Essay on Religion
Posted by admin as Example papers
Example Essay on Religion
I would like to start by saying that religion has played a major role in the lives of people for thousands of years. It has impacted the way people acted, lived and even thought around the world. While the US puritan ethics concentrated on the importance of hard work and diligence to achieve success, the Muslim religion told its followers to kill the infidels, while the native African religion still encouraged burnt offerings. In the following essay I am going to speak about one of the most famous religious figures in the world, the creator of the Protestantism, Martin Luther.
I should note that Martin Luther was a professor of theology at the Wittenberg University in Saxony. In the late 1517, he would be the one of create his 95 thesis on the current and ideal church activities. Martin Luther was primarily concerned with the Catholic sales of indulgencies, pieces of paper that would because of the papal permission would certainly either remove the sins or reduce their impact on the person’s life after death. Some indulgencies would actually allow the person to get released from the purgatory (Marty, 90).
Martin Luther’s 95 thesis has been originally written in Latin, yet within the subsequent few years it would be translated into German and other languages. Martin Luther did the best possible to distribute his manuscripted works to the majority of the clergy.
One should not forget that after reading his thesis, Martin Luther would be summoned by the Catholic church authorities to explain his rebellious writings that compromised the rule of the catholic church (Nohl, 82).
In 1520 Martin Luther would write another three papers that became know as three tracts, where he would not hesitate to expose the Catholic church corruption and violations of the biblical laws. Martin Luther would attack the pope himself and would disprove 5 out of 7 holy Catholic sacraments. Luther, would then note that faith was more important than good deeds or work and that was certainly not what the Catholic church was teaching. Such activism of Martin Luther certainly draw much negative attention to him from the Pope, The Catholic church and the kings (Bainton, 141).
Martin Luther would appear before king Charles V at the famous ‘Diet of Worm’. There Luther’s writings would be banned under the Edict of Worms that apparently was pro-Catholicism and would not allow some outsider to question the papacy (Marty, 95).
Martin Luther would then be delivered by Frederick the Wise to the castle of Wartburg in Saxony and start his translation of the New Testament and various religious tracts into his own language.
I would like to add here that Martin Luther was instrumental in destroying the religious unity of the German Empire with his heretic writings that exposed the true nature of the Catholic Church. Martin Luther therefore was one of the most influential religious people in German history. Martin Luther was the one to recommend people to start their own Christian church that would not be as corrupted as the Roman Catholic Church and thus he is considered to be the leader of the protestant reformation.
Martin Luther was the one to consult those who doubted the true intentions of the Catholic Church and advised them not to fuel that corruption with their money (by buying indulgencies) or engaging in some routine religious practices (like a catholic prayer, which is usually learnt by heart). Martin Luther stated that a true religion should not be distant but rather simple enough to make it affordable and accessible for the majority of the population. Martin Luther believed that a true religion should be about the close relationship between God and man rather than about some religious tradition, worshiping the holy Mary, the apostles, angles, deacons, the pope etc.
Martin Luther gained popularity because of his translation of the holy scriptures into the German language that made them understandable for the majority of the population unlike it was in the roman catholic church where all the scriptures were written in Latin. Martin Luther, thus is believed to be the one to unify the German language in his Bible, without which it is believed Germany even today would speak some mutually incomprehensible languages, as it was in the case with the north western tribes that later became the Dutch (Marty, 98).
Martin Luther was the one to write the hymns that would be sung even today in the majority of the protestant churches. Such popularity of his works contributed to the development of the printing with movable type that increase the printing capacity ten fold over the period of 5 years (from 1519 till 1524) (Bainton, 144).
Speaking about what we know about Martin Luther, I would like to note that at some point his ideas would turn into what is called Lutheranism (Lutheran Church). The ideas of Martin Luther were appealing to the young princes and free cities because most of them would like some reform that would give them some freedom from the catholic rule and the catholic support of the existing kings.
Many towns would adopt Lutheranism, simply because the neighboring states would do so, too. Other towns would adopt Lutheranism to avoid rebellions who would not obey the Catholic rules. At some point of time the majority of the cities would become protestant (Lutheran) in spite of the existing catholic opposition.
We also know that Martin Luther’s Lutheranism contributed to the Knights War of 1522-23, in which the Protestants would rebel against the Catholics, yet would lose. Another war, called Peasants’ War would involve over 250 thousand peasants would be influenced by the ideas of Martin Luther and rebel across Germany. That rebellion would also be suppressed by the catholic troops. Martin Luther showed people that Catholicism was not a religious monopoly and soon another church “Anabaptists” would seize several towns trying to build a better society until it was also slaughtered.
We also know that Martin Luther was the supporter of the status quo as long as the status quo allowed people freedom of worship. Thus he was against any rebellions because he believed they do not win eternal peace and salvation. As far as we know, people inspired by Martin Luther would sail the Mayflower to America and later create the USA.
In conclusion I would like to note that Martin Luther was an extremely important figure in the early days of the Reformation of the Catholic Church in Europe and that is why he is still known to the majority of people. As we understand, Martin Luther was a very religious person who did not want to see the corruption in the Catholic church, yet could not change it. The only other way for him to create justice on earth was to create a new religion, which later became known as Lutheranism. He was instrumental in translating the bible into German and in unifying the German language.
Marty, Martin, Martin Luther, Penguin books, 2002.
Bainton, Roland Herbert, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther, NY Random House, 2001.
Nohl, Frederick, Luther: Biography of a Reformer, Prentice Hall, 2000.