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Throughout history there have been few men that have dedicated their lives to religious criticism and reformation three such men are Martin Luther Franois Marie Arouet also known as Voltaire and Christopher Marlowe Each of these men is famous for their deeds however the route by which they accomplished their goals of religious criticism are all very different It is impossible to view one man as more important that the others thus one must view these men as a team working together to accomplish religious freedom through criticism and reform Martin Luther was a German priest whose criticism of the Roman Catholic Church initiated the Reformation and the establishment of Protestantism As professor at the University of Wittenburg he compiled the 95 Theses that attacked the church for actions such as selling indulgences and spreading the belief that salvation is attainable through good acts alone He denied the authority of the pope rejected Catholic iconography and disputed theories such as transubstantiation Widespread discontent with the state of the church was set alight by Luthers criticisms thus resulting in a call for reform In 1520 Luther published three celebrated works to broadcast his views on religion and the church In his Address to the Christian Nobility he invited the German princes to take the reform of the church into their own hands in A Prelude Concerning the Babylonian Captivity of the Church he attacked the overwhelming importance placed by the papacy on the sacraments and in The Freedom of a Christian he stated his position on justification and good works After The Freedom of a Christian was published the Catholic Church attempted to force Luther to recant on his statements As religious legend has it Luther refused to recant his beliefs by stating Here I stand I cannot do otherwise The Reformation was a united factor in the religious
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