Mr. Walters FRQ #2
“Luther was both a revolutionary and a conservative.” Evaluate this statement with respect to Luther’s responses to the political and social questions of his day.
Martin Luther was one of the greatest monks, priests, and theological teachers of Germany, along with being the symbol of the Protestant Reformation. He did not start off so religious however. One day he was caught in a frightening and dangerous storm. He prayed to God begging not to be killed, and vowed to become a monk if he survived. He did live, upholding his word to the lord, and joined a monastery. He joined an Augustinian friary in 1505, where he suffered from anfechtung, or spiritual anxiety. He never knew if he was doing enough good works to achieve salvation and gain entrance to the kingdom of heaven, as it was believed by the Catholic religion that it took good works along with faith in order to enter. To take his mind off of his religious worries, he was recommended to a teaching post at the University of Wittenberg. There, he taught theology and was quite popular among his students. Luther suffered from constant constipation, so he often read the bible while on the toilet. One day while doing this a certain passage from the epistle of St. Paul to the Romans: “the just shall live by faith,” which led to Luther’s core belief of sola fide, or faith alone. Through this belief, Luther believed that the only thing needed to achieve salvation was to live by faith alone, which challenged the Roman Catholic Church’s theology that both faith and good works were necessary. Luther shared his beliefs with the people of the Holy Roman Empire, demanding change to the way theology was widely taught. He agreed with parts of the current teachings and was conservative, wanting to keep parts of the religion the same. He kept the sacraments, however reduced the amount of them from 7 to 2. He was also like many Roman Catholic religious figures,