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Summary Lutheranism is a major protestant denomination which originated as a sixteenth century movement led by Martin Luther The Development of Lutheranism is credited to Martin Luther Luther was a German Augustinian monk and professor of theology at the University of Wittenberg in Saxony His goal originally was the reformation of the Western Christian Church Roman Catholic The church taught at this time and as was Luthers belief that the surest way past sinfulness was in that becoming a monk was the surest way to forgiveness and entrance to heaven The more he searched the Scriptures and compared the Scriptures with what the church taught at this time Luther found important differences in the two Luthers departure from the Roman Catholic doctrine rests on these beliefs the Scriptures contain the one necessary guide to truth and it is the right of the individual to reach God through them with responsibility to God alone salvation comes through faith alone available to humanity through the redeeming work of Christ and the sacraments are valid only as aids to faith Luther developed the term Lutheran The pope excommunicated Luther and his followers There are several reasons for the success of Lutheranism in the Holy Roman Catholic Empire Before 1517 there were social economic and political conditions affecting the church Heavy taxes from the papacy which was the ruling office of the church caused resentment from the ruling class of the citizens who thought the taxes should be theirs Anticlericalism was a feature in all levels of society That is the clergy were exempt from taxes and had many privileges over the other citizens The Princes were the ruling class of the citizens and individual states The Princes was unhappy with Papal interference They viewed the Papal as a foreign power rather than a holy center of Christendom Luther himself was the key to the success of
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