Martin Luther Appears Before the Diet of Worms (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: Martin Luther appears before the Diet of Worms and refuses to recant his views, leading to his subsequent condemnation by the Catholic Church and the eventual rise of Protestantism.
Summary of Event
The Catholic Church’s condemnation of Martin Luther’s teachings at the Diet of Worms was a pivotal event in the Protestant Reformation, intensifying the dispute within the Church over theology, polity, and worship and helping produce a permanent division. The Reformation’s roots lie in political, educational, technological, social, and religious developments between 1450 and 1517. Growing nationalism and the desire of European countries for greater independence from Rome contributed to the rise of Protestantism. So did Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, which enabled Luther’s attacks on the Catholic Church to be widely disseminated, and the expansion of universities, many of which supported the teachings of the Reformers. The revival of trade, growth of cities, and development of a middle class also played a role. The Reformation, however, was primarily a protest against religious abuses, especially the tremendous financial power and alleged doctrinal errors of the Church, the corruption of the papacy, and the ignorance and moral laxity of priests.
In 1516, Luther, an Augustinian monk and professor at the University of Wittenberg, experienced a religious awakening that led...
(The entire section is 1483 words.)
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