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essay martin luther reformation

essay martin luther reformationEssay martin luther reformation -Today's social-media systems do not just connect us to each other: they also link us to the past.“They are printed and circulated far beyond my expectation,” he wrote in March 1518 to a publisher in Nuremberg who had published a German translation of the theses.The pamphlet, an instant hit, is regarded by many as the true starting point of the Reformation.Luther's pamphlets were read out at spinning bees in Saxony and in bakeries in Tyrol.Booksellers promoted it and itinerant colporteurs hawked it.Luther's opponents responded with woodcuts of their own: “Luther's Game of Heresy” (see beginning of this article) depicts him boiling up a stew with the help of three devils, producing fumes from the pot labelled falsehood, pride, envy, heresy and so forth.His protest may have challenged the rule of the Catholic Church, but it affirmed the importance of religion and religious belief.News ballads were often “contrafacta” that deliberately mashed up a pious melody with secular or even profane lyrics.Luther's pamphlets were the most sought after; a contemporary remarked that they “were not so much sold as seized”.Opponents of this view emphasise the importance of preaching and other forms of oral transmission.The “95 Theses” were propositions written in Latin that he wished to discuss, in the academic custom of the day, in an open debate at the university.Contributors to the debate ranged from the English king Henry VIII, whose treatise attacking Luther (co-written with Thomas More) earned him the title “Defender of the Faith” from the pope, to Hans Sachs, a shoemaker from Nuremberg who wrote a series of hugely popular songs in support of Luther.From Wittenberg to Facebook In the early years of the Reformation expressing support for Luther's views, through preaching, recommending a pamphlet or singing a news ballad directed at the pope, was dangerous.Knights, who were once prominent in England faded away and became less popular.IT IS a familiar-sounding tale: after decades of simmering discontent a new form of media gives opponents of an authoritarian regime a way to express their views, register their solidarity and co-ordinate their actions.The free History: World research paper (The Protestant Reformation essay) presented on this page should not be viewed as a sample of our on-line writing service.In some cases entire guilds of weavers or leather-workers in particular towns declared themselves supporters of the Reformation, indicating that Luther's ideas were being propagated in the workplace.Luther's enemies denounced him as the Antichrist in song, while his supporters did the same for the pope and insulted Catholic theologians (“Goat, desist with your bleating”, one of them was admonished).Luther's friend Friedrich Myconius later wrote that “hardly 14 days had passed when these propositions were known throughout Germany and within four weeks almost all of Christendom was familiar with them.” The unintentional but rapid spread of the “95 Theses” alerted Luther to the way in which media passed from one person to another could quickly reach a wide audience.Some were astonishingly crude and graphic, such as “The Origin of the Monks” (see picture), showing three devils excreting a pile of monks.essay martin luther reformationGerman translations, which could be read by a wider public than Latin-speaking academics and clergy, soon followed and quickly spread throughout the German-speaking lands.During the late 1400's, England became a country plagued by changes, both good and bad.Luther was reacting to a variety of specific abuses he perceived in the Catholic hierarchy and in terms of doctrinaire differences Luther had with Church teachings.Copies of the initial edition, which cost about the same as a chicken, would first spread throughout the town where it was printed.More recently historians have highlighted the role of media as a means of social signalling and co-ordinating public opinion in the Reformation.If you need fresh and competent research / writing on History: World, use the professional writing service offered by our company.Although they were written in Latin, the “95 Theses” caused an immediate stir, first within academic circles in Wittenberg and then farther afield.The Renaissance, which started in France and many other western European nations, was a time of prospering for literature, art, science and learning.The news ballad, like the pamphlet, was a relatively new form of media.Others embraced the new pamphlet format to weigh in on the merits of Luther's arguments, both for and against, like argumentative bloggers.New post from Martin Luther The start of the Reformation is usually dated to Luther's nailing of his “95 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences” to the church door in Wittenberg on October 31st 1517.Pinning a list of propositions to the church door, which doubled as the university notice board, was a standard way to announce a public debate.In December 1517 printed editions of the theses, in the form of pamphlets and broadsheets, appeared simultaneously in Leipzig, Nuremberg and Basel, paid for by Luther's friends to whom he had sent copies.It also demonstrated the human resistance to any perceived tyranny, physical or intellectual, and the human tendency to develop new modes of thought and action to counter such tyranny.In all, some 6m-7m pamphlets were printed in the first decade of the Reformation, more than a quarter of them Luther's.Tetzel, the indulgence-seller, was one of the first to respond to him in print, firing back with his own collection of theses."Martin Luther challenged the authority of the Catholic Church and in so doing created a movement away from the strictness of Catholic teaching and from the idea that communion with God required the intercession of the papacy and the religious structure of a Church.Modern digital networks may be able to do it more quickly, but even 500 years ago the sharing of media could play a supporting role in precipitating a revolution.The combination of improved publishing technology and social networks is a catalyst for social change where previous efforts had failed. It's also what happened during the Reformation, nearly 500 years ago, when Martin Luther and his allies took the new media of their day—pamphlets, ballads and woodcuts—and circulated them through social networks to promote their message of religious reform.You are the abomination and the Antichrist, full of lies, death and cunning. The combination of bold graphics with a smattering of text, printed as a broadsheet, could convey messages to the illiterate or semi-literate and serve as a visual aid for preachers. essay martin luther reformation The city council complained to the Duke of Saxony that printers faced losing “house, home, and all their livelihood” because “that which one would gladly sell, and for which there is demand, they are not allowed to have or sell.” What they had was lots of Catholic pamphlets, “but what they have in over-abundance is desired by no one and cannot even be given away.” Luther's enemies likened the spread of his ideas to a sickness.Therein he has reigned in a deadly fashion and has seduced uncountably many souls.At the same time the Renaissance was occurring, a religious revolution was beginning, which was known as the Protestant Reformation.“Idle chatter and inappropriate books” were corrupting the people, fretted one bishop.A popular pamphlet would thus spread quickly without its author's involvement.The dictatorships in Egypt and Tunisia, she argues, survived for as long as they did because although many people deeply disliked those regimes, they could not be sure others felt the same way.Hand over your money, went Tetzel's sales pitch, and you can ensure that your dead relatives are not stuck in purgatory.Although Luther was the most prolific and popular author, there were many others on both sides of the debate.To use the modern idiom, Luther's message had gone viral.The Protestant Reformation helped to influence and strengthen the Renaissance that was just arising in England.A multimedia campaign It was not just words that travelled along the social networks of the Reformation era, but music and images too.He called Luther “a leper with a brain of brass and a nose of iron” and dismissed his arguments on the basis of papal infallibility. Arguments in their own social circles about the merits of Luther's views could be seen as part of a far wider discourse, both spoken and printed.Amid the barrage of pamphlets, ballads and woodcuts, public opinion was clearly moving in Luther's favour.Luther himself is thought to have been the author of “Now We Drive Out the Pope”, a parody of a folk song called “Now We Drive Out Winter”, whose tune it borrowed: Now we drive out the pope from Christ's church and God's house.“We are Starting to Sing a New Song”, Luther's first venture into the news-ballad genre, told the story of two monks who had been executed in Brussels in 1523 after refusing to recant their Lutheran beliefs.Most of the 60 or so clerics who rallied to the pope's defence did so in academic and impenetrable Latin, the traditional language of theology, rather than in German.Both reformers and Catholics used this new form to spread information and attack their enemies.Luther, then an obscure theologian and minister, was outraged by the behaviour of Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar who was selling indulgences to raise money to fund the pet project of his boss, Pope Leo X: the reconstruction of St Peter's Basilica in Rome.Soon after that, the Renaissance swept into and changed England dramatically.Now the internet offers a new perspective on this long-running debate, namely that the important factor was not the printing press itself (which had been around since the 1450s), but the wider system of media sharing along social networks—what is called “social media” today. essay martin luther reformation Once learned they could spread even among the illiterate through the practice of communal singing.“Passional Christi und Antichristi”, for example, was a series of images contrasting the piety of Christ with the decadence and corruption of the pope.By stamping out isolated outbreaks of opposition swiftly, autocratic regimes discourage their opponents from speaking out and linking up.Luther would pass the text of a new pamphlet to a friendly printer (no money changed hands) and then wait for it to ripple through the network of printing centres across Germany.Now move along, you damned son, you Whore of Babylon.Robert Darnton, an historian at Harvard University, who has studied information-sharing networks in pre-revolutionary France, argues that “the marvels of communication technology in the present have produced a false consciousness about the past—even a sense that communication has no history, or had nothing of importance to consider before the days of television and the internet.” Social media are not unprecedented: rather, they are the continuation of a long tradition.The papal bull threatening Luther with excommunication in 1520 said its aim was “to cut off the advance of this plague and cancerous disease so it will not spread any further”.Scholars have long debated the relative importance of printed media, oral transmission and images in rallying popular support for the Reformation.It was a decentralised system whose participants took care of distribution, deciding collectively which messages to amplify through sharing and recommendation.Amid the outbreaks of unrest in early 2011, however, social-media websites enabled lots of people to signal their preferences en masse to their peers very quickly, in an “informational cascade” that created momentum for further action. The surge in the popularity of pamphlets in 1523-24, the vast majority of them in favour of reform, served as a collective signalling mechanism.As Andrew Pettegree, an expert on the Reformation at St Andrew's University, puts it in “Reformation and the Culture of Persuasion”, “It was the superabundance, the cascade of titles, that created the impression of an overwhelming tide, an unstoppable movement of opinion…Pamphlets and their purchasers had together created the impression of irresistible force.” Although Luther had been declared a heretic in 1521, and owning or reading his works was banned by the church, the extent of local political and popular support for Luther meant he escaped execution and the Reformation became established in much of Germany.Luther, like the Arab revolutionaries, grasped the dynamics of this new media environment very quickly, and saw how it could spread his message.The protesters' message spreads virally through social networks, making it impossible to suppress and highlighting the extent of public support for revolution.Luther's sympathisers recommended it to their friends.Modern society tends to regard itself as somehow better than previous ones, and technological advance reinforces that sense of superiority.Where Luther's works spread like wildfire, their pamphlets fizzled. Printers in Leipzig were banned from publishing or selling anything by Luther or his allies, but material printed elsewhere still flowed into the city.Free essays on History: World posted on this site were donated by anonymous users and are provided for informational use only.One observer remarked in 1523 that better sermons could be heard in the inns of Ulm than in its churches, and in Basel in 1524 there were complaints about people preaching from books and pamphlets in the town's taverns.The best of them were produced by Luther's friend Lucas Cranach.The media environment that Luther had shown himself so adept at managing had much in common with today's online ecosystem of blogs, social networks and discussion threads. essay martin luther reformation The pamphlet, an instant hit, is regarded by many as the true starting point of the Reformation. essay martin luther reformation




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