Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483 in Eisleben. Raised in a Catholic family, he became a monk. By being thus within the ecclesiastical environment, Luther saw many unpleasant actions there, in particular the sale of indulgences. Paradise was promised for money which, in reality, made it possible to repair the churches. Luther tried to reason with the Catholics, but in vain. Its original purpose was simply to reform the Roman Catholic Church, to modernize it, not to separate Catholics and Reformed.
On October 31, 1517, Luther published his 95 theses, all of which showed the wealth of the Church and especially the indulgences. Luther acts despite the risk of condemnation.
As Germany was at war, Luther took advantage of being forgotten by the king to spread the Reformation. But on December 10, 1520, Luther burned the papal bull, which threatened him with being excommunicated. It was the following year that Luther learned of his excommunication, he who was deeply religious.
In 1522, Luther translated the Bible into German, whereas until then only priests and monks had the right to read it and it only existed in Latin. Martin Luther died on February 18, 1546 in Eisleben, his birthplace.
The new ideas of the Reformation
Although he was an ecclesiastic, Luther blamed certain religious practices of the time, notably the authority of the Pope in Rome and indulgences , which he saw as easy enrichment for the Roman Church. Catholics believe that access to paradise is through the good deeds that man has done during his life, while Protestants believe that it is by believing in a sincere way in God that one has his place. to the sky; hence the Reformers criticized indulgences which served no purpose for the salvation of their souls, and a conflict arose between Luther and the Pope.
Since Christianity had taken a prominent place in Europe, the Jews were the culprits of everything. But Martin Luther was particularly anti-Semitic and frankly hated Jews. He would have liked first to convert them, thinking that the Reformation presented Christianity better to them. Then he would have started blaming them, accusing them of everything and nothing, transmitting this hatred to his followers.
Written in 1543, On the Jews and their Lies (in German Von den Jüden und iren Lügen ) is a work by Luther that brings together what he thought of the Jews and the punishments that he believed should have been inflicted on them, such as setting fire to the synagogues and their houses, forbidding the rabbis to teach and threatening to kill them, confiscate their money and expel them from the country. We find Nazi ideas there. Indeed, during the rise of Nazism in Germany, Hitler referred extensively to Luther's work and promoted it to the German people, who were predominantly Lutheran and probably retained that anti-Semitism.
Can the Reformation be considered a revolution?
Martin Luther accused the Church of her spiel caused by the abuse of power she had acquired since the first Christians. The image of the Catholic Church had become turpid and almost false in the eyes of Luther, who sought to rediscover the Christianity of yesteryear. He accused the pope and his subjects of twisting the Word of God written in the Bible in favor of the pope. At the same time, Luther denounced blind faith; hence the fact that all illiterate Catholics were forced to believe the conversions of the Holy Texts since they had never read the Bible and only heard it in Latin, which they did not understand any better.
Luther argued for the Reformation to be just as Christian as the Roman Catholic Church; he sought to show that he and his Lutheran followers were not heretics, who were only there to blame Catholic dogma. Luther wanted to rediscover "true" Christianity, where money does not matter so much and where one is a better Christian when one lives in poverty. Luther also referred to the medieval prohibition of freedom of thought; the individual was compelled to follow the thought of the Church, and only his money could save his soul after death, by buying an indulgence from the priest.
Luther asserted that the Reformation had no not the intention to destroy Catholicism, but to "modernize" it by adapting it to the century of the Humanists and the Renaissance, and to try to make the ideas of the Middle Ages disappear. Luther even argued that the Reformation was a kind of help to the pope, who seemed lost in nothingness in Luther's eyes. This scholar was a monk and he was well placed to see the problems of the Catholic Church. The Reformation was a solution so that citizens could "really" believe in a less distant God, live in joy and have the salvation of their souls without money or other lies, but by believing in God from a deep and personal conviction. .
Protestant thought would have been a form of revolution, because freedom of thought was granted to citizens regardless of their social status. Luther "made God more accessible" without changing Him but by changing the vision we had of Him. It is also important to note that Luther defended his ideas already before his excommunication on January 3, 1521; he spoke from the interior point of view of the Church before his ostracism, and one could not reproach him for lying on what he certified.