Biographies Of Luther Sources Notes
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Luther's Biographies Class
! Lightening conversion
! 1517 -‐ 95 theses
! 1518 -‐ Cajetan
! 1519 -‐ Leipzig Debate with Eck
! 1520 -‐ 3 main treatises
! 1521 -‐ Diet of Worms
! 1522 -‐ return from the Wartburg
! 1524 -‐ Peasants' War
! 1525 -‐ Luther's marriage
! 1525 -‐ On the Bondage of the Will
‣ Argument with Erasmus
! 1529 -‐ Marburg Colloquy
‣ Luther v. Zwingli -‐ could not agree over the Eucharist
! 1530 -‐ Diet of Augsburg
‣ Meeting of the Imperial Diet -‐ aimed to assert control over religious heresies
‣ Augsburg Confession was presented
! 1555 -‐ Peace of Augsburg
‣ cuius regio, eius religio
! Childhood and education
! 1517 -‐ Tetzel is the antagonist => Luther was not deﬁant
! Frederick -‐ best prince and least selﬁsh
! Criticises Carlstadt and Cajetan
‣ Yet little on Carlstadt -‐ does not want to show the negative implication of
! Outlines the Diet of Worms
! Luther is only rejecting the Council of Constance -‐ not subverting present authority
‣ Luther wanted to maintain tranquility
! 1521 => 1546
‣ Misses out much that Cochlaeus mentions
! Spends a lot of time writing about the Diet of Worms
! Catholic aggressors
! Does not really write about Leipzig and Eck -‐ Luther was seen to have lost the debate
Luther's own works
! Tetzel and indulgences => Catholics as aggressors
! 1518 -‐ Cajetan
! 1519 -‐ Eck
! 1521 -‐ Worms
! Discusses his conversion moment
! Spends long time on Tetzel
! Militz plays an important role
! Tetzel -‐ wasted away before his death
! Tension between the Reformation as something that must happen and Luther as
! Early life in monastery -‐ epilepsy or demonic connections
‣ Wants people to think he has some intimate connection with the devil
! Luther contradicts himself and betrays people
! Detailed account up to 1521
! Discusses Leipzig and Eck a lot
! Lots of ﬁghting language -‐ 'skirmishes' and 'army'
! Similar style of writing to Luther
! Peasants' War -‐ begins with Carlstadt
‣ Highlights diﬀerent interpretations of Luther
! 1540s -‐ Protestantism is dividing into diﬀerent groups => can't agree
! 1547 -‐ defeat at the Battle of Mühlberg
‣ Elector of Hesse is captured
Emphasised that he was a Doctor of Theology -‐ right to intervene
Mediator between Christ and Christians -‐ long awaited prophet
1530s -‐ image of the goose transforming into the swan
Role of prophet -‐ answered the charge of motivation => Luther was one of many
Compared to works of the early fathers
Benevolent host and husband -‐ intimate and personal => against theological aggression
‣ Key representational problem
‣ Never suﬀered martyrdom -‐ yet he had a tortured conscience
! Father of the household and prophet of the church
‣ Lay Christian was the true Christian
Early images -‐ scholar's gown and positions as a prophet
Later images are more idealised
Could purchase woodcuts of Luther to make portraits in your own home
Portrayed with a book
Catholic images of Luther -‐ lots of text
‣ Luther's 'Game of Heresy'
Start of the Reformation -‐ portrayed with the dove and quite emaciated
‣ Later -‐ target audience became more familiar with Luther
- Presented as a scholar in his gown
Early -‐ preaching pose
‣ Later Luther is more authoritative
Table talk -‐ also about capturing the nature of Luther
Marriage and Biographies Gobbets Class
! Why has this piece been chosen?
‣ Look at signiﬁcance and construct an argument
Numbers and judgemental words -‐ imperative language
! Talks to 'you' -‐ powerful way of writing
! Necessity v. freedom
! Colloquial -‐ preached as a sermon?
! Ridicule and sarcasm -‐ makes things clear
! Must deﬁne anything not understandable
! Purity of virginity -‐ yet he does not praise and idealise marriage
‣ Negative -‐ remedy for human nature
! Impotence, eunuchs and lastly celibacy
Diﬀerent view of marriage -‐ transformation of marriage as being the best thing
Every human being is created this way -‐ virginity is not something you should vow
Is considering marriage -‐ could you have a chaste marriage?
Breastfeeding -‐ setting himself up as knowing everything
! Does Luther ever talk about life before he became a monk?
‣ Was a law student
Student at Erfurt -‐ relevant to his table talk about the son having sex with his mother
! Caspar von Heidenrych -‐ one of the people who takes notes
‣ Starts in 1530s
There is much table talk that has never been published
‣ Idealised view of Luther in printed sources
Table talk -‐ oral history transcript
Published book of 1566
Some written in Latin -‐ quicker and with abbreviation system
! Personiﬁcation of law and gospel in Moses and Christ
‣ May be part of his anti-‐Semitism -‐ Old Testament
Dr Pomeranus -‐ Bugenhagen
‣ Pastor in Wittenberg -‐ Luther's confessor
‣ Master and pupil relationship
‣ Pomeranus has a similar experience -‐ legitimises Luther
Same story is told again and again -‐ diﬀerent renditions
! Melanchthon -‐ believed in horoscopes and dreams
‣ Luther rejects this -‐ part of his rejection of humanism
! Talks about money quit a lot
‣ 1541 -‐ Against Hans Wurst
‣ Finance is discussed in his will
Marriage -‐ mentions ﬁnance a lot
‣ Issue of bribery in religion
! 1542 will -‐ discusses property
‣ Not a normal will -‐ not standard legal phrases
‣ Witnessed by 3 theologians -‐ no lawyer
‣ Unconventional -‐ property given to wife without guardian
! Luther -‐ chin and quiﬀ of hair => instantly recognisable
‣ Same clothes -‐ collar and gown
‣ Pleats -‐ scholarly
Katharina von Bora -‐ in fur => middle class
Artist has to present a married union in a chaste and respectable way
Few portraits with the rest of his family -‐ no children
‣ Yet puts such an emphasis on having children
Memorialisation of Luther is very linked to his body
! Eck consciously wished to sin -‐ not a mistake
! Young men should remember that one day they hope to take a wife -‐ 'he should abstain
for the present'
! All the children in Turkey are bastards -‐ frequent divorce
! Heaven -‐ gluttony and sex
Ferdinand is Germany's ruin
! Nothing wrong with holding the cup at communion
! Much will be required of those to whom much is given (Luke)
! Can only pray against the Turks now
~ 'Sign of God's wrath'
Papists attack their deeds rather than their articles of faith -‐ 'False accusations won't do;
it's the teaching that matters'
! 'Every false religion is contaminated by libidinous desires'
! Gross sinners -‐ 'They excommunicate themselves. They despise the Word of God, enter
no church, hear no sermon, receive no sacrament'
! 'Aristotle is altogether epicurean. He doesn't believe that God cares about human
aﬀairs, or if he believes it, he thinks that God governs the world the way a sleepy
maidservant rocks a child in a cradle'
! 'We may be able to know very well that God exists from the sure and perpetual motion
of the heavenly constellations -‐ every year we ﬁnd the sun rising and setting in its proper
place -‐ and likewise from the reliability of the seasons which give us winter and summer
with such regularity'
! Adam became blind and deaf after the Fall
! 'I think the last day is not far away My reason is that a last great eﬀort is now being
made to advance the gospel. It's like a candle. Just before it burns out it makes a last
great spurt, as if it would continue to burn for a long time and then it goes out'
~ Only looks as though the gospel will spread far and wide
Women say whatever comes to mind -‐ not clear => replies to Katy's complaint about a
Nobody believes in God as the Creator -‐ try to raise ourselves up and bargain our works
Fear of death is death itself
Has to give daughter to God if he wants her
~ Says he has sent a saint to heaven
Girl is harder to raise than a boy -‐ cannot support themselves
! Pestilence -‐ 'Preachers must not be all too ready to ﬂee in order not to make the people
! Should not substitute wine for an ill person -‐ why do they need the sacrament again at
the last moment?
~ 'Why shouldn't we say, 'If you have taken neither, think that you have taken
Necessary to a theologian
~ The Bible
~ Philip's Loci Communes
! 'I think a great darkness will follow the present light and after that the judgement day
! 'The conscience is an evil beast who makes a man take a stand against himself'
! Romans 1:17 -‐ 'He who through faith is righteous shall live'
! 'But when I discovered the proper distinction -‐ namely, that the law is one thing and the
gospel is another -‐ I made myself free'
~ Law v. gospel
Love of God -‐ yet also passive love of God for us
Heretics are useful -‐ beneﬁcial to have opponents
~ Provocation of Eck => writings
Schools are the preservers of the Church
'Riches are the most insigniﬁcant things on earth, the smallest gift that God can give a
To believe and to comprehend are not the same
~ It is the devil who tells people that their faith is insuﬃcient
God will hear a prayer -‐ faith and prayer of one person may obtain another's conversion
! 'That works don't merit life, grace and salvation is clear from this, that works are not
spiritual birth but are fruits of this birth'
'Infants who have no works are saved by faith alone and therefore faith alone justiﬁes'
Should bring up children with a mixture of praise and punishment
Criticism of astrology -‐ 'I am the son of a peasant'
'A wife is bound to follow her husband, not a husband his wife' -‐ against a woman who
did not wish her husband to become a deacon
Should not administer the sacrament to yourself
Issues over who should baptise -‐ a pastor should not be ashamed to baptise
~ 'No minister and no angel in heaven is worthy in his person to baptise a child'
! Should have the sacrament of the altar
! 'Everything that is required of a Christian must be in the sacrament: acknowledgement
of sin (which we call contrition), faith, giving of thanks, confession'
Against Hans Wurst (1541)
! Against Catholic Duke Henry of Brunswick
! We are still creatures of ﬂesh and blood with the devil among us -‐ 'we are not as holy as
we ought to be'
! Still writing against papists -‐ yet we teach God's word
! Deceived by the Bishop of Albrecht -‐ thought he was an angel => 'masterdevil'
! Heard 'what dreadful and abominable articles Tetzel was preaching'
~ 'all for the sake of money'
! Theses -‐ 'They went throughout the whole of Germany in a fortnight, for the whole
world complained about indulgences and particularly about Tetzel's articles'
~ 'the preaching order had instilled fear into the whole world with the threat of ﬁre'
! 'I did not want the fame'
! 'Now if a rumpus has come out of this and discontent with these slanderous Harrys,
these infamous Mainzes, these eﬀeminate cowards, these desperate scoundrels and
their whole hellish crew, they may thank the bishop of Mainz for it. He began it with his
execrable thieving freed and his blasphemous Tetzel, whom he sent out and defended'
! Other cause for the beginning of the rumpus was Pope Leo with his untimely ban
! 'it has become evident how devilish a lie indulgences are'
~ If they had done nothing else wrong, this would be enough to damn them
Should give back stolen property and money and restore to God his honour
You are like the devil -‐ cites immoral behaviour
Church -‐ 'synagogue of the devil'
All of Germany is plagued with excessive drinking
Preface to the Wittenberg Edition of Luther's German Writings (1539)
Would be content to see all his books remain in obscurity
Time lost which could be spent studying the Scriptures
People forget the Bible -‐ look to libraries of other works
Cannot prevent people from wanting to publish his works
St Augustine -‐ determined to be subject to the Holy Scriptures alone => independent of
books of the fathers and saints
~ If this example had been followed the pope would not have become Antichrist
! Should pray and meditate
! Tentatio / Anfechtung -‐ 'This is the touchstone which teaches you not only to know and
understand but also to experience how right, how true, how sweet, how lovely, how
mighty, how comforting God's Word is, wisdom beyond all wisdom'
! Papists, through their devil's raging, have made a fairly good theologian of him
Preface to the Complete Edition of Luther's Latin Writings (1545)
! Resisted those who wanted his confused writings published -‐ 'I did not want the labours
of the ancients to be buried by my new works and the reader kept from reading them'
His books are a 'crude and disordered chaos' -‐ not easy to arrange
Should remember that he was once a most enthusiastic papist -‐ 'I was so drunk, yes,
submerged in the pope's dogmas, that I would have been ready to murder all'
'For I got into these turmoils by accident and not by will or intention, I call upon God
himself as witness'
'In any case that popular breeze favoured me, because those practices and
'Romanations', with which they had ﬁlled and tired the whole earth, were already
hateful to all'
Could not deceive Duke Frederick
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