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The Renaissance Research Article from History Firsthand

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Martin Luther

Few people have changed the world as drastically as did Martin Luther (1483–1546). A German monk and scholar at the University of Wittenberg, Luther is the acknowledged founder of Lutheranism and, along with his friend, theologian and educator Philipp Melanchthon (1497–1560), of Protestantism. Luther's rebellion against the Catholic Church was not aimed at its authority, but at the corruption of certain principles. In keeping with the Renaissance's emphasis on Humanism and personal growth, Luther argued that individuals had a personal relationship with God and did not need an intermediary such as the church to enhance or interpret that relationship.

The following letter by Luther to his archbishop explains one of his major contentions with the church, the sale of indulgences. Originally, indulgences were sums of money a penitent could pay as part of an act of contrition to be...

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This section contains 1,730 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The Renaissance Encyclopedia Article
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The Renaissance from Greenhaven. ©2001-2006 by Greenhaven Press, Inc., an imprint of The Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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