially that of the popes or religious representatives, who were behind the famous indulgencesthe main cause of Luther’s disapproval.

But let’s start by giving a quick and brief overview of the martin luther biography in order to understand the moment in which this Reformation takes place, such as what circumstances surrounded this historical figure before and after the Reformation and what led him to cause this great change in political and religious history.

Biography of Martin Luther (1483-1546)

By birth, Martin Luder, in the German city of Eisleben, and the son of a wealthy Saxon miner. The father of lutheranism he grew up receiving good studies and was directed to a life dedicated to law.

His intention was to study law at the University of Erfurt until, in 1505 and returning home from a visit he had made to his parents, he suffered an electrical storm in which he was certain to end up dying. panicked, promised to Saint Ana dedicate himself to a religious life if he got out of that situation alive. So it happened and this was the reason why Martin Luther abandoned his career as a lawyer and embraced faith, focusing preferably on reflection and introspection.

That same year, Martin Luther was only 22 years old and was already able to enter the Augustinian convent in Erfurt (Germany). He retired to a life of seclusion and introspection, he was to be an exemplary, pious, and obedient monk.

In fact, Luther had become so fully involved in this life of flogging, fasting, pilgrimage, constant confessions and long hours of prayer, that it all began to take its toll. Instead of finding peace in his actions and commitments, he became increasingly distressed that he was not pure and sinless enough for the God he worshipped.

This situation led his superior at the monastery to order his entry into an academic career, so that Luther would distance himself a bit from his strenuous life of reflection. And that was how he began the religious studies of him.

It was already in 1507 when he figured himself as a priest, at the same time that he would direct a course in Wittenberg. Later and after being chosen as prior of the convent, he got his doctorate in theology.

Although it may seem like a normal ecclesiastical career, everything was cut short by doubts about the path he was taking, which is being invaded by religious practices which did not convince him at all. Faced with all these doubts, he was impregnated with the most absolute faith and determined that only in this way could he save his soul: when the classic Catholic practices were eliminated and only a tremendously spiritual faith remained.

With this idea so clear, Luther began to spread the word and was soon surrounded by followers who firmly believed in his way of carrying the faith, since at that time there were many irregularities and cases of corruption within the religious sphere. This philosophy, faith and way of life that Luther saw as so necessary reached its culmination on October 31, 1517 when, on the door of the Wittenberg chapel, he left 95 articles written based on this new faith and expressed his willingness to discuss them if someone like that saw it as necessary.

Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

Within Luther’s 95 theses, there was one of the measures that Luther believed most convenient and necessary to eliminate from Christian practices: the papal indulgences. Anyone who could pay a papal indulgence could be absolved of the sins he had committed, something that did not seem logical, fair, or religious to Luther. For Luther, a sin could only be forgiven under confession and above all, through sincere repentance.

In these 95 theses was formed what would become the center of the structure of the faith of the Protestant religion, being salvation through faith, the epicenter of Lutheran doctrine. But he did not forget either to condemn relics and other Christian ostentation, such as the worship of saints; as well as to eliminate some sacraments that he considered unnecessary while always maintaining the sacrament of communion and baptism.

One of the great advantages that Luther had to convince many followers with his doctrine and that it spread easily, was the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg. Once Luther’s 95 theses were written, they could be spread to all those close and not so close, to process their religion in a different way: the way in which Luther saw faith and religious acts.

Another advantage that also played in favor of Luther and his new proposal of faith was the segmentation that occurred between secular and ecclesiastical power, a moment that Luther took advantage of to present the pope as a useless figure, who was worth little to represent divine power, remaining alone in front of a Church corrupted by those who formed it. But when Luther’s doctrine began to spread, thanks to the students who followed him, he was denounced to Rome so that, at the same time, Frederick of Saxony He will take him under his wing.

Consequences of Luther’s Protestant Reformation

The consequence or direct response of Luther’s Protestant Reformation was the Counter Reformation or Catholic Counter Reformationwhich gave rise to the Council of Trent, through which a series of basic guidelines were reached to clean up the customs of the ecclesiastical community, and in particular care was taken of the religious formation of the bishops, for whom seminaries were created whose purpose was focused on the good teaching of the Catholic faith.

Thus, the Protestant reform had as a consequence, after years and years of negotiations, the exaltation of Catholicism, because after this, the Catholic faith was defined even more and the union of those who belonged to it was sought. Also, thanks to the Peace of Augsburg, Catholics and Lutherans could live together in the same society. However, this peace did not smooth out any rough edges between some religious and others, which is why, a century later, a the Thirty Years War, a great conflict between Catholics and Protestants and that left the main European powers of the moment.

You may also like: