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Birth of Urbanus Rhegius

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Urbanus Rhegius

Called the “bishop of Lower Saxony” by Luther, Urbanus Rhegius served as an evangelical preacher in Augsburg after the start of the Reformation and finished the remainder of his career as superintendent and reformer in the Saxon duchy of Lüneberg. … Continue reading

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Jan Hus

The fifteenth-century church reformer Jan Hus is known as much for his controversial execution at the Council of Constance in 1415 as he is for his teachings. His legacy for the Protestant Reformation remains that of a controversial late medieval … Continue reading

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Birth of Jan Hus

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Johann Eck

As professor at Ingolstadt in Bavaria during the outbreak of the Reformation, John Eck would play a significant role in opposing Luther’s reform and winning Bavaria for the Catholic party. Born Johann Maier in the Swabian village of Eck, he … Continue reading

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Luther posts his 95 Theses

The traditional date for the start of the Reformation is October 31, 1517, due to Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church. The impetus for this was the controversy over indulgences. Papal indulgences … Continue reading

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Leipzig debate

The Leipzig Debate in the summer of 1519 proved significant in pushing the indulgence controversy beyond the question of penance and justification to the question of authority in the church. John Eck, a scholastic theologian teaching at Ingolstadt, had engaged … Continue reading

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“Address to the German Nobility”

Luther’s Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation was his call for the active involvement of secular authorities in reforming the German church. At first glance it seems like a revolutionary plea, but in fact it was a … Continue reading

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Bull Decet Romanem Pontificem excommunicates Luther

The bull officially excommunicating Luther, Decet Romanem Pontificem, was drafted on January 3, 1521, but as a mere formality. The previous bull threatening Luther’s excommunication, Exurge Domine, gave him sixty days to recant in person in Rome. On the sixtieth … Continue reading

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Bull “Exsurge Domine” proclaimed in Rome

The bull threatening Luther with excommunication, Exsurge Domine (“Arise, O Lord”), was published on June 15, 1520. It represented the culmination of several precipitating factors. First, the initial charges against Luther demanding that he recant of his opinions in the … Continue reading

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