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Martin Luther

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Luther travels to Rome

Luther made a fateful trip to Rome in 1510 to represent his Augustinian monastery in a dispute. The monastery where he resided was an observant, or reformed congregation, in the Augustinian order that held to a strict interpretation of its … Continue reading

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Luther awarded doctorate by University of Wittenberg

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Luther meets Karl von Miltitz, papal ambassador

After Luther resisted Cajetan’s demand for a retraction of his views on indulgences, a subsequent interview was held with the papal nuncio Karl von Miltitz. A native of Saxony and a secretary in the papal court, Miltitz was sent by … 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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Luther meets with Cajetan at Augsburg

In the summer of 1518, legal proceedings in church courts began against Luther for his criticism of indulgences, as was standard procedure for clerics who were subject to ecclesiastical jurisdiction rather than civil jurisdiction. As a result, an order was … 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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“The Bondage of the Will”

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