Martin Luther Questions and Answers

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Who is Martin Luther spirtitual father? And why did he send him away? My class was wacthing the movie martin luther and i really did not get that part?

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Keri Sadler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I think, though I'm not 100% sure as I haven't seen the film, that the historical character you refer to is Johann von Staupitz, who was Luther's superior and counsellor when he was a monk.

Luther had dedicated himself with huge rigour to the monastic life: fasting, praying, going on pilgrimage, confessing, and living - in short - an austere, uncomfortable life. Concluding that he'd never be able to please God, as pleasing God only made him feel more guilty and sinful. Luther described the period as one of profound spiritual despair, saying that he

 "...lost touch with Christ the Savior and Comforter, and made of him the jailor and hangman of my poor soul."

It was Staupitz, his superior, who decided that Luther needed to work in order to distract him from all this negative thought, and ordered him to leave the abbey and pursue an academic career. This led Luther to the University of Wittenberg: where he would later pin up his theses and start the work of Protestantism.

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