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Martin Luther

a German monk who became one of the most famous critics of the Roman Catholic Chruch. In 1517, he wrote the 95 theses, or statements of belief attacking the church practices. This action sparked the Protestant Reformation.

Protestant Reformation

Religious reform movement within the Latin Christian Church beginning in 1517 when Luther posted the 95 Thesis. It resulted in the 'protesters' forming several new Christian denominations, including the Lutheran and Reformed Churches and the Church of England.

95 Thesis

written by Martin Luther in 1517, they are widely regarded as the primary catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. Luther used these theses to display his displeasure with some of the Church's clergy's abuses, most notably the sale of indulgences; this ultimately gave birth to Protestantism.

October 31, 1517

Date that Luther nailed the 95 Thesis to the door of the Catholic church in Wittenberg, Germany.


In early modern Europe, the class of well-off town dwellers whose wealth came from manufacturing, finance, commerce, and allied professions.


Occurred when church officeholders ignored their duties and paid subordinates to run their offices. Because subordinates had a lesser connection to the job, they tended to perform less efficiently.


holding of many church offices at the same time.

Desiderius Erasmus

Best known of the Christian Humanists, who wandered through France, England, Italy, Germany and Switzerland. Author of Handbook of Christian Knights.


German city were Martin Luther studied theology, and the place where he posted the 95 Thesis, to challenge key beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church.


a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion


Bones or other objects connected with saints; considered worthy of worship by the faithful.


practice of a rich individual paying to fund the position of an artist or an educator. Prince who funded the position of Luther at the University of Wittenberg was Frederick.

Leo X

Pope from the Medici family, who was in place when Luther began his protest movement.

Johann Tetzel

This was the man who was hired by Archbishop Albert of Mainz to sell indulgences, which he did extremely successfully. His actions served a one of the provocations for Luther's posting of the 95 Thesis. Seen by many as a conman who manipulated and robbed those who sought spiritual direction.


job of being Pope.


The act of going against specific ideas or policies.

Edict of Worms

Edict passed by Charles V making Martin Luther an outlaw in the Holy Roman Empire. The edict commanded the burning of all his works as well as his capture and being brought to the emperor for possible execution.

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