A thousand years is a long time. So how do you pick the most influential person of the
last thousand years? Its practically impossible to do. But almost everyone will agree that
one of the most influential characters in the millennium was Martin Luther, father of the
Luther was born November 10, 1483 in Eisleben, Thuringia (a province noted for its many
musical talents, including Johann Sebastian Bach). Luther was brought up in the strict
religious atmosphere of the roman catholic church. After attending the Latin Schools at
Mansfeld, Magdeburg, and Eisenach, he entered the university at Erfurt in 1501. From this
institution he received a bachelors degree in 1502 and a masters degree in 1505. During
his student years, Luther was terrified by thoughts of the wrath of G-D. He continually
sought a means of finding inward peace. To achieve this goal, he entered an Augustinian
Monastery on July 17, 1505 to become a monk. Two years later, he was ordained a priest.
In 1508 Luther was appointed professor of philosophy at Wittenburg university, and he also
studies there to get the doctor of theology degree in 1512. In 1515 Luther was appointed
Augustinian Vical for Meissen and Thuringia.
During the period of his appointment as vicar, Luther underwent a modification in his
views and beliefs. He was still devoted to the church, but in his continued quest for
inner peace, he turned from religious philosophy to the bible for the basis of his belief.
These conclusions ultimately led Luther to combat some practices of the church.
Luther verus the church. A classic case of David and Goliath. There were many reasons
Luther went against the church. But the sale of indulgences by Johann Tetzel in 1517 at a
church near Wittenberg enticed Luther into action in the first place. Tetzel preached that
buying indulgences would grant you a better place in heaven. On October 31, 1517, at the
age of 33, Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses (1) to the castle church door at
Wittenberg. This was not intended as a decisive attack on the church, and he did not want
this to be circulated. However, the new spread quickly through Germany withing the next
Later in 1518 Luther boldly denied the absolute power of the church. On March 3rd , 1519,
Luther wrote a letter to Pope Leo X. In the letter he stated that it was not his intention
to undermine the authority of the pope or the church. He did not want a war. On June 27th
Luther had a debate with Johann Eck in Leipzig. At the heart of the debate is the issue of
indulgences and the authority of the pope and the Roman Church. This debate ended on July
14, and Luther was convinced Eck won. As a result of the debate, the impact of the