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UCI EUROST 10 - Martin Luther

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Professor Smith European Studies Department Europe Studies 10 European History Course Code: 24000 ● Martin Luther (1483-1546) ○ We’re not reading him because of his specific religious views (as interesting and important as they were/are) ○ Martin Luther as a founding father of modernity ○ Luther introduces a new sense of selfhood (subjectivity) and a break with the past. ○ The Reformation impacts politics and exploits the new technology of the printing press. ● Thinking ahead to next week: ○ Luther’s theology will introduce a radically new way of thinking about salvation that destabilizes individuals, institutions (the church and the state) and that will lead to transformational ways to attain stability. ● How can we see Luther as a “founding father of modernity”? ○ First sentence of the Dedicatory Letter to Pope Leo X: ■ “Among those monstrous evils of this age, with which I have now for three years been waging war…” ■ He is aware that something is happening in “this age,” namely, a break with the “name and authority” (as he says in the first paragraph) of the church and tradition. ● Martin Luther film (2003) ○ An independent film partially funded by thrivent financial for lutherans ○ How are events of the Protestant Reformation depicted (stylized)? What are the events and the issues? ■ How does the film represent/stylize Luther? ■ What techniques are used to make Luther’s break with the past dramatic? ■ How is Luther’s radical individuality represented? ● Look for references… ○ To luther’s challenge to the pope and catholic authorities (and their response); ○ To intended and unintended consequences; in the latter category, e.g., violent protests ○ To the political situation; Luther’s challenge to the Holy Roman Emperor and his protection by a prince (Frederick the Wise, played by Peter Ustinov) ○ Also, interesting reference; “just when we need unity, luther is splitting us...” why need for unity? Because Europe is being challenged by the Ottoman (turkish) empire. More on this later ● On the Freedom of a Christian—or, On Christian Liberty ○ Composed in 1520 (in Latin) and submitted to Pope Leo X ○ Luther on the verge of being excommunicated. ○ He had been called for many “disputations” to defend his ideas (he refers to Eccius and Militz in the Dedicatory letter).○ A demonstration of his rhetorical skills. He was always ready to debate. Examples of his rhetorical ability? ○ For example: ■ “humilitas topos” on p. 104. ○ A central document of Protestant doctrine and the Reformation ● The Reformation ○ The Catholic church had been the dominant and uniting force in Europe from the fall of the Roman Empire (476 C.E.). ○ It brought order and stability throughout the medieval period. ○ The Catholic Church was both a spiritual and political force ■ In the 14th century e.g., there was major disputed between the papcy and the French King ■ The Avignon Captivity ● The pope had his own army ○ Monasteries, like castles and walled towns, were important economic communities ○ Under protestants they get “secularized” ■ Removed from the jurisdiction of the church ● Need for Reform ○ Sense had developed in many areas within the Catholic church that it had become corrupt ■ Luther visits Rome in 1510 ○ Attempts at “reform” -> “protest” (Reformation and Protestants) - e.g. Jan Hus in the latter 15th century; also Zwingli, Calvin ○ Church of England (Anglican) breaks from Rome in 1534 (Henry VII) ○ Many humanists do not as far as Luther (e.g., his friend, then adversary, Erasmus of Rotterdam); others do, like the major thinker of both the reformation and humanism, melanchthon ○ A key feature was the selling of “indulgences” ○ “Remission of temporal punishment for sins” ○ A way for the church to raise money for its rule ● Jan Hus (1369 - 1415) ○ Czech reformer, challenged the morality of the church (as an institution) ○ Burned at the stake in constance in southern Germany ○ “Hussite Wars” continued well into the 15th century ○ Woodcut from 1485 ● Selling of indulgences and relics ○ Indulgences and relics, like slivers from the cross, or bones of saints ○ Luther objects to Johann Tetzel who was sent to Germany to raise money for the building of St. Peter’s Cathedral ○ In the film, Tetzel is played by Alfred Molina ● Indulgences ○ Not a pleasure or luxury that one grants oneself (as in: I indulge in a hot bath every night) ○ Rather, a partial remission of the punishment for my sins○ Literally sold by the catholic church ○ Like this papal indulgence from 1498 ● Alfred Molina as Tetzel ● The Reformation and the printing press as further background ○ The combination of this new technology and the new ideas ushered in radical change ○ Individual have access to information ○ Media technology in a reciprocal relation with ideas, i.e., each heightens the effect of the other ● Johannes Gutenberg ○ 1395-1468 ○ Lived in Mainz (on the Rhine near Frankfurt) and Strasbourg (in Alsace, between Germany and France) ○ First European to use movable type ca.1439 ● Complicated Politics ○ Many levels of authority; Pope eclesiastical lands, holy roman emperor, electors, princes, minor nobles and knights, bourgeoisie (in cities), peasants ○ More on this when we address the 30 years war ● Martin Luther ○ Augustinian monk ○ Became priest over wishes of his father ■ Felt sinful and inadequate, and yet nonetheless saved ○ In one sense, his personal biography was of world-historical consequence ○ Religious pilgrimage to Rome in 1510-11; horrified by the corruption he encountered ■ How do we know this? ● 1517 ○ Castle church in wittenberg, Germany, where luther was a monk and teacher of theology ● Reform or break? ○ Like many before him, luther initially hoped for a reform within the catholic church ○ But he was in direct conflict with papal authority ○ Where do we see this ambivalence in his letter to pope leo x? ○ His letter to the pope appears conciliatory but is also highly derisive and critical (and vice versa) ● Pope leo x ○ Born 1475 as Giovanni di Lorenzo de’ Medici ■ Son of Lorenzo the magnificent, ruler of the florentine republic ○ Pope from 1513 to 1521 (death) ○ He was responsible for the


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