On the Reformation’s 500th anniversary, remembering Martin Luther’s contribution to literacy

One of Luther’s most important theological contributions was the “priesthood of all believers,” which implied that clerics possessed no more dignity than ordinary people. In posting his 95 theses, Luther was encouraging a vigorous exchange of ideas. RELATED: Martin Luther as history’s first tweeter? This article was originally published on The Conversation. Michael King Sr. Legend has it that on Oct. chose to change both his and his son’s name to Martin Luther King. RELATED: Women bloggers spawn an evangelical ‘crisis of authority’

Luther trusted ordinary people to discern the truth. It was during that time that Luther produced an immensely influential translation of the New Testament into German. Reading to interpret truth
Luther had many reasons to favor the dissemination of learning. All they needed was the opportunity to interpret what they read for themselves. But Luther wanted to remove the language barrier so that everyone could read the Bible “without hindrance.” His rationale for wanting people both to learn to read and to read regularly was, from his point of view, among the most powerful imaginable – that reading it for themselves would bring them closer to God. It is estimated that between 1520 and 1526, some 1,700 editions of Luther’s works were printed. RNS file photo
The 95 theses critiqued the church’s sale of indulgences, which Luther regarded as a form of corruption. Martin Luther, founder of Germany’s Protestant (Lutheran) Church, nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, on Oct. He protested the promotion of indulgences, the buying and selling of clerical privileges, and the accumulation of substantial wealth by the church while peasants barely survived. For much of Luther’s life, his remarkable output in theological treatises was exceeded only by his Bible commentaries. Expanding literacy
This view, combined with the wide availability of scripture, shifted responsibility for scriptural interpretation from clerics to the laity. Finally, he recognized the crucial role students would play in carrying his movement forward. In 1521, Pope Leo X excommunicated Luther from the Roman Church. Read the original article) He was a university professor. Luther’s Bible translation promoted a single German vernacular, helping to bring people together around a common tongue. An ongoing legacy, 500 years later

He was branded an outlaw for refusing to recant his teachings. By Luther’s time, indulgences had evolved into payments that were said to reduce punishment for sins. Martin Luther King Jr., namesake of the German reformer. Of the six to seven million pamphlets printed during this time, more than a quarter were Luther’s works, many of which played a vital role in propelling the reformation forward. His 95 theses were intended as an academic disputation. Less known is the crucial role Luther played in making the case for ordinary people to read often and well. Once, while caught in a terrible thunderstorm, he vowed that if he were saved, he would become a monk. In promoting his point of view, Luther helped to provide one of the most effective arguments for universal literacy in the history of Western civilization. Luther believed that such practices only interfered with genuine repentance and discouraged people from giving to the poor. Luther wanted ordinary people to assume more responsibility for reading the Bible. Unlike the papacy and its defenders, who were producing their writings in Latin, Luther reached out to Germans in their mother tongue, substantially enhancing the accessibility of his written ideas. (The Conversation) This year marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s famous 95 theses, which helped spark the founding of the Reformation and the division of Christianity into Protestantism and Catholicism. He wrote,
“Let the man who would hear God speak read Holy Scripture.”
Luther’s Bible helped form a common German dialect. MLK Jr., namesake of the great German reformer, would make full use of the power of free speech in catalyzing the American civil rights movement. His patron, Frederick of Saxony, saved Luther from further reprisal and had him taken in secret to a castle, where he remained for two years. Keren Tan, CC BY-SA
Early years
Born in Germany in 1483, Luther followed the wishes of his father to study law. He believed that nothing could substitute for direct and ongoing encounters with scripture, which he both advocated for and helped to shape through his detailed commentaries. Luther’s 95 Theses. RELATED: Reformation exhibit highlights art as teaching tool and propaganda

At a time when most people worked in farming, reading was not necessary to maintain a livelihood. Luther’s collected works run to 55 volumes. Thanks to Luther’s translation of the Bible, it became possible for German-speaking people to stop relying on church authorities and instead read the Bible for themselves. Luther argued that ordinary people were not only capable of interpreting the scriptures for themselves, but that in doing so they stood the best chance of hearing God’s word. Prior to Luther, people from different regions of present-day Germany often experienced great difficulty understanding one another. It is largely for this reason that the founders of the United States took so seriously freedom of religion, free association and the protection of a free press. Impact of Luther’s writing
Gutenberg’s earlier introduction of the printing press in 1439 made possible the rapid dissemination of Luther’s works throughout much of Europe, and their impact was staggering. 31, 1517, Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, the town where he was based. In my teaching of philanthropy, Luther’s promotion of literacy is one of the historic events I often discuss with my students. (Richard Gunderman is the Chancellor’s Professor of Medicine, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy at Indiana University. Later he developed objections to many church practices. Indeed, Luther later joined the austere Augustinian order, and became both a priest and a doctor of theology. The best community is not the one that suppresses dissent but one that challenges ideas it finds objectionable through rigorous argumentation. the.urbanophile, CC BY-ND
So powerfully did Luther’s influence reverberate down through the ages that, during a visit to Germany in 1934, Rev. His teaching and scholarship played a crucial role in the development of his theology. 31, 1517.