This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Letter To Archbishop Analysis

1805 words - 8 pages

Analysis of Martin Luther’s Letter to the Archbishop of Mainz, 1517

In 1517, Martin Luther wrote a letter to the Archbishop of Mainz in protest against the Church’s policy of selling indulgences to the public. This analysis of that letter will attempt to examine Luther’s thoughts on the following:

The church’s policy of selling indulgences to the public.
The public’s interpretation of what those indulgences signified.
The church’s stance on matters of religious teaching.and doctrine.
Who bore the ultimate responsibility for the public’s interpretation of indulgences
The possibilty of someone arising who may voice grievance against these practices. 1

The letter begins with ...view middle of the document...

Luther, in his “95 Theses”, states that “the whole life of believers should be repentence” and would have found it difficult to accept that by simply purchasing these indulgences, one could be sure of the forgiveness of God. In his theses he also argues that “The pope cannot remit any guilt, except by declaring that it has been remitted by God and by assenting to God's remission”. In Luther’s time the church was very careful, in it’s official doctrine, to stress the need for general penitence and the impossibilty of obtaining valid remission of sins by merely buying an indulgence,( Elton, G.R.. Reformation Europe (Blackwell Publishing 1985) pg 4) although in practice and indeed, according to the Archbishops own instructions to the commissaries who sold the indulgences, the purchaser would be offered four graces, the first of which was, in accordance with the letter of their instructions “the full pardon of every sin”. ( Oaubig, J. History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century (Hartland Publications,1995) pg 149) 3

Luther may have been aware of this hypocrisy and it seems that at this point, he begins to vent his frustrations a little more strongly. He maintains that it is impossible for man to be free of all sin through purchasing these indulgences and there is a hint of exasperation as he writes “O God most good!” The people, Luther claims, are “being taught to their death” and the responsibility for their souls, the “strict account” rests with the Archbishop. No man, no matter how holy, can be “sure of salvation” nor give the “gift” of it to others. The bishop has no right to offer salvation for a price, for it can not be given by any man.

Luther argues that the road to salvation is a difficult one. He ignores his previous statement that he has not heard the words of the ones selling the indulgences and accuses them of telling “false fables” and making false promises. 4 It is their fault, and by default the Church’s, that the people are “careless and fearless”. Indulgences don’t offer salvation, they merely remove the penalties that are usually imposed in accordance with the canons and the sacrament of penance.

In order to be truly forgiven of sin, a man must go through three stages, contrition, confession and satisfaction. By purchasing indulgences, many believed, and in some cases were led to believe, that the act of contrition was unnecessary. In other words, they believed that they would be forgiven regardless of whether or not they truly repented. In fact, for particular sins Tetzel had a particular tax. Oaubig, J. History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century (Hartland Publications,1995) pg 150) Tetzel was the man responsible for selling indulgences in Luther’s area. Each sin had a price. For example: to forgive the sin of murder would cost eight ducats. Impossible, according to Luther.

Another of Luther’s main criticisms of the church at that time was the fact that too much emphasis was being put on...

Other Papers Like Letter to Archbishop Analysis

Rhetortical Strategies Used in Lord Chesterfield's Letter

611 words - 3 pages the world but from me.” One other rhetorical strategy used in the construction of this letter would be cause and effect analysis. Cause and effect analysis is analyzing why something happens and describing the consequences of a string of events. Chesterfield tells his son to learn from his mistakes in lines twenty-one to twenty-five, "Let my experiences supply your want of it, and clear your way in the progress of your youth, of those thorns

Litterary Analysis on Padre Martinez

1021 words - 5 pages Literary Analysis Essay In Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather, Antonio Joseph Martinez is presented as a corrupt and a very licentious individual. It is said that Padre Martinez orchestrated and was the cause of the Taos Indian Rebellion in 1847. In the catholic religion, priest take vows of celibacy, Padre Martinez breaks these vows with all of his promiscuous behavior. In the novel, Martinez is portrayed as more of a political

Noli Me Tangere & the Departure from Europe

1864 words - 8 pages authorities, decides to found a school. The book shows how Ibarra’s goodwill leads him in the direction least expected, eventually to his being imprisoned, an enemy of society , & to his being saved by an outlaw, Elias, who sacrifices his life for him, leaving Ibarra with the life Elias gave up - an outlaw’s life. ------------------------------------------------- Objectives In another letter to Dr. Ferdinand Blumentritt, Rizal described what

Rizal's Homecoming

1127 words - 5 pages your head for it • Governor General Terrero – liberal-minded Spaniard - Assigned Spanish Lieutenant Don Jose Taviel deAndrade as bodyguard of Rizal - Cultured and knew painting - Could speak English, French & Spanish • Governor General Terrero found nothing wrong with Noli • Msgr. Pedro Payo (Dominican Archbishop of Manila) – sent a copy of Noli to Father Rector Gregorio Echavarria (UST) for examination by the faculty - Noli – heretic

The Best Cover Letter I Ever Received

537 words - 3 pages 2. When you know something about the job requirement 3. When you've been personally referred (which might include 1 and 2) Under those conditions, you can help your cause by doing some of the résumé analysis for your potential new boss. To illustrate, here's the best cover letter I ever received: Dear David: I am writing in response to the opening for xxxx, which I believe may report to you. I can offer you seven years of experience

Mother Teresa

974 words - 4 pages noticed all the beggars, lepers, and homeless people on the streets of Calcutta. There lives were horrible, living on other peoples scraps and letting babies that they couldn't support die in trash bins. She decided to ask the archbishop if she could stop her teaching and dedicate her life to helping the 'less fortunate.' When Mother Teresa received a written consent that it was okay, she began her work.In 1948 Pope Pius XII gave Mother Teresa

Do You Agree with the View That in the Years 1515-1525 Henry Viii Wholly Surrendered Power in Government to Cardinal Wolsey?

929 words - 4 pages hands’. To further support this case, it is clear that Wolsey was extremely powerful, he had vast amounts of bishoprics (Archbishop of Canterbury, Tournai, Durham just to name a few) and was the head of things such as the Star Chamber where Wolsey got himself heavily involved with. This is shown when you compared the number of cases Wolsey took on (120) compared to that of Henry VII who dealt with only 12. Also Wolsey had control of all of the

Noli Me Tangere

2412 words - 10 pages of his dead father, he is no longer able to restrain himself and lunges at Fray Damaso, prepared to stab the latter for his impudence. His beloved Maria Clara stops him just in time. Because of the aforementioned incident, the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church excommunicates Ibarra. Fray Damaso takes this opportunity to persuade the already-hesitant parents of Maria Clara to forbid their daughter from marrying Ibarra. The priest wishes

Hangman Game

608 words - 3 pages tfLetter = new TextField(); // Create buttons and labels bStart = new Button("Restart"); bGo = new Button("Go"); // Add the graphical elements to the applet add(bStart); add(new Label("Guess a letter:")); add(tfLetter); add(bGo); // Buttons are events

The Fenians and Impact on Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick)

2003 words - 9 pages claimed that the Fenians are heavily armed and they would soon embark on a wave of violence. The Orange Order accused all Roman Catholics to be Fenians or potential Fenians. The New Brunswick Government had to finally act against the perceived threat. Lieutenant Governor Gordon feared the crisis could divide New Brunswick. He travelled the province while ridiculing the idea that all Catholics are Fenians. Archbishop Thomas Connaly of Halifax

Analysis of the Passage 'William and Mary'

1016 words - 5 pages This passage seems to be an excerpt from a short story. In the following analysis, the reader will attempt to analyze the passage to the best of her abilities. The passage describes the events which take place after someone’s death. It is from the perspective of the wife of the deceased. The passage is about a letter that the she receives from her husband’s solicitor who claimed that his client wanted him to give the letter to her, if he should

Related Essays

An Analysis Of "The Jerilderie Letter", To Determine Whether Ned Kelly Is A Hero Or A Villain. Liam Butler

796 words - 4 pages The Jerilderie letter would be almost completely obsolete for an historian attempting to assess whether Ned Kelly was a hero or a villain. An historian should look at society's response to Ned Kelly when searching for such information as the belief that someone is a hero or a villain is completely subjective, and the closest anyone can come to an answer is to reach a consensus. The Jerilderie letter can at most, give us information about Ned

The Analysis Of The Story "The Miraculous Revenge"

1621 words - 7 pages 5th of August. Zeno Legge arrives to visit his uncle the Cardinal Archbishop, but he doesn’t find the uncle at home, and not satisfied with the offered food, goes to the hotel. There he has his dinner and then he goes for a walk. He comes to the Theatre, where he sees the play, seen before. Zeno is not satisfied with the acting and goes away to the hotel where he tries to read a book. But the man is distracted by the lodgers of hotel wandering

Anne Boleyn And The Divorce Essay

571 words - 3 pages went to Germany to learn more about Lutheranism, he supported the translation of the bible into English and once Archbishop of Canterbury he declared Catherine and Henry’s marriage void and then married Anne and Henry. * The right situation at the right time * She knew that Catherine of Aragon was not giving Henry anymore children, and certainly no more male heirs meaning that she could convince Henry she was better because she was

Feminist Perceptive On The Scarlet Letter

930 words - 4 pages subvert, and at the last but now least, patriarchal dominance and feminine subversion is evident in literary and cultural text. In Bentuck's analysis of The Scarlet Letter, she uses the statement “ Hester Prynne, however, subverts the Puritan- patriarchal laws of meaning in two ways. First, she embroiders and embellishes the community's representational codes, thereby confusing them. Second, Hester refuses to name child's father.(pg.397)”as one