Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 302
On the Freedom of a Christian is Martin Luther's third treatise of reformation. In each treatise, Luther explores his perspective on Christianity and at times the way that it differs from accepted laws of Catholicism.
Pope Leo X is the person to whom On the Freedom of a Christian is dedicated. Luther found the Catholic church to be one of the "monstrous evils of this age," while he felt that Pope Leo X was "Daniel in Babylon." Generally, Luther makes clear in the dedication that he is not attacking Pope Leo X when he attacks Catholicism.
Catholics who disagree with Luther are mentioned during the dedication, and it's their protests that Luther defends himself against to Pope Leo X.
Christ/God is a constant presence throughout the text, since Luther is writing about Christ's journey and the meaning of Christianity.
Christians are a major subject of the text, as Luther endeavors to explain what role he thinks Christians play in their own lives and how that contrasts the role that Catholicism would have them play.
Faith and the power that it gives to Christians is so ever-present that it's essentially a character of the text. "Faith," Luther argues, "alone without works justifies, sets free, and saves."
The Bible is quoted and referenced throughout the text as proof of the arguments Luther makes. Since it lives as the word of God, the Bible is speaking for him (God) and acting as a character in the text.
Luther is the narrator of the text, the interpreter of the Bible, and essentially the "protagonist" of the story. He is working to convince the reader that Christianity is more simple, open, and free than Catholicism would have them believe, and he uses both his own experiences and the stories of the Bible to prove his point.
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