Who was Martin Luther?

Martin Luther was a German theologian and Augustinian monk whose teachings inspired the Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines of the Protestant churches in general, and the Lutheran church in particular. Luther openly questioned the teachings of the Roman Catholic church, in particular, the nature of penance, the authority of the pope and the usefulness of indulgences. The Reformation of the church began on 31 October 1517, with Luther's act of posting his Ninety-Five Theses, more fully known as the "Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences", on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The document contained an attack on papal abuses and the sale of indulgences by church officials.

Controversy raged over the posting of the 95 Theses. Luther was excommunicated several years later from the Roman Catholic church for his attacks on the wealth and corruption of the papacy, and his belief that salvation would be granted on the basis of faith alone rather than by works. In 1521, the same year in which he was excommunicated, Luther was summoned before the Diet of Worms. The Diet was a general assembly of the estates of the Holy Roman Empire that occurred in Worms, Germany, from January to May in 1521. When an edict of the Diet called for Luther's seizure, his friends took him for safekeeping to Wartburg, the castle of Elector Frederick III of Saxony. Here, Luther continued to write his prolific theological works, which greatly influenced the direction of the Protestant Reformation movement.

See the Related Links for "Martin Luther 1483-1546" to the bottom for the answer.