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Lecture

Luther Road to Reform.odt


Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHIL 3020F/G
Professor
Jeffrey Temple

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Temple Oct 26th
Martin Luther : Road to Reform
Life 1483-1546
Father of the reformation
Born in the german lands. Holy Roman Empire.
Born in the territory of Saxony. Born to peasant family.
This family earns some wealth. Mining
Luther's family is interested in investing their wealth. They want their children to have a good education
to continue to earn money for the family. They want luther to become a lawyer.
Luther gets a BA and MA. Liberal Arts. (gets these at Erfurt) He gets a scholastic education with a little
bit of humanism. Exposed to the classics. However Luther will not become a humanist like Erasmus.
Luther does not want to bring people back to the classic world. He likes the idea of returning to sources
for learning and reading greek and hebrew. He begins to study law however, he deviates from this path.
He gets caught in a massive thunderstorm and he is in an open field. Lightning strikes and he is thrown
off a donkey and he is convinced he is going to die. He cries out st anne save me and I will become a
monk. And he was spared and he does become a monk. His father is not happy obviously.
Luther joins an Augustinian monastery- July 1505
Augustinian Monastery:
Group that was focused on introspection. One of the most disciplined and rigorous group. They are
focused on knowing the self. They focus on confession. They wanted their members to know their sins
and to atone for them. Focus on ones self and ones sins and to make everything peachy with god. Luther
loves monastic life. He is passionately devoted to monastic life. He would fasted longer, mortified the
flesh more, confessed longer, and he would pray harder. Luther is a super monk. By his own account and
his contemporaries he goes above and beyond. Luther is aware that he is a sinner and mortal. He wants to
set himself right with god.
Luther has a problem. Luther is operating under the notions of merit theology. Merit Theology is the
drive medieval theology. Life is a set of scales. You can enter heaven if you are a righteous person and the
good things in your life out weigh the bad. The same can be said for the reversed. Everyone wants to
make sure that everything balances in their favour. Luther fears he will die and his scales will be in
favour of the bad deeds of his life. Becoming a monk is a good deed it really adds to the good deed scale.
Monk= really really good. Almost a straight line to heaven.
Sacraments: Seven of them
1) Baptism (wipe away original sin. When you are born you have the weight of original sin as you
are born of adam and eve.) Any time you participate in the sacraments you receive Grace and go
towards the good scale. Baptism takes away the guilt of original sin so you are born with even
scales but it does not take away the inclination to sin so you need other sacraments.
Luther thinks if he becomes a monk and is the best monk ever he will be able to enter into the kingdom of
god. There were some difficulties for Luther. Luther could never be confident that he had done enough to
receive grace and mercy. He does not feel like he can confess enough. Did he remember everything he
did wrong and confess for it? For him everywhere he looks he finds more sin. He is constantly confessing
but he doesn’t feel that it is enough. He wonders if he is sorry enough. Is he sorry only because he is
afraid of punishment and afraid of god. There is another problem Scholastics taught that god was absolute
and transcendent – God is so much greater than humans and almost unknowable. Because he is
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