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Reformation Texts Sources Notes

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Reformation Texts Sources

! Building a theological stance
‣ Continuous pamphlet rather than a set of theses
No longer afraid of attacking the papacy
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! Idea of tyranny is extended to the clergy
‣ Words like captivity and freedom
‣ Can be read to see Luther as a radical advocate of freedom
- Not traditional idea that he is in favour of obedience
! Reminiscent of Machiavelli and Hobbes -­‐ rhetoric of religious and political power
‣ Potentially revolutionary

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! To the Christian Nobility -­‐ disorganised stream of thought
‣ Still thinking of new things
‣ Writing as he would speak
‣ 3 walls around the papacy
‣ Numbering -­‐ both numerical and in word form
! Babylonian Captivity -­‐ clear message of breaking down the 3 Catholic captivities of the
sacrament
‣ Withholding the cup from the laity
‣ Transubstantiation
‣ Sacrifice/good work

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! Different perspectives -­‐ not just theological

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‣ Literature, class, gender, visual culture, self, emotions, ritual, kinship

Gender
! Compares the pope to a 'harlot' and the 'whore of Babylon' -­‐ female examples of
sinfulness
! Marriage with Christ -­‐ blessed bride
! Examples of sanctity e.g. Churching of the Virgin
! 'child of God' -­‐ gender neutral
! Preaching -­‐ male examples
! Wedding ring of faith -­‐ marriage with Christ
‣ 'Cleansing her by the washing of water with the word'
! 'By the wedding ring of faith he shares in the sins, death and pains of hell which are his
bride's'
! 'childish and effeminate nonsense'
! Wife is better at finances
! Idea of enjoyment of sex -­‐ surprising
! Against vows -­‐ digression on them
! Women could go to another man if their husband was impotent
‣ Woman's rights -­‐ reciprocal duties
‣ Critique of masculinity
Priests are no longer higher -­‐ new masculinity with model of being the household father
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and husband
‣ Not to do with weapons and power of men

‣ More domesticated


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Emotions
! Guilt and shame
! Wants to persuade others -­‐ shame them for their wrongs
! Christian nobility should feel guilty
! 'Envy' -­‐ mentions this a lot
‣ Feels that Eck was motivated by this at Leipzig
- Deadly sins -­‐ how does he use these 7?

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Kinship
! Subverts usual rules of kinship
! Shocking discussion of marriage
‣ If a man is impotent, the woman has a right to look elsewhere -­‐ husband's
brother
! Justifies incest -­‐ all spiritual brothers and sisters
! Clergy should be able to marry
! Against social structure
! Widening marriage with Christ
! Overturned distinction between priesthood and laity -­‐ serious impact on society
! Catholic Church had numerous canon laws on incest
! Would prefer polygamy to divorce
‣ Issue of Philip of Hesse -­‐ bigamy
‣ Private law for an individual -­‐ yet was against Catholic laws
‣ Happens in the Old Testament -­‐ issue of contradictions

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Class
! Undertones of equality -­‐ yet this is applied to the Church hierarchy rather than secular
hierarchy
! Rhetoric of class consciousness is directed towards the clergy
! Open access to salvation rather than power in this world
! Tension between obedience and rebellion
! Worms -­‐ The Freedom of a Christian has led people to 'throw off the yoke'
‣ Only real thing Luther disagrees he has done -­‐ not in favour of rebellion
Clergy are responsible for the breakdown of the
Church
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! If you don't have to obey a priest, why obey a secular lord?
! Landlord could be a cleric or monastery -­‐ prince bishops
! Luther is informed by William of Ockham
‣ Talks about correctives -­‐ individual and the conscience
- Temporal authorities can correct spiritual ones
‣ Onus of judgement shifted from the person to the church
- Must prove where people have gone wrong
‣ Should not have abstractions -­‐ make ontology as simple as you can => no need
for essences
- Issue of transubstantiation
! To the Christian Nobility -­‐ obligation to carry out reform of the Church => rationale to
intervene

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Ritual
! Catholic Church has asserted tyranny through ritual
‣ No longer about the Word and promises of God


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! Yet ritual does have a place
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‣ Word and the sign in a sacrament
Not as iconoclastic as one might expect him to be
Fits ritual into the sola scriptura message
Titus should not be circumcised -­‐ is just being stubborn
‣ Yet Timothy can -­‐ is just temporarily weak in faith and should not offend people
in the process of conversion
Important for communities
Can invest power
Excommunication -­‐ exclusion from ritual
Babylonian Captivity -­‐ lifecycle of sacraments
Ritual has to take time -­‐ one phase to another phase
‣ Liminal phase -­‐ when one is not in one stage nor the other
Externality of baptism
‣ Ritual has meaning to the child -­‐ need for witnesses
‣ Luther is redefining what a ritual is
Critique of ritual act at the same time as an insistence on it
Mass -­‐ 'my body and blood as a sign and memorial of this same promise' (p. 12) =>
Zwinglian perspective
‣ Is his position clear in the 1520 texts?
‣ Issue of the ubiquity of Christ -­‐ comes later
New definition of a Christian
No need to take the mass too frequently
‣ Removes need for the ritual so much e.g. not terrible if the wine is spilt
Issue of suicides -­‐ rejection of God's word yet still part of the community?


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! Different ways of reading Luther
! Addressed to all Christians -­‐ more is done through Luther's preaching
‣ Political understanding is based on Germany -­‐ not universal
! Who is Luther addressing?
‣ Does he ever direct things to the whole of Christendom?
‣ Just Saxony?

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Luther's theological changes
! 1517
‣ Attack on indulgences and mercenary church
‣ Mechanical nature of penitence


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! Augsburg
‣ Luther presents a statement where he asserts that the pope could and did err
‣ Justification by faith


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! Leipzig
‣ Publicly stated his evangelical conception of the church
‣ Importance of the Word of God
‣ Reconciliation with the Church became impossible


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! To the Christian Nobility
‣ Luther defined the priesthood of all believers and the 2 Kingdoms
- First proper definition
‣ Scripture
‣ Nobility have responsibility to intervene


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! Babylonian Captivity
‣ 3 sacraments
‣ Worst tyranny -­‐ Lord's Supper
- Give both kinds to laity


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! Freedom of a Christian
‣ Free through faith and love of God


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! 1521




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Faith alone
Understanding of Scripture
Priesthood of all believers
Pope is not the sole interpreter of Scripture
Indulgences are wrong


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Radical -­‐ Address to the Christian Nobility

! Assault no longer on the abuse of power but the actual power of the Catholic Church
! Anticipates a complete rejection of canon law
! Forced to face the implications of his teachings
‣ Elevation of secular authorities
! All pretence to hesitation is gone -­‐ papacy must be brought down
! Oberman -­‐ Luther is dragging the nobility to the confessional => just as spiritual as
everyone else

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How important was the Diet of Worms in radicalising the Reformation?

Consistent argument -­‐ primacy of sceptre
Arguments appealed to the princes e.g. finances of the clergy
Luther still remained deferential to princes
Judged guilty for the 3rd and final time
‣ Augustinian judgement by monks
‣ Papal excommunication
‣ Secular decision
! Edict of Worms was not passed until May -­‐ not actually presented to Luther
! Secretly visited Wittenberg in December 1521 -­‐ pleased with reform to the Catholic mass

! Support increased after Worms
‣ Presents himself as a martyr
‣ Appealed to conscience
- 'I would rather lost my life and head than desert the word of God'


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! Sickengen and Hutton had declared support
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‣ Threat of other knights if Luther was condemned
Diet had a radicalising effect on other reformers
‣ Wittenberg -­‐ mass in both kinds and iconoclasm under Carlstadt => increasingly
radical
- February 1522 -­‐ Melanchthon asked Luther to return to Wittenberg
Like a triumphal procession at Worms -­‐ huge audience
Is given a stage upon which to speak
Set up so that Luther won't be able to speak
‣ Are books yours? -­‐ yes or no answer
‣ Subverts this -­‐ splits books up and says some are Catholic
‣ Delays process -­‐ comes back the next day

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Carlstadt's Wagon

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Luther is not in it
Suggests that Leipzig was not so concerned with Luther
First visual propaganda for the Reformation
Top row is going to Christ and the bottom is going to Hell
Confusing propaganda -­‐ not a good balance between image and text
Eck complained about it to the Elector Frederick
Reformation is seen as Augustinian -­‐ Augustine and Paul lead to Christ
Would not expect Carlstadt to begin visual propaganda
‣ Devotional and meditative looking


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! 'Leave your own will and your self behind' -­‐ gelassenheit


Early Reformation Tutorial

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! Gobbets



Why was this bit chosen?
What interpretation might it support/reject?
Rhetoric
Words needing explanation e.g. conscience


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! Conscience
‣ Issue of contrition
‣ Vainglory
‣ Doesn't believe in free will
‣ Aquinas?
! Lack of practical rules => conscience?
‣ Just left to secular authority
‣ Not prescriptive on moral behaviour => individual solutions
! Weimar edition -­‐ free online
‣ Luther's werke
! Lack of digital research methods in current books


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! Letter to Spalatin on Augsburg -­‐ 15 October, 1518
‣ After the Heidelberg Confession
‣ Justifying why he should publish emotive language
‣ Hates Cajetan's fatherly way
‣ Discusses how good a theologian he feels he is
‣ On a collision course with Staupitz
! Letter -­‐ persuades Spalatin => convince emperor
‣ Reads as if it could go into print
‣ Yet he is trying things out in letters -­‐ does not publish all the same content in
his account of Augsburg
! Issue of safe conduct -­‐ indicates a lack of trust in Elector Frederick
‣ Huss was murdered
‣ Slipped away from Augsburg
! Luther subverts Augsburg -­‐ it was meant to stop conflict but Luther is determined to
have a debate


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! Lepizig Debate
‣ Text talks of Luther's persecution yet his victory
‣ Yet all the university judges were in Eck's favour
‣ Thinks everything has been refuted by him and that he is right
! Leipzig audience -­‐ students and scholars => in Latin
‣ Luther uses rhetoric of 'the people'
‣ Town council want the debate held
‣ Held in the summer -­‐ 'in good hiking weather'
! Eck turns up for the Corpus Christi procession
‣ Luther and Carlstadt come afterwards


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! Held in Leipzig
‣ Duke George wants to maintain the theological faculty there as opposed to
Wittenberg
! Luther claims he does not want all these public occasions
‣ Yet he wants to publicise his thought
! Eck was part of the Nuremberg network -­‐ humanists including Staupitz
‣ Had just been introduced to Luther
‣ Luther thinks he is his friend
‣ Enmity over a reply to the 95 theses
! Carlstadt writes a reply to Eck's theses => 400 theses


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! Luther changes his view on schism
‣ Had many problems with it
‣ Split from the Catholic Church
- Maybe then found it easier to break with Carlstadt etc.
! Issue of martyrdom
‣ Half wishes he could have been the first martyr


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! Cranach's image in 1520 -­‐ copper etching
‣ Looks more saintly
! Cranach in 1521 -­‐ profile portrait
‣ Strong image
‣ Renaissance cardinal
! Many other similar images to Cranach


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! Growing awareness of Luther's theology => making him more important
! Narrative of Reformation events -­‐ what Luther has done


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! Letter to Cranach after Worms, 1521






Sets him up as a friend -­‐ godfather of one of Luther's children
Uses address to advertise his relationship with the recipient
Probably delivered by Spalatin
Thinks that the Diet was a set up
Issue of how he was treated -­‐ as a German
Feels he wasn't taken seriously
Luther says he was not allowed to speak -­‐ selective memory => deliberate
tactic to delay by a day
‣ Identification with both Christ and the Jews
‣ Worms paid for the wagon to take him there -­‐ popular


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