Luther Historical Context

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Germany and the Holy Roman Empire

In 962, the Holy Roman Empire was revived. Its territory included Germany and northern Italy, but ongoing disputes between the pope and the emperor prevented any strong central government from developing. Over time, the Holy Roman emperors gave up most of their power to German princes, who ruled their own territories, in exchange for military support. At the time of the Protestant Reformation, Germany, although making up the core of the Holy Roman Empire, included about three hundred independent states.

The Protestant Reformation

By the beginning of the fifteenth century, a group of European thinkers and scholars, led by the renowned biblical scholar Erasmus, were openly complaining about corruption and lax morality in the Roman Catholic Church. They also feared and resented the power of the pope, who used his authority to raise armies and conquer territory. Another concern was the church's efforts...

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This section contains 1,301 words
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