• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent was Luther pushed by his Catholic opponents into the extreme position he adopted in 1521?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent was Luther pushed by his Catholic opponents into the extreme position he adopted in 1521? Until 1517 Luther had shown no inclination towards a rebellion with the papacy but was in fact rather humble towards the authority of the Pope and respected him greatly. The purpose of Luther's 95 theses of 1517 was to bring to the Pope's attention the abuses being committed in his name thinking that the Pope, Leo X, did not know of the dealings of his clergy. This rather naive belief in the purity of the Pope shows just how much Luther respected his authority in 1517. But this was all to change due to the events that take place between 1517 and 1521, ending with Luther calling the Pope an Antichrist, dismissing the Pope's assumed role as God's representative on Earth and completely breaking away from the Church. Such an extreme attitude meant that he was easily identifiable in those times as a heretic and so liable to be put to death and yet Luther would not recant being so convinced that his position was the right one in God's eyes. From this we are able to see the differences in the Luther of 1517 and of 1521, but what were the events and who were the people that played a part in effecting such a dramatic change in the Augustinian monk? ...read more.


So much so, that even when Prieras, a rival Dominican, attacked Luther in his "Dialogus" of 1518, Luther was able to dismiss him saying "His ideas are his own, that is laid down without scripture." Such allegations against the Church were bound to make the Pope act and he did with his efforts to try and get Luther to recant. In Augsburg, 1518, Cajetan was sent to lead Luther's disciplinary hearing. Luther attended believing that he would be given a fair chance to explain his arguments, but Cajetan had other ideas; he was under the Pope's directive to either get a retraction form Luther or to arrange his arrest and so, Cajetan in his confrontational questioning of Luther at the hearing, forced Luther to admit that he believed papal decree was not sufficient authority, that the Pope was fallible and even say that the Pope was an Antichrist. Luther based all these statements on Scripture, taking his stand here more than ever. Luther's further dealings with the papal system caused him great disillusionment with the papacy. After Augsburg, he tried to appeal directly to Leo X but this was met by the papal bull of Nov 1518 condemning the errors of "certain monks" and with the dispatchment of Carl Von Militz to try to arrest Luther. ...read more.


From this we can evaluate the extent to which the Church itself and Luther's catholic opponents pushed him away and how much Luther himself pulled away to take the stand that he did in 1521. It is evident that Luther's various opponents between 1517 and 1521 played a massive role in pushing him towards searching for alternatives to what the church was offering. The Church's rough handling of Luther also caused him to resent it. It was very confrontational and this forced Luther to react, which he did by forming his own ideas about God and faith. I think that the biggest factor of the schism between the Church and Luther was the debate at Leipzig with Eck. There, Luther was forced to make a stand on many issues and was now openly attacking the Church. But Luther's own personality played a part in his stance against the Church. Had Luther not been so religious and fervent in his beliefs, once he realised them, then he would have had no motivation to take on the immense strength and power of the Church. His unfaltering belief that he was doing as God intended him to do meant that as much as the Church pushed him away, Luther could only react by also pulling himself away. In other words, Luther himself had to have wanted to break away from the Church eventually, and this was enabled and partly caused by the opponents he came up against. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rania Kashi 14/11/00 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Places of Worship section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Places of Worship essays

  1. THE CONFESSIONS OF AUGSBURG On 31 October 1517, Dr. Martin Luther, professor of theology ...

    At first Luther had no quarrel with the Pope, the hierarchy or the Church and he was a reluctant revolutionary who never wished to abandon tradition, unless his reading of the scripture led him to do so. However Luther had been deeply shocked at what he saw when he visited

  2. ''Luther, more than anyone, was to blame for the schism.''

    in our land.....What is thus squeezed out of us is put to the most shameful uses....' This source is secondary, so is likely to be accurate since it will have been repeatedly checked for errors. No hints of partialness are evident and there is no reason to dispute its reliability.

  1. examine and outline the claim that luther's overriding concern was with his own salvation

    The three Reformation Treaties also showed that Luther had concerns for others beside himself. It was important to this view, as it shows that Luther was prepared to spread his beliefs regardless of whether or not he would be found to be a heretic.

  2. Explain the importance of Henry's relationship with the Papacy in relation to other factors ...

    However, Erasmus believed that religious revolt led directly to anarchy; therefore he took the side of neither the Pope, nor the reform radical, Martin Luther. Erasmus hoped to provoke people into questioning their confidence in religious authority through his writings as opposed to speaking out directly against the Romanists.

  1. Why was the Catholic Church so weak by 1780?

    Economic factors also contributed to its downfall. The Catholic Church due to its privileged position had enjoyed great wealth for many centuries in catholic Europe. However rulers began to see the effects of these differences between Protestant and Catholic Europe and how this could be used to their advantage.

  2. Why did Luther successfully challenge the sale of indulgences?

    After several days of discussion, in which Luther refused to recant, he was later summoned to an open debate with Doctor Johann Eck, known as the 'Leipzig Disputation'. However, once again, Luther refused to retract his beliefs unless someone of "low or high estate" could convince him beyond doubt that

  1. How useful are the secondary sources provided in understanding Medieval Monasticism compared with the ...

    However, the source has limitations; It gives no evidence of how it things were in monasteries after or before this time. It doesn't have a wide time-spectrum and really concentrates on a short period. If I were to find it more useful, it would need to include information considering times

  2. A Monks life - Is the site or the sources booklet more useful in ...

    It clearly points out that a monk's life involved praying to God. This is backed up by source D, where in the timetable, praying appears more times than anything else, showing its significance, and confirms the idea that monks prayed regularly.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work