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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 MARTIN LUTHER1483-1546 Luther grew up in a time where the Catholic church ruled over every aspect of life. He was studying to be a lawyer, but when his life was threatened in a thunderstorm -and in conjunction with his fears of hell and damnation- he vowed to become a Catholic monk in his search for salvation. He returned to Germany and enrolled in the University of Wittenberg to grapple with his spiritual cognitive dissonance. As a monk, Luther visited Rome. There, instead of the piety and devout environment he expected to find, Luther witnessed the Catholic church teeming with corruption and exploiting the poor by selling indulgences, which were supposed to lessen the amount of time the buyer's loved one spent in purgatory. As a professor at Wittenberg, Luther had an epiphany while reading from Romans: "The just will live by faith". Luther posited that salvation was not something that could be earned or bought as the Catholic church insisted with indulgences, but that faith -simple faith- gave one spiritual salvation. And thus began the Reformation. On October 31, 1517, Luther nailed 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, challenging the selling of indulgences. A new invention, the printing press, helped widely and quickly distribute these 95 Theses throughout Europe. The Catholic church, extremely peeved with Luther, demanded that he recant his statements challenging their authority. Luther refused unless they could prove with scripture that he was in the wrong. Luther declared that the Catholic church did not have the sole right to interpret the Bible. This, in conjunction with his insolence toward the Catholic church,resulted in his excommunication. In 1521, the Catholic church, in the Edict of Worms, banned Luther's writings and made him a wanted man. Luther was hidden in safety at Wartburg Castle. There, he translated the New Testament into German for the masses to read for themselves. Back at Wittenberg Castle Church, Luther began forming a new sect: Lutheranism, which gained support from German peasants and princes. Luther's legacy is that his actions splintered the Catholic church and set in motion the births of a variety of Christian denominations. His philosophy that for every person to have a personal relationship with God and understanding of theology led him to translating the Bible into common languages, which dramatically changed how the church and its congregants interacted. "Martin Luther." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 30 January 2015.
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