APE – Luther’s Legacy


I.             Luther’s social impact

A.    Reasons for Luther’s appeal

1.    City government – the people resented clerical privileges and immunities (like taxes)

2.    Preacherships – people felt sermons were horrendous. Preacherships sprouted up with preachers focusing on sermons that people could relate to, rather than focus on the Eucharist.

3.    Peasants – liked the “liberating” words of Luther

a.    peasant revolts emerge and sweep across Germany

b.    the Twelve Articles – outline peasant grievances such as (1) nobles had seized common land, (2) new rents had been laid, (3) “death duties”

c.    Luther’s initial actions shamed the nobles; his later actions condemned the peasants for insurrection

d.    The revolt was eventually crushed

B.    Printing press – Luther was a master of language, translator of New Testament into German, hymn writer, catechism writer

C.    Women – “all vocations have merit,” the Christian home was championed, sex within marriage is a good thing, high respect for Christian loving mom

II.           Political tree of Charles V

A.    look at it, page 467

B.    bottom line – Dad’s mom is French/Dutch and Dad is German.  Mom’s parents are Ferdinand & Isabella of Spain.  So, he has claims to it all.

C.    As Holy Roman Emperor (and therefore defender of Catholicism) he clashed with Luther’s ideas but…

1.    was pre-occupied with wars to challenge Lutheranism

2.    Charles V actually wanted German disunity, so oddly he…

3.    …supported Protestant German princes

D.   Luther urged in Appeal to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation for princes to clear out Catholicism (indulgences, dispensations or religious exemptions, pardons, celibacy, money-grubbing)

E.    Peace at Augsburg, 1555 – Charles V accepted status quo & formally recognized Lutheranism. Here, each prince in Germany determines the faith of his area. See map p. 468

III.        Calvinism

A.    Ideas of John Calvin (as outlined in The Institutes of the Christian Religion)

1.    total omnipotence and authority of God

2.    no human will (would detract from God’s authority) (no good works)

3.    they were “the elect,” those chosen to do God’s work

4.    predestination

B.    scriptural mastery and eloquent speaker/preacher

C.    Geneva Consistory – Calvin “ruled” Geneva along with 12 laity and Company of Pastors; morality watchdog; example of Michael Servetus (rejected Trinity, child baptism, & that a person under 20 could sin -> for this he was burned at stake)

D.   Hard work was pleasing to God as all work was God’s work