A Comparison of the Writings of Luther and Montaigne
Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483. He was a German monk, priest, professor, theologian and church reformer. His teaching helped to inspire the Reformation, and influenced the doctrines of the Lutheran and Protestant traditions, as well as the course of western civilization. Luther's works and writing helped bring the Middle Ages to a close, and brought about the Modern Era of western civilization. His translation of the Bible furthered the development of a standardized German language. Due to the development of the printing press, his teachings were widely read and influenced many reformers and thinkers. (Peterson 1)
On the Freedom of a Christian was written by Martin Luther in mid-November of 1520. It was the third of three documents that outlined his beliefs. Luther was convinced by Roman diplomats to write a letter in order to smooth over the tension between Luther and Pope Leo X. This was prior to Luther learning of Exsurge, Domine, the document that contained the excommunication of Luther. After learning of his excommunication, Luther was reluctant to write this letter. However, he agreed to write it along with a small booklet that would become the document On the Freedom of a Christian. (Goebel, ed 156)
In the letter to Leo X, Luther gave an account of his struggles with the Roman Catholic Church. He declared that he never personally attacked Leo. Luther addressed Leo as an equal and expressed his views in full. Luther pointed to Johannes Eck as the chief inciter of all the problems. Johannes Eck was a theologian and defender of Catholicism. Luther declared Eck as an enemy of the Catholic religion. Luther said he was forced to constantly defend himself against Eck's attacks on his beliefs. On the Freedom of a Christian is actually a summary of what Luther wished to study, but was not able to since he was always defending the Church. (Goebel, ed 156)
Michel de Montaigne was one of the...
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