Saturday, 5 April 2014
'That Martin Luther guy's pretty funky'
Anyway. On to the History bit. You see, the title of this article is, I believe, a brilliant representation of my mental state at the moment. It is, however, my poor, failing brains first response to reading a few articles on line about Luther and Lutherism (I wonder where they got the name from?).
Now, Luther isn't really 'my type'. Although not a Catholic, he was a bit of a religious fanatic and didn't, in fact, really want to start a revolution at all, it seems. He targeted academics, it seems, at the 95 theses (a document in which he basically ripped the Catholic Church to shreds) was written in Latin, and was so inaccessible for the lay person. He said that it was impossible for all men to become equal and was, in general, concerned with keeping the status quo in all aspects of life apart from religion.
In fact, from a Lutherist point of view, the Catholic Church could be seen as the revolutionary party, as it had moved drastically away from the teachings of Christ, and Luther could have been seen as a reactionary, trying to 'turn the clock back', and focus on Christians having a personal faith, rather than one controlled entirely by the Church. Luthers main problem with the Catholic Church was that it seemed to lie to the people, telling them that they could effectively 'buy' their way into heaven, as well as placing a lot less store by personal repentance and faith, and instead focusing on the power of the Church itself.
No, the reason that I like him is that he wasn't afraid to stick up for what he thought was right. He nailed his 95 Theses onto the door of Wittenburg cathedral, and refused to stand down for what he believed, even when facing the prospect of execution at his trial in the city of Worms. That bravery and courage - to fight for what he believed, is something that I think should be admired.
He has also won a place as one of my favorite History Boys because he did not agree with the idea that it was only through the Catholic Church that you could find freedom and redemption. He thought that a lot of faith should be a personal thing, and although I have my own views on religion, I thoroughly agree with the idea that people should be able to discover it themselves. Because if your ticket to heaven lies in the hands of one body of people, then that body has a supreme control over your every move. And one thing I can't stand is anybody having supreme control over anybody else.
I think that's why I fell in love with his story. One document, nailed to the door of a cathedral, sparked a revolution that gave people just a little bit more freedom.
Anyway, sleep really does call me, so I think I'll have to love you and leave you!