Luther And Carlstadt Sources Notes
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Luther and Carlstadt Class
Passional Christ und Antichristi (1521)
! Melanchthon writes the text and Cranach produces the images
! Luther is in Wartburg -‐ just after Worms
! Same artist who did Carlstadt's wagon
! Comparison of the lives of Christ and the pope
‣ Knowledge of Christ's life would aid understanding of the pamphlet
‣ Heaven v. Hell
‣ Christ v. pope => seen in these images
‣ Christ teaching among the peasants v. fat pope surrounded by luxury and an
elect group of people
! Print form of propaganda -‐ images and text
‣ Very diﬀerent from Carlstadt's wagon
! Carlstadt's pamphlet against Luther has no image
‣ Expensive -‐ only one edition
! Supreme Virtue of Gelassenheit -‐ 2 main parts
‣ Outlines his persecution-‐ martyr ﬁgure
‣ Gelassenheit -‐ devotio moderna
Removal v. involvement in society e.g. priesthood of all believers
! 1520 v. 1525
‣ Luther was not mentioned in the tract of 1520 -‐ much discussion of Luther in
‣ Gelassenheit v. helping neighbour -‐ not detachment
‣ Gelassenheit v. later involvement of the Holy Spirit
‣ Attacks Luther's luxurious clothing -‐ Carlstadt has changed as he used to wear
! Infant baptism is seen as an unbreakable vow in the 1520 tract
‣ Yet he speaks against it in 1525
! Exsurge domine was released before Gelassenheit tract
‣ Carlstadt is therefore coming to terms with the possibility of martyrdom in this
tract -‐ anxiety
‣ Struggle with the Devil
‣ Part of human nature?
‣ Luther -‐ mark of attack by the Devil
! Spirit v. ﬂesh
‣ Carlstadt sees material as not useful -‐ leave them behind
‣ Can conform to God's will -‐ Luther does not think that you can
! Luther is so negative about humanity => actually less concerned with sins of the ﬂesh
! Luther -‐ law is written on our hearts
! Was Carlstadt traditionalist?
‣ Lay devotion and detachment
- Anchoresses and hermits
‣ Forceful detachment -‐ self-‐examination
‣ Yet very negative experience
At the same time as writing on the breaking of monastic vows
Can be seen as liberating
Point at which Carlstadt stops using his doctor title
‣ Chooses to look like a peasant
! Good Christians should care for beggars
‣ Redirection of money from images to the poor
! Leisnig -‐ practical measures
‣ Speciﬁc on what needs to happen
‣ Yet Wittenberg had the ﬁrst ordinance
! Müntzer -‐ defence of the power of dreams
‣ Contrasted with Luther and his luxury
‣ Women might have powers
Confrontation at the Black Bear
! Christmas 1521 -‐ Zwickau Prophets entered Wittenberg
‣ Direct revelation of the Holy Spirit
! Carlstadt -‐ Luther feels that he believes in his own righteousness => distances man from
! 4 years building up to this debate
! 1520 -‐ Carlstadt's lectures on James => Luther criticised it
! 1521 -‐ Carlstadt and Melanchthon put reforms into place in Wittenberg
! Became pastor in Orlamünde
! Confrontation is a tipping point
! Carlstadt becomes part of the 'other' -‐ group of people against Luther
‣ Defamatory association with the Zwickau Prophets
Token of the gulden -‐
Carlstadt could publish
‣ Radicalised their separation
‣ Show of power from Luther
‣ Beginning of direct attacks against each other
! Elevating the host -‐ Luther wants it merely because Carlstadt does not
‣ Luther abolishes it immediately after Carlstadt dies
! Luther could argue that Carlstadt is not doing his university job
‣ Carlstadt wants to be in Orlamünde
! Tactic of associating Carlstadt and Müntzer
‣ Stops people taking Carlstadt's view of the sacrament
Luther and Carlstadt Gobbets Class
! Carlstadt -‐ 'bound and struck'
‣ Reminiscent of Christ
‣ Look for metaphors
First paragraph of gobbets -‐ context and major issues
‣ e.g. wider question on peasant serfdom -‐ were peasants using religion?
Peasants' war -‐ revolution of the common man with godly law radicalising them?
‣ Is there suﬃcient evidence for this?
‣ Not written by all of the peasants
What is the problem with the source?
‣ e.g. Black Bear Inn -‐ written by Carlstadt's friend
Can always ask about language and the problems of the source
‣ e.g. don't know who wrote the Ordinance of a Common Chest at Leisnig
Many diﬀerent reformations -‐ concoction to society
Early modern structures of thought -‐ inverses
‣ Passional Christ und Antichristi -‐ Melanchthon and Cranach (1521)
‣ Stuart Clark -‐ Thinking with demons
‣ Oral culture -‐ learn through preaching, songs etc.
- Yet the language is very visual
- Carlstadt is the ﬁrst to use images as propaganda yet he was the ﬁrst
✦ Very aware of the power of images and their ambiguity
✦ Wrote 55 pages on his wagon propaganda
Carlstadt moves to German before Luther
God of the Reformation is wrathful
‣ Luther often uses the Old Testament
Carlstadt rejects cruciﬁxes -‐ hardest example as he could use a saints' image and this
would be easier to refute
‣ Will not lead beyond the ﬂesh
‣ Luther is still upset by this -‐ may favour a slightly more emotional Reformation
Carlstadt -‐ does he see images and beggars as the same?
‣ Both invoke a reaction -‐ not proper charity
‣ Emotional v. economic impact
‣ Confused about his attitude to money -‐ later stops wearing luxurious clothes
‣ Late to condemn indulgences
University of Wittenberg partly ﬁnanced by relics => fund Luther
Carlstadt -‐ value and dignity of labour
! Compare peasants at Orlamünde with how they are referred to by Luther
‣ Peasants' voices at Leiznig -‐ but they are council ordinances
‣ Compare with the peasant articles
Preface -‐ Suggestions on how to deal with ecclesiastical property (1523)
! Wants there to be a great decline in existing foundations
! Against greed of repossession -‐ wishes to close down monasteries in an organised way
! 'monkery and clericalism, as they have been for the past 400 years, serve no useful
purpose and are nothing but harmful error and deception'
! Allow people to leave of free will and governing authority should stop new applicants
! Governing authorities should take over property
~ Support remaining inmates
~ Give those who leave suﬃcient funds
~ Devote all the remaining property to the common fund of a common chest -‐ gifts
and loans could be made in Christian love to all the needy
! Will be fulﬁlling aim of serving God -‐ 'Now there is no greater service of God than
Christian love which helps and serves the needy, as Christ himself will judge and testify
at the Last Day, Matthew 25 [:31-‐46]. This is why the possessions of the church were
formerly called bona ecclesiae, that is, common property, a common chest, as it were,
for all who were needy among the Christians'
! Christian love must judge who needs money
! Mendicant houses in cities should be converted into schools for boys and girls
! 'If God were to grant that these suggestions be carried out, not only would we have a
well-‐ﬁlled common chest for every need, but three crying evils would diminish and
eventually cease. The ﬁrst of these is begging, which does so much harm to land and
people in soul and property. The second is the terrible misuse of the ban, which serves
no other purpose than to torture people in the interest of the possessions of priests and
monks. If they had no possessions, there would be no need of this ban. The third is this
cursed zinss contract, the biggest usury on earth, which up to now has asserted its
validity even in the matter of ecclesiastical properties -‐ there above all'
! Would be happy if only a couple followed him
! 'The world must remain the world and Satan its prince'
Fraternal Agreement on the Common Chest of the Entire Assembly at Leisnig
Will follow those learned in Scripture
Masters and mistresses are to ensure that servants and children hear God's word
An assembly of the whole parish will punish those who sin and oﬀend against God
Have 'ordained, established and set up a common chest'
'We, the parish assembly, by virtue of our universal priesthood, have always had and
should have had the full right and authority, which we reserve wholly to ourselves and in
no way relinquish, to acquire all properties and rights'
All shall be 'included without exception in the common chest and there remain'
4 chapels and masses for the dead etc. will be turned over to the common chest
Should always be 2 barrels or casks for bread, cheese etc. and a box for coins for the
Perishable food should be distributed by appointees
What is not perishable is to be distributed on the following Sunday
Each year the parish assembly will elect 10 trustees or directors for the common chest
~ 2 from nobility, 2 from city council, 3 from common citizens of the town and 3
from the rural peasantry
The chest 'shall be provided with 4 separate and distinct locks, each having its own key,
so that the nobility shall have one of the keys, the council another, the town citizenry
the third and the rural peasantry the fourth'
2 building supervisors -‐ shall solicit alms for the support of the poor
No begging from monks, church beggars, students or men and women in general
'No men or women beggars shall be tolerated in our parish, either in the city or in the
villages, since anyone not incapacitated by reason of age or illness shall work or, with
the aid of the authorities, be expelled from the parish, the city and the villages. But
those among us who are impoverished by force of circumstances, or are unable to work
because of old age or illness, shall be supported in suitable fashion by the ten oﬃcials
out of the common chest as follows.'
Payment for pastor, sacristan, schoolmaster etc.
~ Also for instructing girls under 12
'Diligent inquiry and investigation' into the state of the poor
Training of orphans and dowries
For good of the parish -‐ shall 'buy up and set aside a good quantity of grain and peas in
storehouses which belong to the council and the entire parish'
Shall give taxes to it when there is not enough in the chest
Hold general parish assembly 3 times a year
Instructions for the visitors of parish pastors in Electoral Saxony -‐ not prescribed
! Holy bishops should visit parishes -‐ should beneﬁt the area rather than being a show of
Spiritual unity to keep the Devil out
Issue of teaching of faith -‐ need to emphasise repentance and forgiveness of sins =>
Grief and contrition => forgiven sins
Sinful not to pray
~ God has promised to hear us
~ Pray for both spiritual and temporal things
Keep the Sabbath holy -‐ should do things such as learning the Word of God
Honour parents yet parents are responsible for children
Honour government and priesthood
God lets no wickedness go unpunished
Matt 26.52 -‐ 'For all who take the sword will perish by the sword'
Should be grateful to government -‐ would be grateful to someone who had saved your
child from death etc.
'Citizens are to be diligently instructed not to be less obedient and subject toward harsh
St Peter -‐ 'Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the
emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and
to praise those who do right'
Each shall follow their national law
All tribulation, including that of body, is sent from God
Children are to be baptised
! The water in baptism signiﬁes penitence, contrition and sorrow
! People are to be taught that it is right to receive both bread and wine
! 'It is to be remembered that so great a miracle happens through no merit of the priest
but because Christ has ordained that when we commune his body is present, just as the
sun rises daily without any merit of ours but solely since God has so ordained'
All should learn these things
Should make allowances for those weak in faith -‐ allow them to have one kind of
sacrament for the time being
Teach the reason for the use of the sacrament
God has shown such anger over sin that he has brought death to his only Son
Sacrament promises righteousness
! 'Penance also is to be reckoned as a sacrament -‐ all sacraments are a kind of penance'
! 'For true faith cannot exist where there is not true contrition and true fear and terror
'So, the ﬁrst part of penance is contrition and sorrow. The second part is faith that the
sins will be forgiven on Christ's account'
Papal confession is not commanded and is impossible -‐ who can discern all errors?
Should be examined before going to the holy sacrament => then they are exhorted to
Christ has made satisfaction for our sins
Should awaken people to fear -‐ only Christ can make satisfaction for us
Do not do away with all holy days
Teaching of the Gospel is divided into diﬀerent parts of the year
Reasonable and useful to use German where most people do not understand Latin
Aroused to faith and good works by the example of the saints
! 'Man has in his own power a freedom of the will to do or not to do external works,
regulated by law and punishment'
If a man eﬀects righteousness then he has a certain freedom to refuse evil
Hindered by the devil -‐ driven to sin
Man is weak and miserable when he does not seek help from God
Issue of Christian freedom
~ Some think they need no government and even that they need pay no taxes
~ Others think they can eat meat, refrain from confession and fasting etc.
~ Wild illusions
Christian freedom is the forgiveness of sins through Christ
~ Devil is waiting to prod people into vice and crime
~ People should be constrained to fear and faith
! Should oppose the Turks -‐ 'For the government is given the power of the sword and
commanded to punish all murder and pillage and murder. Therefore it is obligated to
wage war against those who start an unjust war and are responsible for pillage and
murder. This vengeance is not forbidden'
! 'For a devout man would much rather see his children dead than have to adopt Turkish
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